Sending a Message
I stood in line yesterday with lots of crabby, humorless people muttering to one another that they were sending a message. I’m not sure exactly what the message was, and I’m not sure that any of them could articulate it. Still, they nodded crabbily to one another and stood crabbily in line to mark their ballots. I couldn’t help but feel that my vote wasn’t going to count very much in the midst of all this general crabbiness.
I thought they were all upset about Congress, but the woman ahead of me insisted that everyone was here to vote down a local initiative to raise money for storm sewers and other infrastructure issues. “It’s just more taxes, “ she said in her New York accent. Believe me, she should know from taxes. Hope she enjoys the backed-up water in the streets during hurricane season.
We tend to take ourselves pretty seriously these days, and the result has been a decided lack of humor, with the possible exception of the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear. Still, not everyone got a kick out of that (see Gail Shister, The Philly Post), although even the terminally crabby had to appreciate some of the signs.
Anyway, speaking of signs and messages, I visited a large elementary school last week. It’s brand-new – just opened. The local taxpayers have to be congratulated for building it.
The enormous parking lot is freshly-lined. And to thank the taxpayers for choosing education and footing the bill, all the prime parking spaces closest to the building are reserved for the administration and their assistants. Now that’s a message. And the mother who parked at the end of the row certainly thought about it as she trudged past all of the reserved spaces with her baby in one arm and Halloween treats for a party in the other. It could have made her a little crabby.