Acts of Nobility

March 4th, 2015

I have probably learned as much or even more from children than I ever have from adults. I was called a teacher but I really was the student. An entire book could be written about that…and was.

Even now in retirement, learning from children has continued.  Tutoring fourth and fifth graders in reading provided more such opportunities.

A year ago, I met fifth grader, Isiah.  He is a very bright, capable young man and really doesn’t need my assistance but he was part of the class I was assigned and we did not want him to feel left out.  He is creative in an artistic way and academically ahead of the curve in all areas. Recently I noted his hair is getting longer and longer. I asked, “How long are you going to let your hair grow?”

He answered, “Halfway down my back.”

“Are you going to tie it back? Pony tail?”

He responded matter-of-factly, “No, they will cut it off for kids with cancer.”

Nobility from an eleven-year-old. – Not much more to say about it than that one word.

Last week, church choir was accompanied by two young musicians.  Erin on violin and Julia on cello.  They are both freshmen in high school. With a violin or cello, one does not just pick it up and start playing at a level suitable to accompany anyone.  Their levels of playing result from years of lessons and hundreds of hours of practice.  But that is just the tip of the iceberg. They might not understand this now but their dedication over this prolonged period of time combined with the support of their parents is the continuation of our culture and preservation of our musical heritage. This cannot be done with an iPhone, an XBOX or a tablet. One cannot do this with the push of a button or the swallowing of a pill.  There are no shortcuts. It is more nobility from children.

Erin’s mom was a college music major and is now a professional interpreter for the deaf.  Her father was in college choir and is a medical lab technician. Erin’s younger brother, Kyle, also takes violin lessons. The legacy of honoring music added to the dedication, and the discipline of practice continues in this family.

Nobility.

Sooo tired!

February 28th, 2015

Boy am I tired!  It’s been such a busy week already.  First I drove Lovie and friend Audrey to Tai Chi class, dropped them off and I sat in the coffee shop to wait for them.  They wanted to sign up for a Line Dancing class but we had to go out for the starter set of required gear; cowboy hats, big belt buckles and a copy of the CD featuring “Achy-Breaky Heart”.  At Travis Grit’s Emporium of Western Wear and Gun Shop out on the highway, I waited in the car for a whole hour! Luckily, cowboy boots are not required until the Advanced Line Dancing class begins in the fall. When class starts, I’ll get to spend more time in the town library.

Then we schlepped to the Dollar Store and I read my fitness book in the car while they perused all the bargains.

Back home it’s, “Please get out of your chair so I can vacuum under your feet!”  And later, “Would you kindly leave the kitchen so I can empty the dishwasher?”  So I close the refrigerator door, even though my search and grab mission is incomplete and I waddle back down to my mancave. It is unrelenting! Sooo tired!

I am disturbed from my self-pitying when Lovie asks me to put gas in the snow blower so she can clear the driveway.  I got her a really nice one, easy to start so her arm is not made longer with all the pulling on that starter cord. I hardly have time for my nap!

Recipe for a Reunion

February 25th, 2015

In the last few years, this space has provided some benefits.  First and foremost, it has been preventative in nature. It has held a state of possible insanity just beyond reach. How?  It is a relief valve and performs like the controlled release of kinetic energy that builds up behind a great dam like the Hoover.  It lets a little out at a time and, thereby, my mind is clear to do other things necessary for the continuation of life itself and marital bliss such as picking up my laundry from the floor, being patient while all labels are read and compared in the aisles of the supermarket.

But another benefit of this space for me occurred recently in the form of a reunion.  Through the magic of the internet, two former classmates found me. I wasn’t hiding, but like so many in this world of mobility, while we all began in the same place, time took us elsewhere.

In our 14th year on this earth we were in the same high school cafeteria in New Jersey, then the Big Bang of life happened and like the planets exploding into different orbits, they ended up in Florida and I ended up in Michigan. I am now in my 70th year but, to protect their privacy, I won’t mention what year they are currently enjoying. We met for lunch along the shore of the inland waterway down south.

So what were the ingredients in this re-connecting?

