If there is one thing Parks & Recreation got spot on, it was what working as a public servant is like. Small town and city council and county commissioner meetings can produce some of the most unusual interactions.
You can see the sitcom’s version of what a local town hall would be like.
And while “I found a sandwich in one of your parks and I want to know why it didn’t have mayonnaise” seems like a far cry from reality, a series of videos from a Palm Beach County town hall in Florida show life does imitate art.
This angry Florida woman argued today against the mask mandate, while bringing up the devil, 5G, Bill Gates, Hillary Clinton, "the pedophiles" and the deep state.
— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) June 24, 2020
Majority of people opposing a mask mandate are participating in public comment portion of meeting. Two ppl now holding a Trump flag, and others are waving their hands when they hear comments they like arguing against wearing a mask. @WPTV pic.twitter.com/mSgabB77FZ
— Ryan Hughes (@HughesWPTV) June 23, 2020
“Every single one of you that’s obeying the devil’s laws are going to be arrested. And you are going to be arrested for crimes against humanity,” one woman said, in reference to the state-wide proposal to wear masks in public areas.
The county commissioners had gathered to vote on making mask-wearing mandatory.
“Every single one of you has a smirk behind that little mask, but every single one of you are going to get punished by God.”
“You cannot escape God … not even with the mask or 6 feet.”
Another man in no uncertain terms said he “would die”.
“You probably already have your orders already taken care of. You don’t really care.”
“You could have at least faked it. You do not care about We the People. It’s pathetic.”
“It breaks my heart, because I would die for that flag, I would die for this country and I would die for the Constitution.”
Many people were so struck by the similarities to Parks & Rec that supercuts of the meetings began to appear across Twitter.
People aren’t exaggerating. This really does look like one of those wacky citizen town hall montages out of “Parks and Rec”. Absolutely wild. pic.twitter.com/Rual4Nd1zX
— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) June 24, 2020
If y’all need a reference as to why those anti mask people are being compared to the people of Paunee from parks and rec, here it is…🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/6yoCSp0c6t
— … (@conytrevors) June 24, 2020
this scene from parks and rec is literally the americans who are fighting back against wearing masks because their "freedom to breathe" is being taken away pic.twitter.com/yb2uDpRa6L
— out of context parks & rec (@nocontextpawnee) June 24, 2020
— BLM-Law (@LawJSharma) June 25, 2020
Pawnee Citizens looking normal now aye? Parks and Rec Deleted Scene we all wish wasn’t deleted… pic.twitter.com/Ae5T7K88FI
— Overly Distraught Pawnee Citizen (@pawneegoddess_) June 25, 2020
The commissioners then voted to pass a mask mandate at which point audience members screamed expletives.
Palm Beach County Commissioners unanimously support mandating masks. This is the response pic.twitter.com/VUf0ZaWOBB
— Hannah Morse 🌅 (@mannahhorse) June 23, 2020
County Mayor Dave Kerner spoke to the press after the vote. Here’s some of what he had to say, but the important part:
-Mask mandate is indefinite, but commissioners can call for a vote to rescind the mandate.
-Req’d indoors where public is welcome, but some exemptions apply pic.twitter.com/KaDydqPkPI
— Hannah Morse 🌅 (@mannahhorse) June 23, 2020
— OnEaglesWings (@anrimaca100) June 23, 2020
Amazed at all of the sudden civics lawyers.
— Patrick Fitzgerald (@pfitzgerald68) June 23, 2020
This is embarrassing. I hope this video comes back to haunt these people.
— Megs (@Megs0108) June 23, 2020
The virus is largely out of control in the United States as a whole, which has added over 30,000 cases a day almost every day this week.
Wow. Straight out of parks and rec. And of course it happened in West Palm Beach, Florida. https://t.co/E6ne9nrnlN
— sree ganesh (@turbomoler) June 25, 2020
This has so much parks and rec citizen complaints energy I had to add a few to the thread lol pic.twitter.com/lMpOF2SHSK
— Avina 🏳️🌈 (@avinerz) June 25, 2020
— A Florida Woman 🌈 (@AllaireFl) June 25, 2020
I was excited to see Parks and Rec trending on twitter until I saw why 😨https://t.co/1lHNXbcT0A
— David Leavitt (@David_Leavitt) June 24, 2020
turns out parks and rec was a reality show https://t.co/QpxfZMCAel
— lacey (@dddrop_the_lace) June 24, 2020
The trend of people being so vehemently against their own interests does not bode well for the country’s pandemic response as we continue to struggle against a virus that shows no signs of slowing down.