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Tom Sawyer

July 23, 2011 at 5:08 pm

Thanks to the extreme courtesy and consideration of some local taggers, I had the opportunity to play Tom Sawyer this afternoon. 

(That's Tom Sawyer as in the book.  Not as in the Rush song.)

At least I didn't have to repaint an entire fence.

My little corner of town has seen an increase in tagging lately, most recently along our bank of mailboxes.

It started with a couple of POD containers that sat on our street for about 5 months, from early February until about a week ago.  A neighbor's house suffered severe damage during the February cold snap I whined about way back when.  When the weather hit -25F, causing the pipe in my kitchen to break, I was extremely lucky to have made it home soon after it happened-- not more than an hour.  But when my neighbors' house suffered a similar break on the same day, they was out of town for 3 weeks.  And returned to find over two feet of water in their house.  (And I'm sure their water bill was horrific.)  It was really, really tragic.  The entire house had to be emptied and renovated.  Hence the PODs on the street.  I didn't complain about their presence because I felt so badly for them. 

But the long-dormant PODs did attract the attention of local taggers.  The containers got pretty tagged up a month or so ago.  Another neighbor went out there and painted over the marks pretty quickly.  And the PODs disappeared soon after that.  Things quieted down for a while, but the taggers hit our mailboxes a few days ago.

In an effort to not be a complete leech, lowering the quality of our generally nice little community through a lack of contributions, I volunteered to do the repainting this time around.  Mostly to salve my own guilt because I don't contribute labor to the various little community projects that are frequently underway.  I also felt a little badly because the neighbors put forward some heavy encouragement for me to join the homeowners' board this year but I opted to decline.  (Have I ever mentioned how much I hate sitting in meetings?  No?  Well, I really really really hate sitting in meetings.)  So I wanted to contribute something back to the community.

It wasn't particuarly difficult labor.  And it didn't take very long at all.  But at least I did something.

Also, by doing a little paint job outside, I guaranteed that the monsoons would arrive this afternoon.  And, in fact, it just started raining as I typed the previous sentence.  Lightly, but it's raining.

Okay.  It was a few drops.  Which seems typical of the monsoons this year. 

Maybe I should try washing my car?  That usually does the trick.

Where was I?  Oh, yeah, the mailboxes.  The mailbox graffiti bothers me a little more than POD graffiti, because mail theft is a huge problem here in New Mexico.  I know several people who've been stricken by it, and the repercussions can be a huge drain on time and energy. I don't want to have to get a mailbox at the downtown Post Office.  I don't want to have to drive to my mailbox every few days.  That would piss me off something fierce.

Mail thieves rank among the lowest of the low, in my not-at-all humble opinion.



DMS July 23, 2011 at 9:35 pm
Is it really Tom Sawyer if you don't trick someone else into doing the work for you? I tried contributing to the community a few years ago by helping with the prep work for the annual Easter egg hunt. That was two hours of being told how awful people who don't have children are. Haven't felt the slightest desire to pitch in since.
Ian July 23, 2011 at 9:52 pm
You do have a point. It probably doesn't qualify as Tom Sawyering if I end up doing the work myself. The problem is that I'm not as clever as Tom. Nobody ever does my bidding. I need some henchmen. That was two hours of being told how awful people who don't have children are. Haven't felt the slightest desire to pitch in since. Wow. Just... wow. That was just the tiniest bit rude. Gratitude is really lost on folks, isn't it? (The lesson here might be that chipping in is for suckers.)
DMS July 24, 2011 at 7:33 am
Southern hospitality is often misunderstood by outsiders. Or something. You should so get henchmen. I think the first step is designing uniforms for them.
Ian July 24, 2011 at 12:01 pm
Southern hospitality is often misunderstood by outsiders. Sort of like the way people from elsewhere tend to overlook the seething passive aggressiveness hiding behind "Minnesota Nice"? Because that's a phenomenon I'm familiar with. If it's up to me to design the uniforms, I'll have to find henchmen who like wearing burlap sacks.
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