  1. Curiosity seasoned with a little mystery is the backdrop.  Having never attended a formally organized class reunion (for a variety of reasons) this was a unique experience shrouded in just a little mystery.  What has transpired in the past 57 years of life?  How has that changed us? I know am the same (just bigger and better)…but what about them?
  2. Character lines are in different places.  In 1959, they were called wrinkles and were in my shirts that I hastily picked off the floor when getting ready for school in the morning. Now they are “character lines” badges of honor from survival of life’s adventures and not so easily covered with a sweater.
  3. Hair.  It’s all about location. The peach fuzz was on my face and the hair was on my head. Over the decades, they have traded places.  Now it is peach fuzz on my head and “bush-face” (as they termed it) on my cheeks and chin.
  4. Body mass – let me put it this way – there is more of me to love.  Way more. Twice as much. Them?  Like all good women of a disciplined life, they have fared exceedingly well in this department.
  5. Common interests?  At age 14, one’s interests are a little more focused and intense.  I cannot speak for them but mine were certainly driven by hormones and a sense of curiosity that was only occasionally satisfied by perusing my grandfather’s copies of National Geographic. At age 70, some questions have been answered but others keep cropping up to keep life interesting.

At precisely 1 P.M., Lovie and I parked our car and began walking toward the restaurant a few hundred feet away.  Were we being watched?  Would they see me, shriek and run out the back door? As we approached the entrance, two ladies appeared just inside. They stood and watched.  That was a good sign since there was no indication of flight.

We got closer, greeted with hugs and smiles, had a delightful lunch and tried to fill in the gaps that nearly six decades had formed. It was good.

A “Walk” in the Park – Epcot -

February 16th, 2015

From the beginning I have never been a great fan of The (Disney corporate) Mouse but there have been five exceptions.  One was the ability of Peter Pan to fly and the other four were equally divided beneath two mid-1950s T-shirts, each sporting developing projections just under the names of “Annette” and “Doreen”. Other than that, I was suspicious of all the Disneyesque morality plays and squeaky-cleanliness. My cartoon preferences were strong in another direction; the Looney Tunes and the Crusader Rabbit group.  In those world views, the bad guys could also be heroes and at the same time, be much more entertaining.

When the Disney World megacomplex in Florida came into my stream of consciousness, it was probably 20 years after its 1971 grand opening. Even then, in my early forties, I still clutched close to my heart, the cynicism of Holden Caufield, who I’d first met in high school English class.

I told Lovie, “If I want to experience other cultures, we’ll go to those places! I don’t want any sanitized, Mickey Mouse version of what some right-leaning-cartoon-producing corporation thinks it should be.”

As Holden might say, “Ain’t nothin’ but a bunch of phonies!” We didn’t go.

We did actually travel and experience a few different places where the cars were different, the smells, sounds and look of the street litter were extraordinary to my senses. We spent time in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Mexico, Canada and even 2 hours in de Gaulle airport for a layover where I bought Lovie a French fashion… (A T-shirt, probably made in China – I am sooo international!). Our travels have been self-limited to western cultures. I’ve clearly remained too insecure to venture into other places where even my dear German/Austrian Liebkins cannot translate the menus for me.

My inner Holden Caufield remained the strongly protected sentinel of my worldview.

But then things changed.  Our first born and her husband moved to Florida, an hour’s drive from the three-fingered giant mouse. So with my Holden-O-Meter set on orange alert, we planned a visit that included a 2-day stay at Epcot. (I still don’t know where they came up with that name, I have yet to Google it).

We drove the 38 miles on the black ice of a Michigan February to the Grand Rapids airport, flew to Atlanta, changed from one airplane to another that seemed so far from plane #1 that we might have been back at our point of origin, and then into Melbourne, FL.  On board amenities? …the .42-oz. bag of peanuts was delicious!  Holden sighed with pleasure.

With daughter and hubby, we began a great visit and then took off for our 20 hours at Disney World. Holden quickly took to the back seat of my mind as we pulled into a parking lot the size of Connecticut. The tram into the park was handy and welcome.  My rental of an electric cart was a blessing and necessitated the quotes in the title of this piece.

With our first steps out of the car, we “walked” in with the smartphones measuring the steps of the electricartless in our party of four.

Day one – we did the science and technology sites.

In some ways it reminded me of a Casino – no clocks prominently displayed.  There was a white noise of buoyant music played throughout the park (like the intentional hum of the machines in casino). My cynicism was fed with that discovery and a big black checkmark went onto my mental clipboard. I smirked as Holden might have done. “Gotcha on that one!”

Yet the commercial kiosks and shops were not as “in your face” as they are in other theme parks. The cross-section of cultures among visitors – middle class and above – from around the world were good to see and overhear. The corporate logos and their related alpha-male chest pounding tactics were much lower-keyed than I anticipated.  Holden was shrinking.

