Mayor Michael Bloomberg has, by executive fiat, banned pedestrians from dragging roller-bags along any and all public walkways in New York.
"Just the irritating sounds exuded by what must be thousands of those roller-bags with their cheap, tiny ill-oiled wheels scraping cement every day," the mayor declared, "is reason enough to get these contrivances off our sidewalks."
The mayor, who has already banned large colas for fat people, and might bar outdoor smoking, said the fine for towing a roller-bag would be $600-per-offense.
At a news conference announcing the move, the mayor declared: "Are we raising a generation of sissies? Can't people carry their stuff in briefcases or handbags or in backpacks anymore? Lifting stuff is good for your health, anyway-as well as for cutting down on the horrible noise pollution this edict will soon eradicate."
Critics of the mayor's surprise move say he's just more sensitive to the harsh squeakiness of roller-bags because his ears are so close to the sidewalk. The Roller-bag Institute says the industry should at least be given time to make their products as silent as possible.
"Just larger wheels with real rubber, and a few more freshly oiled ball bearings, should do the trick," an institute spokesman asserted. Looking to the future, he added: "We eventually plan a Hover-craft model that will not even touch the ground." But he cautioned, "The only motor we can currently use to make the craft hover above the sidewalk is from a fairly loud World War Two Patton tank engine. Pray for progress."
The mayor would not comment on reports he is thinking of banning pedestrians from using hand-held gadgets they stare at while walking aimlessly instead of than looking at where they're going. But informed sources at City Hall say walking and texting-or inattentively walking and "palm-gazing"-will soon carry a $600 fine.