An open letter to C. Elton, Civil Engineer I:
It was with great anticipation and suspense that I read your letter (Exhibit A) regarding the saw cutting about to commence in my neighborhood, dated June 25, 2018.
As you can see I’ve made little haste in responding via email. Even though you offered your local phone number I prefer not to talk on the phone as there were one too many times when I was younger that my mom handed me the phone while she was talking with some dear, distant relative. I had little interest in talking to the person on the other end but still my mother insisted I take the handset and carry on a conversation like I knew who Uncle Leroy and Aunt Loretta were.
However, when I write these words, they flow like a magical river thesaurus dinosaur as I press the delicate yet responsive keys on my iPad Pro’s external and official keyboard.
Now then, to the matter at hand: the partially removing and replacing of the curbs and sidewalks. First off let me say I was simply delighted that your letter contained a map of Geneva on the reverse. I haven’t had a printed map of our great city since Mayor Burns confiscated mine last winter at City Hall. I was merely parading around with my photocopied map, holding it high in my right hand when it was unduly snatched away from behind. I didn’t realize it was against city ordinance to proudly display photocopies in a social space during the Christmas season. I could not find any such said ordinance listed on any of the city’s webpages.
Regardless, your letter mentioned “the white marks on the curb and sidewalk indicate…” However, after closely inspecting the aforementioned map with my trusty and wood-handled magnifying glass, I only see black lines (Exhibit B) indicating the streets where the traffic masonry repairs will be done. Would you clarify these white and black discrepancies?
Moving on, the hours listed (7:00 AM and 4:00 PM) are quite broad. My heart sank as a I recalled the time I phoned the Comcast support team and they gave me similar appointment hours, all for me to insist their team physically ensure and technically verify that my cable modem is indeed the T-1000 model and not the inferior yet still hardworking T-800 (Model 101).
Regarding your hours, Geneva Construction Company of Aurora, IL is in luck as I have secured one vacation day for their renovation work. I will be in my neighborhood and onsite to lend my invaluable knowledge to the 2018 Street Improvement Project.
Reason being for my attendance: when the concrete around select manholes was repaired earlier this month (Reference 1), a delinquent or two deliberately carved profanities and a single penis into the square just north east of my garage (Exhibit C). I don’t mind a good profanity now and then but the public display of male genitals (genitalia?) pushed the bounds of common alley decency.
Yes, these were deliberate defacements. I know for an artistic fact that penis cannot be accidentally added to wet concrete. It was done out of sheer sneered rebellion. I will also add that their male renderings were of little to no value. The anatomical reference was poor and the artistic delivery subpar. It was not attractive upside or down. I might also like to know where Mayor Burns was when this city ordinance was being trampled like a snake not wanting to be tread.
Luckily I was out surveying Geneva Construction Company’s work as soon as I returned home and used my newly purchased sandal (right foot) to deface the defacement. I purchased the above sandals from DSW since I already have an account in their system. I tried to use my ex-wife’s account at the suggestion of the clerk but alas she was not in the system — my ex-wife, not the clerk. How I got into their system remains a cloudy, foggy mystery surrounded in mist. It’s a damp mystery, Elton! I never, ever offer my phone number even if it will save me $2 at CVS. I have my own systems mind you.
With all that said I would like to suggest security personnel patrol the area 24/7 until the last construction truck has rolled out and away from the neighborhoods. If that would tax the city’s street repair budget, possibly infrared security cameras could be posted intermittently and yet high enough delinquents (artistic or otherwise) in the area could not reach and disable them.
Maybe laser tripwires? No, that would never do. They use them periodically in Fallout 4 (my favorite video game as of late) and they’re too easy to spot and disarm with their thinly red glowing beams. I prefer landmines myself since one does not know they’re there until the ticking starts. And then you better run like hell. I’m just brainstorming ideas so feel free to jump in any time, Elton.
Your letter also mentioned that the project is “weather permitting.” This phrase seems rather broad and/or vague for this detail oriented reader. Am I to take this to mean pelting rain, sunburning heat, or maybe even the highest of howling winds?
There’s also the matter of the “work” generating some dust. High winds could carry this dust across the Fox River, maybe even across the state unless the proper barriers have been installed. A scenario similar to Monsanto’s GMO corn blowing into Mexico would be worst case. I doubt if Mill Creek would be keen on our east side dust mixing in with their freshly watered golf greens. I have no solution for this as of yet but trust me, you’ll be the first to know whence I have cracked the wind/dust code.
I will also keep you apprised of the DSW mystery, as well, should any new evidence present itself.
I’m not too concerned about the noise generated personally since my neighbor’s little dog will drown out any concrete saws spinning with its incessant barking. Please pass along the tip that workers might like to wear those little orange earplugs, just to provide their inner ears shelter from the doggie yaps. He is a relentless pooch.
As a gesture of particular goodwill, shall neighborhoods provide refreshments to the masons, free or at cost? I could see dehydration becoming an epidemic for the workers if the temperature rises even above 75°F. Please note: one formula for calculating water intake (Reference 2) recommends weight × 0.5 ounces of per day for one to stay refreshed and regular.
Possibly we could postpone the project’s execution date to late August when the weather is somewhat cooler and fear of thirst deprivation, if you will, is less of an issue. We would also have an abundance of fresh tomatoes during that last summer vacation month.
We all know what it’s like to be bombarded with requests to “take some tomatoes” around that time of year. Seems everybody grows tomatoes but then after the first handful, nobody wants to put any more down their throat or in their gullet. And so then they shovel them off by the wheelbarrow to any and all innocent bystanders. Just to get the overly red, ripe fruits off their counter and out of their house. You know how it goes, Elton.
The last item I would like to discuss is the parking. Your letter clearly states in lowercase black letters, “please do not park close to these marks.” I happen to have lived on an east side cul-de-sac since August of 2008. For many years we parked straight in and there was room for all and times were good.
However, last summer the GPD began issuing warnings that cars should be parked parallel. This was in accordance with yet another obscure city ordinance. Our cul-de-sac complied and this in turn has caused an all out parking nightmare. There are simply not enough spaces now that we’re required to circle the wagons if you will. Have you ever tried to parallel park against a circular curb? My good sir, your tires will not thank you later nor will your aunt Loretta when she comes to visit from Kentucky.
Could you please speak with the chief, specifically the one from the GPD, and ask if residents may resume the traditional, straight-ahead parking during these troubled traffic times? Or at least until the 2018 Street Improvement Project is complete? Thank you so much.
I would also like to suggest that the Public Works Department investigate with the utmost scrutiny the possibility of wide spread use of hovercraft. Think of the billions that would be saved yearly in road maintenance alone. With your expert planning and crack team of civil engineering l, I know that you guys will be up to this most urgent task. I would start with the military. Surely they would share one or two of their trade secrets with you, a fine and upstanding engineer.
When you have a moment, I would appreciate any questions or comments you may have. No matter how absurd.
Again, I would like to extend my invaluable knowledge, available at your disposal through this community effort to bring our curbs and sidewalks up to Federal code. President Eisenhower would be quite pleased with your work.
CC: Geneva residents and other persons of interest
PS: I would like to clarify that I’ve only met Mayor Burns once when he came to my house. Even though his visit was not long, it was simply delightful. He’s clean shaven and as tall as all mayors should be.
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