Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Suburban Government

I'm getting some new neighbors, apparently.  I'm very happy about it.  I know, you wouldn't think I'd be happy about anything that involves being near people, and, being a suburbanite, I am morally obligated to fight against any use of other people's land, but there's a special situation here.  You see, it's a cemetery that's moving in.  Nice, quiet neighbors, apparently far enough into the woods that I won't even know that they're there.  I probably won't even hear the lawnmowers, which is key, given that I need to sleep during the day.  Ahh, lawnmowers.  Do you know why so many people in the suburbs hire others to mow their lawns?  It isn't because the job is physically difficult, hot, noisy, dirty, time-consuming, or a reliable source of vibration/ repetitive motion injury.  No, the reason to hire others is more sinister.  When a suburbanite is faced with the oblivion of the spinning blades, the temptation is nearly unbearable.  As the machine chews up the grass, the grasshoppers, the frogs and snakes, and anyone else in its path, and as you follow it around in empty circles symbolizing the pointlessness of commuting and earning money for taxes and mortgage interest, you start to think, "why is being behind the lawnmower better than being in front?"  But I digress.
     So the cemetery is moving in.  Cool.  Interestingly, the way things are going, the deceased are going to have to be dropped into their graves by helicopters, because they're having a teensy weensy little bit of trouble placing a driveway.  They bought a bunch of land including the lot next door, but apparently there was a puddle on it once, and there are mosquitos so the place is obviously a habitat for critically endangered species, so the town's Konservation Komission shut 'em down.  The komission demanded that they switch their driveway to what they had planned for the service/construction road, which connected from a quiet suburban street.  Well, the quiet suburban street-dwellers just about shat themselves when they caught wind of that plan, and wrote many an angry letter to the local newspaper about how those bastard cemetery people bait-and-switched them, and how having two funeral processions each month go down their street is an unbearable burden, and the usual crap about "property values" (yeah, I think having the bank that foreclosed half the houses on the block go bankrupt is the more serious threat to property values at the moment) blah blah blah.  
     So I went to a Konservation Komission meeting last week, because the next plan is to get an easement on my property to share the driveway that already goes through my land to the neighbor's house in back, in exchange for paving their driveway and mine, and putting up and maintaining a nice fence, and some landscaping and whatnot.  I went to the meeting to give the thumbs-up, but it turns out my input was not requested.  Instead, the KonKom listened to the proposal, and a couple of others that involved various ways to minimize wetland impact while still not generating an angry mob of pitchfork-and-torch wielding suburbanites, and the komittee's responses were 1) We don't care about the townies, use the plan we gave you, after all it's not us that everyone's angry at.  2) Why don't you buy the land from the guy who refused to sell you land before?  Why don't you ask him to give you the land instead of selling it to you?  3) Why can't you go through the other cemetery, which already refused your access and started this whole mess in the first place?  Yeah, I don't think the KonKom is listening.  Actually, by watching them during the meeting, I know they aren't listening.  Even when representatives of the angry mob openly threatened a legal battle with the town, they weren't listening.  At least the mob figured out who the real enemy was.
     So as I sat there watching this heated battle over the entrance to a cemetery, it occurred to me, "How can I, or any of us, make such a fuss about the entrance to a cemetery?  This is the suburbs, my whole life is the entrance to a cemetery!"  Then the meeting suddenly ended so everyone could get home in time for Dancing with the Fake Stars, and I went to work, in a hospital, at night.  Talk about the entrance to a cemetery.  
     So you can see why I would be happy to have neighbors who keep their NIMBY to themselves.  Of course, it means I will be first to die when the zombie apocalypse comes, but you have to take the bad with the good.

Your Humblest and Most Devoted Servant,

I work nights too. My job doesn't require any thinking, only some sensitivity to the needs of a machine.
Hey, I just read some more. Your blog is very interesting and funny. Look out, you're in danger of becoming popular.
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