June 22, 2017
The city of Meridian, Idaho was mulling a new city ordinance regulating home-based businesses. One provision that got people’s attention concerned limiting the number of attendees at parties for selling products like Scentsy or jewelry, to avoid disrupting traffic in the neighborhoods.
That raised a number of questions: How would they enforce it? Would neighbors call in with complaints? Would a city official come by to hand out a summons? Suppose someone were actually having a baby shower or a birthday party or a Superbowl party? Would they have to have a cake and party streamers, or Superbowl snacks, to prove their innocence?
Then I started thinking about how the people who actually were selling products could have specially designed cabinets to thwart the inspectors: One minute the wares are on display, the next minute they’re completely hidden. A cake would be prominently displayed and, if you were feeling particularly bold, you could hand the inspector a cupcake with a tiny baby bottle on it. (It would help this subterfuge if you had an obviously pregnant woman at the party.)
The ordinance may need some work…