Monday, June 27, 2005

A Call To Arms

It was an innocuous day; a day like any other in June: warm, and sunny, and bright. It shall go down in history as THE DAY PEDESTRIANS FOUGHT BACK. Your children will deface my picture in history texts as they sit bored and stiff in the classroom. The History Channel will air one of many unauthorized documentaries in my name, and when my next door neighbour is interviewed, with her hair in curlers, and a cigarette with drooping ash fastened permanently to her lips, she will tell them I was a nice girl, always got my garbage out on time and such. U2 will write a song about me entitled "Monday, Floody Monday". And you, my friends, will be able to say that you first read about the movement from the very first day of its inception.

As I was saying, it was indeed a beautiful day. I sat outside on the swing, Dostoyevsky in my lap (frisky bugger that he is), watching a mommy bird feeding her baby bird in the old wooden bird feeder that they now call home. The day was passing by slowly, each moment making its presence known like individual grains of sand as they pass through an hour glass. I got it in my head that I should go for a walk before the sun set on me completely, and so I headed out upon one of my many favourite haunts.

I didn't remember loading R.E.M. into my mp3 player, so it was a nice surprise to have them serenade me as I tripped along the neighbourhood. Children, enjoying their first real day of summer vacation, played in sprinklers and munched on Freezies.

I heard a honk from behind me, and a man in a red pickup truck waved at me as he drove on by. I did not know this man, and he only mistakenly thought he knew me. I wondered who else in this fair city looked like me from behind - the fat ass, the blonde ponytail, the tattoo on my back, all of which I like to think are fairly distinct. Maybe not.

Passing through neighbourhoods, I observe that though all adults are tucked safely away in the cool recesses of their homes, their evidence is apparent. Every second or third lawn sports a sprinkler, which is watering not only their lawn, but the sidewalk upon which I trod. Every second or third house, I must dart into the road to avoid an errant spray. Every second or third house, my peaceful walk is disturbed. Jamie is not happy.

I don't know why people water their lawns. Is green grass really so desirable? How exactly does it affect your life? Clearly, these people do not even appreciate their lawn as they are all indoors, basking not in the sun, but in the air conditioning. Grass is pretty tough. It doesn't need any additional watering. Sure, it may get turn less than emerald green. You may even have patches. But why should you care?

Almost every city in North America suffers from over-consumption of water. Many city newspapers publishes warnings to the public: please do not water your lawns, do not waste water, etc, etc...and these reports go unread because the stupid public is outside turning on the taps full blast.

And here is the result: young women get blisters all over their feet because sidewalks are flooded and their Sketchers get wet. Pedestrians feel like they are playing Frogger with their bodies instead of having the nice walk they intended. Every time I encounter a sprinkler, I must risk my life by walking into the road, with traffic, to avoid getting wet.

This vexes me. I walk purposely in areas where there are sidewalks because I prefer not to get hit by cars. This is why sidewalks exist. The sidewalk is not part of your yard, it is public property. It is also a safety feature. I value my life way, way, over the green grass in your yard. You should too.

I feel fingers of anger creeping up my spine every time I have to take evasive action on a sidewalk. Is it not my right to protect my life? I think it is.

Now I'll admit that I have a somewhat different mentality than most. I grew up in the country. We lived off of a well dug in our backyard. Every drop of water was precious to us; we never wasted though we often wanted. Our sump pump would get prissy and we would be left without any running water or functioning toilets. We never, not once in our lives, watered the lawn, and yet we had over an acre of it, and even if it wasn't as green as yours, it served its purpose.

Every time I see a sprinkler, I think of children dying elsewhere in the world because they don't have potable water. It breaks my heart. And yet, people have a right to water their lawns, and be HUGE DICKS if they so please.

But I for one, will not die in the street with parts of my body clinging to the grille of a Honda. No way. So, my fellow pedestrians, this is what I propose:

Tomorrow I will bedeck myself in rainboots and raincoat, and I will scour the city for sprinklers. Any of them that drip onto sidewalks, I will pick up, and launch through the front window of that person's house. Perhaps then they will realize just how annoying a sprinkler can be when it gets in the way. For once, it will be kitchens and living rooms flooded, and not my running shoes. I will not be surprised in the least to turn on the news tomorrow night and find that this very act has been perpetrated in cities all over the hemisphere. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

I have taken vengeance upon myself, and I will be ruthless. The city will tinkle with the sound of breaking glass. Watch out, Cornwall, here I come!

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