He reports that he wanted to build an addition to his Los Angeles home, only to be told by the zoning gnomes that officially it didn't exist, and it would take a year before a hearing could be held to determine whether to recognize its existence. Alas, its nonexistence would not afford tax relief--"Not our department," it seems:
I then recovered enough to ask what we had to do to have the existence of our house established, which I thought would be a simple process - after all, you can see it on Google Earth. I was told we would first have to have a hearing to determine whether the street that runs in front of our house is a public street or private road. Given the backlog, it would be about a year before that process could be completed. Then we'd have to have another hearing to establish the existence of our house. Then we'd have to apply for a building permit, geological inspection, etcetera etcetera. At which point, I gave up in despair. After all, I was starting to have visions of being told that we'd have to tear our house down because it doesn't exist, which was getting kind of metaphysical. Anyway, goodbye addition.Years ago, Paul Goodman wrote a novel, The Empire City. As I recall, the conceit is that the hero is never registered with the Gummint, and thus grows up free. Not a very good novel, as I recall, and a silly, if amusing, conceit.
As for Prof. Bainbridge's plight, no, you can't make this stuff up. Keep your powder dry.