M. Giant's
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Monday, June 28, 2004  

The Linden Hillbillies

If directions to your house include "turn off the paved road," you might be a redneck.
-Jeff Foxworthy

A couple of weeks ago, signs went up in our neighborhood that read, "No Parking This Block on Wednesday." Apparently it was seal-coating time. Because we are good little citizens (and because we don't want to get our asses towed), we parked in the driveway. The city, in turn, spread a layer of sharp, gunmetal-gray gravel all over every street within a ten-block radius of our house. We were glad to see that the are was getting repaved, not least of all because the block immediately south of ours has what is effectively a dismembered speed bump scattered across its entire width.

After the gravel went down, the signs disappeared. We figured, "Oh, it's probably just an oversight. We should still park off the street, because we don't want our cars parked there when they come back to finish."

So far, there doesn't appear to be much danger of that.

At this point, we'd look forward to another batch of signs forbidding us to park on the street, because that at least would be a sign that the city hasn't forgotten about us. Or, if they haven't forgotten about us, that they didn't simply run out of money and decide to abandon us with our streets coated with shrapnel.

It was fine for a few days, but now it's growing tiresome. As Trash and I entered our neighborhood last night, she asked if I felt like driving around for a while instead of going home.

"Sure." And the tires rolled onto a nearby block.


"Never mind."

I don't know about anyone else, but I didn't choose to live inside the city limits of one of this nation's larger municipalities so I could drive on roads comparable in quality to those enjoyed by the pre-Beverly Hills Beverly Hillbillies. Given the property taxes we pay in this town, maybe somebody could prevail upon the road department to finish what they've started. Or, alternately, to not start that which they do not plan to finish.

I'm not sure what's the most annoying. Maybe it's the middle-aged guys in their shiny penis-mobiles, afraid to spur the ten thousand horses under their hoods to a speed higher than that of astral projection lest rocks chip their running boards. Maybe it's the fact that every time a car drives down our street it makes a sound like a dump truck full of gravel emptying its load on our front yard. Maybe it's the concern that those sharp little rocks are just going to be left there loose on the street until the first snowfall, whereupon the snowplows will deposit them on my lawn.

There are signs that the road workers are still busy around here. A mineshaft has been sunk into the intersection of 46th and Chowen, and huge yet short sections of steel culvert have been scattered around the neighborhood, waiting to be buried. They're about twelve feet in diameter and four feet long, like gicantic, empty mushroom cans with the tops and bottoms cut off, so I have no idea what purpose they might serve. They'll carry a great deal of water for a very short distance, I presume. I'd drive my car through them, but they're not quite wide enough, so they just sit there and taunt me, impervious to the showers of gravel I spray at them as I drive by.

Of course, it's easy for me to bitch about the condition of the roads in our neighborhood. Meanwhile, the relatively minute section of pavement for which I bear some responsibility—our driveway—has needed sealing for some time. How long, you ask?

Let's see…we've lived here eleven years next month. So I'd say that the driveway has needed coating for…oh…let's say…about…eleven years. Give or take a month.

But at least I didn't start it and then go off and leave it, okay?

I do have to give the city credit for one thing, though. That really bumpy street a block south of us? The one that rattles our teeth every time we drive on it?

They haven't touched that one.

Today's best search phrase: "Botle made from PETE." Is Pete aware of this plan?

posted by M. Giant 6:37 PM 0 comments


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