Night fell and Epcot took on an entirely new personality.  The lighting effect against the very accurately reproduced architecture was impressive.  The night air cooled to just about cold, the fireworks and light show over the lake began.  Holden awakened suddenly with the voice-over narration of the show that was accompanied by new age music and Amy Grant-style vocals yet the visual displays held Holden at bay.

The hike back to the tram/parking lot at closing told us it’d been 10 miles of walking that day.  I smiled and parked my electric cart.

Day 2 – Around the world as we’d like it to be. The International village around a lake was impressive.  Holden trembled as I began to buy into it all.  The United Kingdom, Germany, France, Canada, Japan, Norway, China each had appeal.  The workers – even the clean-up people were veritable green-card carrying citizens of the places they represented.  Each enclave featured a significant glimpse into its history and current-day culture along with a small museum, detailed architectural renderings of their traditional structures, “gifts,” music and food offerings.  Even though each area was sanitized, (there were no street urchin-pocket-picking hustlers, blaring sirens and finger-flipping cab drivers one might encounter in the real places), each place represented the idealized vision of what it is striving to be.  Even though it lacked perhaps some of the visually gritty, aromatic soul of its true existence – I could hold that on the back burner, relax and enjoy.

Who am I to judge?  I and where I come from are certainly not perfik and neither are other people and places.

If I had to put a sports-score tally on the board about this visit, it would be,

Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse – 22

J. D. Salinger’s Holden Caufield – 2

Sausage Making, Old Country method

February 12th, 2015

The Official Bratislavian Guide to Sausage Making

1. Get the meat. What ever happens to wander into your yard, be ready.  Four legged critters seem to work best.  Have your handy Grabyz (wooden club) clutched in your hand and swing hard as if it is the bottom of the last inning in the world series.  “Thwack!!” Aim for the Cabeza (head).

And again and perhaps a few more times. “Thwack!!! Thwack!!”  Get the idea?  Approach the animal with caution, an incomplete job may make it less than congenial and rather uncooperative.

2. Decide which cuts are best for your purpose.

Caution: in case you encounter parts such as hooves, they are best for gelatins, lamp ornaments and gag gifts.

3. Render the desired parts into  “Tijnzczy Pjzjkoi” (tiny pieces). A standard Krumpfzt (meat grinder) is handy for this.

4. Mix up in a bowl with secret family recipie of eleven herbs and spices and perhaps some ketchup and mustard.

5. Get some sausage casing from, oh, I dunno, wherever that stuff can be had. Avoid the cheap latex variety found in most drugstores.

6. Extrude the mixture through a Hermatijzk (sausage stuffing press) if you can find one in a thrift shop or flea market. Oh you don’t have one?? Too bad for you!

7. Go to the Meatjczk (butcher shop) and buy some sausage and enjoy!  Be sure to cook it first because they could be putting anything in there.

8. Dessert – After dinner mints work well – particularly the American –made product called “Tums”.

Super Sunday Full Metal Jacket – Seniors Style

February 1st, 2015

Snow day even though it is Sunday.  We are outta milk so the Glenlivet will have to do. In fact it is doing quite nicely!  With nowhere to go, and no one to see (except dear Lovie) I thought I would still do the ultimate preparation for this day  after all – it is SUPER Sunday and I have yet to miss one.

From head to toe, I am covered – full metal jacket.  My high frequency hearing is in good shape because I have installed my 2 (count ‘em) TWO hearing aids.  I don’t want the big game to be faded in the distance.

My glasses are on, as usual, as they have been since I was seventeen the NJ Drivers License Bureau told me they are required if I ever wanted to leave my house.. Eyes and ears are ready for the day!

Mouth?  Got my partial installed and I am now good to gnaw on the rawhide chewstick Lovie got me as a reward for brewing the morning joe each day. She is SO thoughtful!

Got my elastic-waist game-watching pants on. Oh, sweet comfort! But wait! On the other hand, I ran out of my Bears-Logo Game-Day Depends. It was a long season and I forgot to pick up more in the Mancave section of the Couch Potato Store at the Mall so I probably will have to take little breaks during the game to run to the “facilities”.

To round out my ensemble, I am sporting my knee-high compression socks – nude tint – that are usually reserved for those “special moments” when Lovie gives me that knowing look, I respond with a look of panic and then she rolls over and falls asleep.

It is game time!!  Prediction?  No halftime costume malfunctions and one of the teams will win.

