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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

You Can't Have My Teeth

I took post civil war history in college. It was a required class. It was also at 8:00 AM. So, needless to say, I only remember two things from that class.

1) My best friend turning to me on the first day of class and asking fervently, "Now, who won the civil war again?"

2) My professor telling us one of the Great Depression stories that he collected to write his book.

It went a little something like this. Old Farmer lives with wife. Depression hits. Old Farmer begins schlepping his wife's teeth to the fields every day. Why? So she wouldn't eat all the food while he was gone.

I truly feel that we are on the cusp of another serious depression. I just feel it in my bones. Everything is more expensive. My friends are losing jobs left and right. The housing market is in the toilet. Government is a complete joke right now from the president all the way down to my city council person.

Let's look at this logically.

In the little government microcosm that is Lexington, KY, we all depend on the different branches of government for different things. So let me thank those departments who have filled me with such confidence in the ability of public officials to handle the more important aspects of our species survival:

Thank you, Lexington Department of Sanitary Sewers. Thanks to you, I get to smell poop approximately 325 days out of the year. As if the smell did not fill me with enough gratitude, you also managed to overflow the pump station behind my house. How fondly I recall coming home to men in hasmat suits in my backyard and then learning that the spill killed some fish in a nearby creek and caused everyone's water bill to go up. Good job, Charlie Martin. Thank you.

Thank you, K.C. Crosbie. Thank you for responding so effectively to my district's needs and concerns. I have had many a delightful phone conversation with your legal aid about the fact that my neighborhood smells like your butt crapped out another butt. You have always been too busy to return any of my phone calls and also couldn't be bothered to even show up at the question and answer forum during last fall's city council election. Presumably, you were out trying to fix the pump station. Thank you, K.C. Thank you.

Thank you, Lexington Department of Water Quality for at least having the decency to lie to me and tell me that, although the pump station flooded mere yards from the reservoir, my water was still safe to drink and shower in.

Thank you, LFUCG police department. Thank you for never responding to calls about things that actually happen in my neighborhood, like dogs being chained up and left to bark for hours on end or neighbors who throw trash in my yard. I thank you because you show up when it really matters. Like when my dad, with his conceal and carry permit, has the audacity to look at his handgun in his parked car. You managed to have him cuffed and searched in less time than it takes for my neighbor to beat his wife into submission in their driveway. And even less time than it took for the sex offender to get moved in across the street. Thanks, guys. You're the best.

Thank you, Lexington KY Animal Control. Actually I guess I should just direct my thanks to the one guy who is running Animal Control from his house with a cell phone. Not only have you never followed up on my neighborhood's complaints about certain people's dogs running amuck through the streets and barking from 3:00 in the morning until 11:00 at night, but you show so much dedication that the last time I called you were taking a crap when you answered the phone. Bravo, Lexington KY Animal Control Guy. We thank you.

Thank you, Lexington Health Department. When I called to notify you that the illegal halfway house for mentally retarded people next door to me had started throwing their used medical waste in my yard, you responded three days later by telling me that the trash posed a contagious illness risk, what with the bloody, pussy gauze and used adult diapers strewn throughout my yard. And you were also kind enough to inform me that it was not the responsibility of the health department to clean it up, but rather mine since it was my yard. How grateful I felt while I tried to scoop urine stained Depends and perhaps even an HIV laden gauze into a trash bag with a stick. And how much more grateful still while I poured chlorox bleach onto my bare hands as an alternative to amputation. Thank you, Lexington Health Department. Thank you.

Thank you, Lexington Building Inspector. When I called to report that a medical halfway house was being run in a residential neighborhood and, in fact, next door to me, you clickety clicked with such fury to discover that, Egads!, they did not have a business license to be running such a facility. And armed with this information you boldly...did absolutely nothing. I thank you Building Inspector. And the nurses who smoke pot on the back porch while the mentally handicapped tenants scream inside thank you too. They still have a place to work. And smoke out.

Thank you, Lexington Department of Solid Waste. I love walking three doors down in the rain to collect my herbie and rosey from the middle of the street. One day I hope to see how you are able to launch it with such awesome trajectory.

Thank you, Lexington Department of Transportation. I look forward to being stuck behind your bus parked in the middle of my street every morning while you incorrectly load wheelchair users from next door for half an hour. I try to never be on time to work when I can help it.

Since it seems I have run out of departments to be failed by, a blanket thank you to all of the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government. Your complete ineptitude is inspiring.

So if this is the level of competency that I can expect from my local government, I am thrilled that our president is signing us up for more government than we already have now. Please be in charge of my health care, my drinking water, my natural disaster relief, and my military. With any luck my house will be burnt to the ground, I'll get to live under a bridge, and my children will be educated by the Game Warden, who will have been the only one in government not to bankrupt his department.

Just one thing...

When all this happens...