Photo: Dovapi (iStock)

In the pantheon of rude phrases, “eat me” would not rank near the top of my list. It feels like a Bart Simpson-level taunt, something I’d say to my friends as a jokey retort when they ask whether my mullet is intentional (it’s hard growing out a short haircut, okay?).

But “eat me” is a step too far over the thin line between decency and offense for the government of Lodi, California, whose planning department says the wall-sized “Eat Me” lettering on the side of an ice cream shop violates its municipal code.

CBS-13 in Sacramento polled some area residents, who seem to have mixed feelings about House Of Ice Cream’s mural.

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“I don’t want to take it to the trash, but that’s where my mind went,” resident John Silver told the station. “I didn’t feel comfortable with it.”

The mural’s location across from a school might also be factor in the planning department’s discomfort.

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The shop’s owner says it’s unclear what they’re going to do to address the city’s concerns. I say, paint just two more letters on the wall and you’ve got “TREAT ME.” Who could argue with that?