As we all have seen recently, there is a lot of depressing news these days. But the Belgian government has provided some relief by announcing a new property law that went into effect on September 1. It’s an issue that may keep some awake at night with worry but no more. In Belgium, as of September 1, retrieving a ball or pet that accidentally ends up in your neighbor’s yard is now legal. Apparently, the law previously required the property owner to return your property, but you were not legally allowed to retrieve that property yourself. Now, with the new law, I’m feeling relieved and will sleep well.
Professor Vincent Sagaert, who helped write the new law noted that you now have the right to get your ball or pet “provided it ended up there by accident. Just kicking the ball over the hedge to look around is not allowed.” Clearly Belgians are bored if they are sneaking around the hedge to get a look at someone’s garden. Perhaps they don’t watch as much Netflix as I do.
Some are concerned that the new law will result in unneighborly behavior. Eric Dierickx, a justice of the peace in the Belgian province of Flemish Brabant noted that the law’s application would be closely monitored. “People cannot just start walking into anyone’s garden and it is the role of the justice of the peace to see to that.” If I had a nickel for every time someone deliberately sent their dog into my backyard to view the unruly, weed filled garden, I would be a rich man.
I apologize to my Belgian friends for my satirical look at what occupies the Belgian government these days. Even amidst the troubling news, life does go on, disputes are resolved, and rules are updated. I need to leave now to kick a ball into my neighbor’s yard so I can get some landscaping ideas.
This week’s selection is:
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me by Mindy Kaling
According to Google Books “Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?” In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood, with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls. Mindy Kaling really is just a Girl Next Door—not so much literally anywhere in the continental United States, but definitely if you live in India or Sri Lanka.”