Dodging the Issue

Consider this e-mail that we received the other day fascinating.  I’m torn between being amused and infuriated, while trying hard to stay on the amused side.  The e-mail reads as follows:
I am a parent of a student at —–  Elementary and resident of — ———. My daughters girl scout troop is planning a neighborhood girl scout cookie sale at the corner of —– and —— on Saturday from 2 to 4 pm.  For the safety of our first graders, we plan to set up our table afew feet back from the street on the large grassy area. Since this is the corner where your church sits, we wanted to let you know that we will be there in case you see us in that space. If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know. Otherwise, please stop by and say hello or even buy some cookies! Thank you, 
I find this fascinating.  The author never asks permission.  They never directly acknowledge the fact that they will be on our property, though the very fact that they sent the e-mail in the first place demonstrates that they know they will be.  Their rational for this is the safety of the children, which is presented as a self-evident necessity beyond discussion.
Now, to be clear, I don’t have a problem per se with this arrangement.  I’m happy to give someone permission to sit on our property and sell Girl Scout cookies.  What I have a problem with is someone who doesn’t ask about using our property, but simply informs us that they will be using it.  Of course, if something were to happen on our property, the fact that they had simply asserted their right to be there for safety reasons would not stop a calculating sort of person from pursuing a lawsuit for damages.  
I wonder how understanding the author would be if I informed them that our church had decided to have a prayer vigil for our own purposes.  The author’s residence was determined to be the perfect location (based on whatever criteria – undisclosed – we chose to use).  We don’t want our members to simply be on the sidewalk – that’s kind of dangerous – so we’ll be standing in the author’s front yard.  For safety’s sake.  We aren’t asking permission, simply informing the author, so that if they see us standing in their yard, they’ll know why.  
I’m pretty sure that this would be considered ridiculous.  I’m trying to figure out how the author wouldn’t recognize the same oddness in their e-mail.  What would you say to this person?  Would you say anything?

2 Responses to “Dodging the Issue”

  1. william b Says:

    This way all the cars driving by on Modoc can swing in and park in your nice big parking lot. This troop leader is sharp!!

    Also you could let them know that for 10% of either their earnings or cookies they can earn their Tithing Badge.

  2. Paul Nelson Says:

    Are you available to serve on our Church Council?  You have some great ideas!

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