April 26, 2014


Control Issues


So anyway, we had a wharf-sizzler blow through town, leaving everything dank and sodden. It's not enough to relieve the drought though, and everyone is adapting in their own way to the circumstances. We have bricks in the toilet tanks again, and the retention of "gray water" from washing things for whatever might need some watering. Sprinklers have been shut off and you can bet that if any hapless fool sets off the lawn system there will be a Water Nazi sure to leap upon the hapless homeowner for wastage, just like we have Parking Nazis performing similar duties against those who fail to park between the lines.

Mrs. Cribbage was in her livingroom, giving Mr. Cribbage the full weight of her tongue about leaving dishes in the sink and moustache hairs around the toilet and not picking up his smelly socks when she glanced out the window and saw something that pushed her over the edge.

Mrs. Cribbage ran out into the street to chastise a man peering into the open refuse cans on the corner -- it was one of those ragpickers who harvests bottles from the blue recycle bins -- and she started off shouting, "You know that is illegal you! Stop this stealing immediately!" and she whacked the man with her umbrella and scattered the stolen bottles from his stolen CVS shopping cart.

"Hey!" Said the old man in surprise.

Of course it says quite plainly on the blue bin that only licensed carriers may take from this container, and of course it is stealing as we all pay for this service with the bins, and of course they are trespassing when they enter your yard, but in every district we have these control freaks and that man can no longer read signs written in English than he could read in his native Chinese.

And if everything is hunky-dory why are people collecting stolen plastic bottles to make a living?

Officer O'Madhauen, wearing civvies, came out of his apartment building where he has worked as an unpaid live-in manager for 45 years to yell at Ms. Grenouille, whose dog, was busy sniffing O'Mahauen's Monster Truck, which the officer had spent many thousands of dollars to prettify. He spent more time polishing the thing than driving it, for he took CalTrans buses into the City where he worked as a security guard for Macy's when he was not being parking enforcer for City College. The veins bulged from his neck as he screamed at Ms. Grenouille, who at first just stared at this apparition. The dog, a mixed terrier, too looked with curiosity at the man.

"That mongrel better not piss on my truck! Don't walk so close to it!"

Ms. Grenouille answered back that the Officer was being extremely rude and that she had a right to walk where she pleased on any public sidewalk and she was going to call the police about him.

"Go ahead!," said O'Madhauen, who always parked in the same spot directly in front of the building, a spot he considered his by right of having lived in the same apartment in that building for 48 years, an apartment he had shared with his mother, who had been the unpaid manager before him. He also had friends in the IPD. "Go ahead ya old bag!"

Ms. Grenouille made a gesture of annoyance with her shoulders and shook her head. "Come along, Ribbit. Let's get away from this awful man."

Across the street, Mr. Andre Malderor was putting angry notes on the windshields of cars that were not parked squarely between the faint and sometimes badly eroded lines. He would later call Parking Enforcement to have them ticketed.

"You better not ticket MY truck!" O'Madhauen yelled at him.

Andre looked at him from across the street. "How long is that truck parked there? It's a three day limit."

The Officer folded his arms, steadfast. "I can park in front of my building as long as I want. Nobody else parks here."

That's when the two of them started yelling at each other and Carol on the third floor slammed her windows shut as the noise was bothering her cats.

Northern California seems to have more than its share of Control Freaks, who variously dominate apartment buildings, city blocks and neighborhoods. No one knows what makes them appear, and no one seems to have an answer for these idiots who think by threatening other people, their own world will be made so much better.

This may be why the avalanche of Dot-Commers has overwhelmed the Bay Area -- it is the Natural Selection response to Control Freakism. You want to control something? Okay, pay $9,000 a month for your studio apartment. Control that.

Mr. Howitzer, seeing the real estate figures and knowing the processes going on behind them as well as the rampant and unstoppable juggernaut of development on the Island, was on Saturday night in high spirits and he commanded Dodd to bring him the finest cognac in the cellars to as to celebrate the economic recovery that was hitting every part of the United States, save for California, late.

That this recovery might be due to the sober-sided actions of the incumbent President, a notorious LIberal, was a fact Mr. Howitzer chose to ignore.

Cheesin Loy, a basket lady, pushed her stolen shopping cart a bit faster at the end of the block. She knew better than to try her luck rifling the blue bins on this street. She had made that mistake once and once only after O'Madhauen had wheeled out the bins on trash day. Her ears were still ringing months later.

The sermon at the CFSM was all about the beer volcano up in heaven and how midgets and strippers were equally blessed by God. Reverend Arrabiatta then led the congregation in a rendition of "Onward Pastafarians," while Mr. DeCapo performed upon the organ impressively well as usual.

1. Onward, Pastafarians, marching off to dine,
with the plate of spaghetti and a glass of wine.
Pasta, the royal Master, leads against the foe;
forward into supper, see His red sauce flow!

Onward, Pastafarians, marching off to dine,
with sauce and parmesan and a glass of wine.

2. At the sign of triumph Dummheit's host doth flee;
on then, Pastafarians, on to beer and whiskey!
Tummies quiver at the shout of praise;
brothers, lift your forks, loud your slurping raise.

Onward, Pastafarians, marching off to dine,
with Chef Boy-R-Dee and a glass of wine.

3. Like a mighty army moves the sauce so red;
brothers, we are eating where the saints have fed.
We are not divided, all one body we,
one in peace and pasta, one more plate if you please.

Onward, Pastafarians, marching off to dine,
with Hunt's meat sauce and a glass of red wine.

4. Diets and demagogues may perish, School Boards rise and complain,
but His noodles for eternal thyme shall never wane.
Hunger can never gainst that meatball prevail;
we have His own oregano, and that cannot fail.

Onward, Pastafarians, marching off to dine,
with sauce and parmesan and a glass of wine.

5. Onward then, ye people, join our happy chorus,
blend with ours your cheese in the delicious sauce.
Onions, meat, and mushrooms unto the Flying Spaghetti,
through countless ages men and pirates stand at the ready.

Onward, Pastafarians, marching off with cheer,
with bowls of pasta and tankards of beer!


It may have been coincidence but the sermon at the Unitarian Church down the street was taken from John 6:1-15, which is the parable of the loves and the fishes getting duplicated better than with a 3D printer.

These congregations meet late in the day, there being a desire to allow some rest on the Lord's day, so afterward Jason led his group over to the Old Same Place Bar. Late in the evening Mr. Pooter of the CFSM, mindful of Heaven and the sacredness of the stripper trade suggested Padraic get a few ladies into the bar with a stage and a pole.

Padraic appeared to contemplate this proposal with some seriousness until Dawn whacked him upside the head.

"Don't even think about it."

Then came the ululation of the throughpassing train from far across the water as it trundled from the gantries of the Port of Oaktown with their moonlit towers, letting its cry keen across the waves of the estuary, the riprap embankments, the grasses of the Buena Vista flats and the open spaces of the former Beltline, through the cracked brick of the former Cannery with its leaf-scattered loading dock, its weedy railbed, its chainlink fence interstices until the locomotive click-clacked past the shuttered doors of the Jack London Waterfront, trundling out of shadows on the edge of town past the old Ohlone shellmounds to parts unknown.

That's the way it is on the Island. Have a great week.