With the enactment of Ann Arbor's new outdoor porch couch ban, University of Michigan students suddenly find themselves without a place to sit while watching their compatriots play beer pong or cornhole.
The new city ordinance, enacted in response to the burning death of an Eastern Michigan University student, smacks of paternalism and interference in a long-standing "way of life" for students. AnnArbor.com cites some of the issues arising from this intrusion into student leisure:
Though residents still will be able to use furniture intended for outdoor use on their porches — such as patio-style furniture — some students said it won't be as comfortable.This is a legitimate grievance.
The above linked article also quotes some of the ironclad logic one student mustered in defense of cushioned outdoor seating:
"I mean, people have other things on the porch, so it's like they're saying they're going to ban porches one day just because it started on a porch," he said. "It just makes no sense."He's right: it just makes no sense.
Fortunately, with a little ingenuity and elbow grease everyone can get back to sitting as soon as possible. Here are a few ideas for things to sit on with everyday items that you can find around the house (or at least pick up on the cheap).
Number One: The Homemade Bench
1. Two cinderblocks
2. A 2x6 board.
First, place the cinderblocks on your porch. These will be the "feet" of your new "couch." Second, place the board across the cinderblock. Now you can sit on the board. As a bonus, depending on how you oriented the cinderblocks, you can use the holes in them as storage or shelves for miscellaneous outdoor items.
Number Two: A Box
1. A box
First, place the box on the ground. Second, sit. The box is a really versatile piece of furniture because you can also use it as a box. (A milk crate will do in a pinch. You can "borrow" these from outside many gas stations if you go at night.)
Number Three: The Ground
Just sit on the ground, couldn't be easier or cheaper. Just sit right on it! Many primitive cultures have just sat right on the ground in the course of human history.
If these ideas don't appeal or would clash with your outdoor landscaping and design, outdoor furniture can be picked up for reasonable prices on Craigslist. Also, now that summer is winding up many local stores have put their patio furniture on sale, so there are a lot of great deals to be had if you're willing to shell out a few bucks for some brand new city-approved exterior housewares. I think I saw Kroger selling chairs for, like, thirty bucks or something.