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Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by GHT, Mar 21, 2015.
Not trivial. Aargh...
Ah, another day in my small-town paradise.
THose who have followed my other comments here over the years know that I live in a dumpy little town with delusions of bourgeois grandeur that lead it to style itself as the Art Capital of the state and other such Boys From Marketing tourist palaver. In keeping with that, the city government has recently popped millions constructing elegant mnew sidewalks for the pretty-much sole use of the ultra-pretentious Contemporary Art musem located just around the corner from us. Meanwhile, several ugly holes have erupted in our front sidewalk, to the point where our elderly patrons are at risk of serious injury. I complained to the city manager about this over a month ago, asking for a repair and suggesting that the crew around the corner might toss a couple of their cull bricks our way.
After being nagged about this by our Director, and after having gotten no action whatever from the city, I went out this morning with a bucket of cement and a trowel and slopped up a repair of my own. Thoroughly annoyed, I garnished it with a sign: WET CEMENT. No Thanks To The City -- We Fixed It Ourselves. Our patrons at the midday show got a kick out of this, with several expressing strong approval of other sentiments which I vocally added for the occasion.
Well, some pucker-mouthed little pisher connected to one of our local booster groups happened to see this, and sent a snippy email to a member of our board, who, exhibiting the rubber spine common to her particular species, passed it along to Madam Director, who advised me that heretofore I was to leave the editorial comments off "official signage" -- in this case a torn piece of an old beer box written on in Sharpie. (She thought it was a pretty good idea when I mentioned I was going to do it earlier in the day. Rubber spines are rampant the higher up the chain of command you go.)
What really smokes me, though, is the comment made by Ms. Pisher -- suggesting that because we are a non-profit we have no right to complain about the lack of city services. Even though those benefitting from city largesse at the moment are themselves non-profits, who are, unlike us, operated by people who don't even live and pay taxes in the city.
I still have to finish the concrete job, and I haven't yet decided how I'll sign my work. I have some ideas, but I'm sure the rubber-spines would tie themselves into knots if I carried them out. Nertz.
Lizzie, why don't you leave a sign quoting Larry Sabato:
The national media will talk about national problems because it's something that everyone in all 50 states can understand, but the reality is these are minor factors. These are local races. ... The issues tend to be less ideological than for Senate races or races for president. ... It's about potholes and streetlights.
Or you could rework this gem:
More than anything, it's the shameless groveling that gets me. One dollar-store Babbitt complains, and an entire heirarchy of wobbly-kneed truckling is galvanized into action.
I'm pretty sure I know who it is who complained -- it's a city-hall hanger-on who didn't think much of comments I made during a recent community survey about the most vital issues facing our community, in which I warned that pushing out the working class thru gentrification into a bourgeois monoculture will, in the end, destroy the community's ability to sustain itself *as* a community. She didn't like that *at all,* being a gentrifier herself, and no doubt relishes any opportunity to put a mouthy little townie like me in my place.
I drew a new WET CEMENT sign decorated with rainbows, flowers, a chirping bluebird, hearts, and a rictus-grinning portrait of myself, just for her personal edification. Oh, forevermore.
It is universal. If I had a dollar for every example of rubber spinery that I have witnessed since being employed by a municipality I could retire and never have to witness another.
It goes along with all of the shady s*#t that goes on in the background that nobody is ever supposed to hear about.
As bad as it appears, I will assure you it's actually far worse.
In my bitter experience (you could Google it), gentrifiers either deny their actions redound unfavorably on anyone, or, more often, don’t care if they do.
I wouldn’t doubt they would prefer a town populated almost exclusively with relatively well-heeled weekenders and retirees. And, I confess, I kinda understand why. Birds of a feather and all that.
Oh yeah. The pols and the higher-up public administrators pay lotsa lip service to the lowly citizenry, but if you ain’t got the juice, that’s all you get.
