Tuesday, January 20, 2015

street closures and the jaded residents

For a couple of weeks there have been some ominous signs posted, stating that parking will be forbidden on much of our block for a five day period.  The five specified dates of forbidden parking passed by without incident.

Then today suddenly, three or four days after the permits for blocking off parking had expired, I drove home to find to my displeasure that our street was closed.  "Dammit, Lola," I said, "what is going on?"  I parked a block away, complaining about having to shlep my groceries and Lola's backback.  "It's a good thing I was lazy at the grocery store and didn't feel like doing much shopping," I observed to Lola.

"What if we'd had a mattress delivered?" said Lola.  "Two years ago we had a mattress delivered.  What if we had waited until today?"

We shlepped our things home, discussing this outrage all the while.  No parking signs do not mean a street is going to be closed off, just that you can't park there, and it seemed wrong to us that our street was barred to us.  As we were approaching our house, my next door neighbor's sleek Porsche roared through.  "Hey!  Brad drove through the cones," I said.  My neighbor emerged from his car.  

"How'd you get through," I said admiringly.  "I couldn't fit my Mini through those cones."

"I just drove over them," said my normally mild-mannered neighbor.  "I've just had it with these street closures.  It's always something.  I say fuck it!"  There was a pause.  Lola and I had never heard this neighbor swear before.  

"I'm too well-behaved," I mourned.  Brad's defiance seemed admirable next to my mealy-mouthed obedience to authority.

"What the hell are they doing, anyway?" Brad continued.  "Is that the water department?"

We all regarded the giant excavation in the center of our street, just a few feet from my house.  

"Didn't they just replace all of that a few years ago?"  We three agreed that only a couple of years ago, the city had torn up our entire street and replaced all the water pipes.

"How can they just close our street?" I complained.  "I feel like they should send us a letter, give us some notice.  I could have had a piano delivered today.  I have had a piano delivered before.  Or I could have had a cocktail party today."

"Listen to you!" said Brad.

"I have had cocktail parties before," I said defensively.

"You sound like you're from Atherton!  Cocktail party! "  He paused.  "Come to think of it, if we were in Atherton, I bet they would have told us they were closing the street."

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