What to do on a Snow Day

January 8th, 2015

For the fourth day this week, the outside temps are in the single digits. Fahrenheit. That’s cold no matter how you cut it.
For the second day in a row, and likely the middle of a 3-day siege of being snowed-in, we are housebound.
Yesterday, after clearing the driveway for the second time, we were suddenly overwhelmed with the spirit of adventure and daring. Bundled up, into the car we went, fired it up and headed down our driveway onto the unplowed street of our neighborhood. Fred Rogers was not there singing a comforting song and he was both needed and missed.
“It’s a crappy-assed day in the neighborhood,
A crappy-assed day in the neighborhood,
You will go nuts…you will go nuts….” And so on.
We intended to go all the way to the UPS store next to Walgreens – about 4 miles, straight shot. At the 1.5 mile mark, visibility was nil. The snow covered road that ran along the open drainage ditch was hard to find except for the depression in the landscape from the car-swallowing ditch. It was hungry and snapped at our tires as we slipped along.
By the time we got to the blinker light at the Quincy intersection, discretion became the watchword and we turned around and headed home. Fortunately, it was late enough in the afternoon for an adult beverage for both its medicinal purposes and for the sheer enjoyment of it.
Today, more of the same but the temps are dropping more – 5 degrees right now. So what’s a snowed-in couple to do? Be mindful that we are now septuagenarians so wipe that smirk off your face.
Lovie had an idea. First, to butter me up, she took some lamb chops out of the freezer for dinner. I made some eggs, hash browns and speck, juice and dark roast coffee for breakfast and things were looking up. But then came Lovie’s idea.
“Let’s clean the filter on the vacuum cleaner!” she declared.
“Hot Damn!” I could not hide my elation.
We got out the Dyson and I started in on my high class British accent which sounds more like cockney in need of speech therapy.
After three trips up and down the stairs and two into the freezing garage, all the necessary tools were collected and at the ready in our workshop.
Step one – disassembly. The design of this marvel of housekeeping is so advanced and highly awarded in the halls of commerce, industrial design and applied arts, it was easy to see how it came apart. Push tab “A” and pull. I pushed tab “A” and pulled. Nothing. Repeat. Nothing.
Isn’t that one of the classic definitions of insanity? Do the same thing over and over, expecting the different results?
So I went into my mancave and consulted the internet. I located a demonstration video, watched it twice and made some notes. It showed all kinds of interesting things to do regarding vacuum maintenance except how to get the desired results from the now infamous tab “A”!! But undaunted, I went back to tab “A” with the all too familiar results.
Lovie sensed my growing frustration and walked over. She pushed tab “A” and instantly the parts separated as desired. I felt an instant loss of manhood. I heard two things rolling across the floor and they dropped into the pit just as the sump pump turned on. I began to speak in what was now a soprano voice.
Back to the task at hand, my shop vac was engaged to remove loose debris and dust from the Dyson and re-assembly was accomplished in a little more time. Lovie had more trouble putting it back together (I think it was intentional) so I stepped in and regained some of my gender identification by deftly snapping it back in place.
OMG was that ever fun!!
Lovie ended this chapter of fun by saying, “Thanks for doing this!”
I was going to reply the usual, “No problem” but in all honesty, it had been one – a problem that is.
It’s 4 degrees now and the start of an expected 7 more inches of snow has begun.

Personal Finances – 1967

January 7th, 2015

Lovie saves things, even when they become outdated – that’s been especially good for me! She just handed me the checkbook ledger that spanned the five months around our wedding day in July, 1967.