I’ve called many an elected official’s office to voice an opinion and when I honestly answer that I am not a constituent and am subsequently told that on account of that my opinion will not be registered, I ask if the councilman or representative or senator or whatever considers the opinions of campaign contributors who live outside his or her district.
You can imagine how the conversation goes from there.
See, this is exactly, why we need a pedition to Paramount to bring working-class Chief O'Brien back on Trek!
How popular are good old (cotton) "washing mitts" in the U.S. and how much are they costing, actually?
I mean the simple ones:
In old Germany, they went the same way like bar soap. Unpopular, these days, but seemingly still selling well. Because of the unpopularity, they are dirty cheap on still fine longliving quality. And of course still washable up to 60°C.
I bought five new ones, today. 4,95 Euro each and they are the premium line-ones from one of our german frottee manufacturers!
I have one or two in a cabinet in the garage, but I don't use them often. Frankly, it's easier to go through the car wash for a quick wash, and then check the corners when you get home.
I can remember my mother using one of those to wash dishes, but she preferred to use a little sponge thing covered in a sort of copper mesh -- a "Dobie Pad," according to the brand name of the time. Haven't seen one of those in years.
A popular item in the Era was similar to the Dobie -- a loose ball of copper mesh sold under the name "Chore Girl."
You can still get it today -- it's sold pretty much everywhere, now known as "Chore Boy."
And I say good for him, an honest life is the only life worth living.
Meanwhile, you will never know how utterly loathsome human beings really are until you spend a week of your life trying to patch concrete in a sidewalk that doesn't even belong to you.
This morning I'm down at the theatre catching up on jobs that have accumulated, and my first patch of cement work has dried enough that I can move up to the next area of corrupted pavement and lay down a fresh surface to fill the holes. I put up a nice polite WET CEMENT sign with no mention of our sleazy petit-bourgeois city council, and I have taken off my overalls and am rinsing off my tools when I glance out the window to see the footprints of an enormous moose-like dog -- and the Nike sneaker footprint of its master in my fresh-laid cement, most of which has been oozed out of the hole by the elephantine tread of this moron and his moron-beast.
This wasn't a kid who did this. This was a grown-ass adult, about a size twelve from the look of his big flat clompers, and obviously someone whose agenda for the day includes wasting my valuable time. He probably let his mutt piss on my rosebush ,too.
So I go out and repatch the sidewalk, resisting the impulse to scream violent rage, and I get a big piece of chalk out of my desk and I scribe a huge circle around the patched area with DONT STEP IN THE CEMENT added in giant unmissable letters. Short of standing out there with my gun in hand, I don't know what else to do. (I am sure that wouldn't end well anyway.)
Maybe you should put out a sign in Braille. Perhaps the offender was a "visually-impared" person (blind man, for the non-PC) and the dog was a guide dog not trained in wet cement detection.
At this point, the whole sidewalk is in Braille.
Pretty sure it was the same dog I saw coming up the street in the other direction about ten minutes later -- the owner was some middle-aged goober in board shorts and space-age sunglasses, with gray splotches on his shoes, and the dog averted his gaze from me in embarrassment. Most of the dogs in this town are friends of mine, but many of their owners are dinks.
Ah, it reminds me of distinctly non-PC Helen Keller jokes.
I always feel sorry for a dog that has been saddled with a buffoon for a human. They deserve better.
Add a post script, I don't car if your dog is Uggie, Lassie or Rin Tin Tin, don't pawtograph the cement. Thank you.
" Properly trained, a man can be dog's best friend."
If any pedestrian will even complain to you about your cement-work, bring this line:
"Wait a minute! I'm getting my chainsaw and then, there will be "split opinion", here."
Just think, 15,000 years ago on a pristine beach somewhere in Europe, a dude had just finished smoothing over a nice piece of damp sand when a bunch of mesolithic donks walked right over it...it wouldn't be so bad but you can still see the damage they did today !