Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like
I told you last week that the local water co. alerted its customers – a small, rural community in the Sierra foothills – that we had to conserve for a few days because of a mechanical problem at the treatment plant. They were afraid we’d run out of safe water before they could repair the filtering machinery over the holiday weekend. We saw loads of lawns being sprinkled in that period, so it looks like I was right about the Trump country attitude: “F*&k you, I’ll use all the water I want.” On Wednesday the water was actually shut off for a couple of hours, and I was going, “Take that, mofos!”
Things seem fine now, which kind of bugs me because the flouters got off with no consequences. As per usual.
Makes me wonder, does it pay to be conscientious? If you’re part of a small minority that tries to do the right thing, is the de minimis effect worth it? Or even measurable? I don’t know anymore.
Yet, people all around here put signs out on their lanes, saying, “Fawn near – drive slow!” That’s nice.
Yet, some dick put a scoopful of broken tempered glass in the community pool a couple weeks ago and got away with it because somehow the surveillance cameras didn’t pick it up. We lucked out in that it was tempered glass. With the regular kind, they’d have had to drain the pool, clean up all the shards, then refill – during the water emergency to boot. Calamity avoided.
And nobody could be bothered this year to volunteer to manage the preps for our annual Fourth of July parade. From all we could tell our first two years here, the people were crazy about it, building elaborate floats and recruiting classic car owners and dressing up their horses and children in bunting and colorful spangles. This year, canceled due to lack of interest. In Trump country. At least nobody appears to have ignored the “no fireworks” ordinance, so our fire scares will start later in the season, knock wood.
Hitch got his stitches out a few days ago, so he’s feeling better now and is cone-free. But Max the cat, who I told you about before, has undergone a striking personality change that seems to have rendered him skittish and without affect. And we saw a dog chasing a black cat earlier and thought that better not be Max, but even if it wasn’t it’s pretty clear that it was that kind of thing that finally got to his head. I guess he’s living on borrowed time, though, since outdoor cats are lucky to make it past age 5. We still treat him like the prince he is, of course – when we see him.
I read of a case in Portland, Oregon, in which a couple who had moved there from Southern California woke up one morning to find that someone had spray-painted all over their car and house, “GO BACK TO CALIFORNIA!” They’d moved because of a transfer through work. And whoever the doofus was who did it clearly didn’t wonder if maybe they were Oregonians who’d moved back from California (it was their Cali license plates that had affronted him). They weren’t, but it was possible. As a Californian who’s been to Portland, I say that’s a lovely town you have there. My dad used to live there. Fine town. But its climate alone makes it a hell hole compared to beautiful downtown Cool, CA. Still, when I see Oregon plates around here, I’m never inclined to paint the car with, “Go back to P-Town, tree killers!” I practice tolerance in all things, as best I can.
It was a complete surprise when I got stung by a bee on Sunday, minding my own business watering some plants. The bee in question must have been assigned reconnaissance inside the perimeter and made an unwise aerial assault on the back of my thigh. He perished trying to protect his badly placed outpost between some landscaping blocks, and now his entire squadron is endangered. Such are the consequences of using aggression before diplomacy has had a chance to work.
We were walking along Greenwich Street in San Francisco Sunday morning when we came upon a Trivial Pursuit card on the sidewalk. We got some of the questions right. A little further there was another card. Then some more. And around Fillmore Street we stumbled on a whole cache of them, scattered like the autumn leaves. Either a game of Trivial Pursuit got out of hand, the loser hurling the cards out of the window, or someone finally admitted, “I’m never playing this stupid game again,” and tossed it in the trash. A clumsy refuse engineer then failed to notice the scattering. We preferred to think it was an art installation, though.
There’s an old Persian saying, and you can make of it what you will: “A mouse should eat you.” I think I’ll use it next time I see some yahoo vandalizing a car or watering his lawn during a water emergency.
[Image by dparks via Pixabay.]