It revealed my twice-monthly deposits of $200 each from my first lucrative teaching job at my alma mater, West Morris High School on February 1, 1967. Twenty bucks per day. What a profession! A babysitter could earn more and only have to watch one kid!
I regularly cashed checks for amounts ranging from $10 to $20. There is one entry for cashing a check for $1! Cash flow was a constant challenge for the first 25 years.
Here are a few specifics:
March 8, 1967 – $15 to Robert Praisner, D.D.S. He continues to be remembered as one of the best dentists I ever had.
March 20 – $20 to Mason’s Bridal Shop (Trenton).
March 31, $57 to Fox Chase Garage (repair on my ’61 VW) it had been leaking leaded (of course) gas from a rusted-out tank. But at 29-cents a gallon at the Sonoco in town, it was not a huge loss onto the pavement.
March – April 2 checks to Lovie each in the amount of $5 or $6. She was living in a style to which she’d become accustomed as a kept woman (in her dorm) on campus and would graduate in June.
May 6, 1967 – $33 to Mason’s Bridal. (For her wedding dress?)
May 16, 1967 – $90 to Mrs. Apovian (landlady-to-be). It was the deposit on our first little love nest. The apartment was in her old house along highway 46 in Netcong, NJ.
May – July – Various checks were written ranging from $18 to $40 to Rickles Home Center for paint for our apt. and misc. things needed – some of which we still have and use like the lawn chair hanging in the garage.
June 1, 1967 – $87.50 down payment to European Autos on Route 10 to purchase a spankin’ new 1967 Volvo 122s station wagon. When I drove in the VW to trade, they yelled to me in the parking lot, “Get that junk outta here before it blows us all up!” Gas was dripping again from the rotted-out tank. (The Volvo was purchased for a long-term ownership but my patience with it expired after four years when it repeatedly refused to start in cold weather.)
June 11 – $15 to family friend, Charles P. Conover. It was for a used electric stove he’d pulled from a rental unit he was rehabbing.
June 15, 1967 – $7.47 Shop Rite Liquors. Probably needed a drink!
June 21, 1967 – $5 to my brother, Tom. For what?
June 28, 1967 – $20 to Helen’s Florist in Phillipsburg – for the bridal bouquet she’ll have to toss in three days?
July 6 – 7 (been married less than a week) $12 – $20.04 to places like Bamberger’s in Morristown and Two Guys in Dover. Couldn’t afford a honeymoon. Or, as I have since tactfully said, “It’s been a lifelong honeymoon.”
July 15 – $100 rent to Mrs. Apovian who we caught sneaking around in our apartment when we came home one night.
July 19 – Phone bill NJ Bell $12.40 reality of living independently is sinking in.
August 12 – $1.00 for gas. Things are getting tight with no income* since summer break began. It bought over 3 gallons that would take us about 90 miles.
September 18, 1967, NJ Power and Light $5.10. As newlyweds we must have spent a lot of time with the lights out.
September 30, 1967 – $57.25 to Lumberman’s Casualty (car insurance) ugh!
October 15, 1967 – $30.00 to the West Morris Teacher’s Association (union dues); $15.00 to the Chester Education Association for Lovie’s union dues for her fourth grade gig in Dickerson School.
November 11, 1967 – $10.00 wedding gift check to boyhood buddy, Kenny Johnson. We drove 347 miles each way to Center Harbor, NH to go to his wedding, stayed in a real motel and it just about broke the bank. The morning after we got home, we had the great bat-in-the-bedroom debacle! (see earlier blog posting).
*My one-day disastrous job as a laborer on a house framing crew in Flanders was so bad I never went back to collect the $16 I’d earned for the first (and only) eight hour construction career. Yes, do the math – it was $2 /hr. That was followed by another disastrous career as a door-to-door, commission-only Electrolux vacuum salesman which initially paired me with LaMar Nelson in his Pontiac station wagon stuffed to the roofline with boxes of vacuum cleaners and related stock. Along with imparted wisdom from this lifer-door-to-door salesman I gained dog bite tears in my pants cuffs but no income. I sold one rug shampooer to some couple who bought it only on the condition I’d also clean all their carpeting with it. My other sale was to my sympathetic mom at summer’s end.
Great salesman that I was, I instead bought stuff from my prospective customers. I bought an antique round oak table out of one Hackettstown woman’s basement for $20 and gave her a check that bounced. Embarrassed, I made good on it shortly afterward. That table was used for about 7 years until I sold it for $20 to Barb Garber in the counseling department. Business was, and continues to be, not my area of expertise.

Yes, the memories of that checkbook ledger keep flooding back.

A Sequel on Request

January 1st, 2015

A friend from LaGrange Park, IL (Linda P.) has challenged me to expand the previous installment with more comment. Others have suggested I just jump in the Lake. Being winter time, I’d rather take Linda’s advice so, in the spirit of journalistic investigation, I booked a tour of the city’s Wastewater Treatment Plant.

I was placed with a group of people from the local Christian School primary grades who are studying community helpers – public sector. It is required so they can boast a “fair and balanced” curriculum. They have a 3-day unit and then resume their usual 175-day long curriculum of Christian Community helpers, such as clergy, Sunday School Teachers, gun shop owners and the various christian soldier’s organizations – did you know they have their own song?

