Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Wherein the naive optimism of the young citizen is rudely crushed by a painful revelation

So the results are in. Imagine my joy when I heard the streetsweeper coming up the street this morning and looked out the window to see this to my left:

and this to my right:

Not a car in sight and finally, after all these years, a properly swept street! Is that not a beautiful sight? I went to work with a real skip in my step.

So I come home for lunch and there is Orlando, my next door neighbour and retired Portuguese handyman repairing one of the stairs on the front of his house. Full of bravado, I point out the new sign and how I was responsible for it. He then says to me, in his quiet way "the people who work for the city are stupid. They are the stupidest people in the world." I was expecting some baseless cynical bitter old-man argument from him. Instead, he pointed to the sign and to the tree that is right across the sidewalk from it, explaining that the distance between them was now too narrow for the sidewalk plow and that it would now damage the young tree. I stood there dumbfounded. Not only that, but he was there when the guy was installing the new sign and told him not to do it. The guy said he had to because that is what his boss told him to do. I mean talk about retarded. There are so many other places where the sign could have been put and they chose one exactly opposite a young, but flourishing tree that is now at risk of being damaged. I noticed that there is a cylinder of metal in the ground where an old sign was right next to the new one. I wonder if that explains both the location and speed with which the work was done: they used to have a sign there that deteriorated (which Orlando confirmed was the case) and so could easily replace it. Now maybe they are going to take it out December 1st, when the street sweeping ends and in that case, all is fine. But if not, I am going to have to start my campaign all over again. Astounding.


Kate M. said...

It's what I call seasonal amnesia. (Test comment)

WeSailFurther said...

Maybe this calls for a citizen action before the first snowfall. "Honest, Officer, I have no idea who sawed down the street sign." Maybe saw it off in such a fashion that it can be replaced when the coast/snow is clear?