“Here is where the waste water first arrives in our facility!” shouted the docent over the noise of gushing lumpy, slushy-brown putrid water into a single, common tank.
“Teacher, can we go? I don’t feel so good!” one child chimed in.
The teacher, Mrs. Martha Periwinkle, ignored the impudent child and through her amusing nose-clipped voice asked the docent, “Please tell me sir, where the wastewater from our Christian homes comes in…I am sure it is in better condition than what we are now experiencing with our eyes and our noses.”
She added, “You certainly won’t find the trappings of sinful behaviors, such as liquor labels and (she whispered, nudge-nudge, wink, wink) discarded birth control devices clogging your filters!”

One of the chaperoning moms asked, “Where are the Christian treatment tanks?”
“Praise the Lord, four children just vomited, I think we must move along. They are purging the devil from their systems!” They scurried back to their bus.

My next stop was the monthly meeting of City Council. They were obviously caught in the bind of their own making – trying to sort out priorities of their conservative tenants – fiscal responsibility juxtaposed on ideological leanings – two values held close to their hearts. Having soundly defeated previous attempts for a Peace Pole in a public park and assuring the continuation of discriminatory housing practices against LGTB people, they were assured of asserting their will if they could figure it out.
The subcommittee chairperson reported, “The costs of a parallel wastewater treatment process for Christian homes would be prohibitively costly and the suggested renaming of the Treatment Plant implying the, ahem, ‘Unity’ (air quotes gesture) concept (guffaws among the other members) would only involve the cost of a new sign in front.” What’s a Council to do?
After a 4-hour closed session, Councilman Vince Dumbkopf spoke up, “I move that the City encourage all non-Christian homes to go off-line and install outhouses with grants for excavation and construction from the City. Any who cannot profess adherence to the Heidelberg Confession or recite the Nicene Creed from memory would be eligible.” He added, “When they come in for their mandatory drug screening and loyalty oaths, the checks can be presented and their sewer lines can be disconnected.” We can rename our facility the Holland City Christian Wastewater Treatment Facility or the “HCC-WTF” for short.
There were no questions from those in attendance and the measure passed unanimously.
So, dear friend, Linda of LaGrange Park, there is your sequel for better or for worse.
Excelsior!!

Politics and Public Art

December 31st, 2014

One of the features of our fine city of Holland, Michigan is a geographical one. It is a bridge that spans the Macatawa River that separates the “south side” from the “north side” of town. Ever since the town was founded there has been a rivalry between the two sides. And to add one comment here: After living on the north side for fifteen years, it is NOT true we drag our knuckles on the ground when we walk – those published photos were Photoshopped! But back to the point here…The bridge has recently been rebuilt and vastly improved with better lighting, access and the installation of public art.

I applaud Holland’s Unity Bridge and the interesting sculptures both along the sides of the bridge and its primary focus in the steel sculpture at its north end.
But, alas and alack, we all are aware that for every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction; fearing for his job, John Boehner said that. Truth be told, it was Isaac Newton who was first to turn that concept into a career.
And therein lies the problem in this day of confrontational discourse.
First, it has been witnessed some of our local extremists, on both sides of the Unity Bridge go out of their ways to avoid traversing this span in fear that it might moderate their God-given rights of separateness that have been granted them by their divinely-guided Bible highlighters. (They bear a striking resemblance to Ouija Boards).
One anonymous resident said, “This is yet another government conspiracy to homogenize our culture via multiculturalism initiatives. It’s brainwashing with dirty rags!”
But it does not stop there. It’s spreading. Here’s more.
All northbound traffic on River/Butternut (just before reaching this Unity initiative) passes by the BPW Wastewater Treatment Plant and tourist attraction (yes, tours ARE available, bring the kiddies, nose clips are available for a nominal fee). It goes without mentioning the necessity for such a place to exist. But in this, our golden age of political divergence, two sides are emerging and one side, in particular, is feeling quite jubilant due to victories in recent regressive legislative actions.
There are rumors of two petition drives; One group, wants to “request” (no one requests anymore, they DEMAND) the BPW to install separate treatment systems so the wastewater from certain undesirable folks is not mixed-in with the wastewater of their own, and, as local resident, Mrs. Melba Toast put it, “God only knows where that mixed treated water ends up.” She took a swig from her Evian.
The other petition rumor is that the Wastewater Treatment facility remain as is and be renamed, “The Unity Wastewater Treatment Plant,” because nothing else in our fine city demonstrates the unity of all than what happens when we pull that lever…um…whoops, here come those men in their white coats again…gotta go.