Today is my one day a week working for The Man, so I drove a county truck around in the pouring rain. I forgot my boots, and the truck had squeaky brakes that didn't seem reliable, but I got to the site and climbed the fence and started walking around. The weather was so dramatic and blustery that I suddenly felt glad for it. It was raining hard and I imagined I was in the wizard of oz. Everything looked magical and scary at the same time.
It was a huge site, so I drove to the other end where there was a small, sketchy driving bridge across a stream. The water was coming up so fast that I got out of the truck and walked to the middle of the bridge to watch it.
I must have looked kind of official, like perhaps I was inspecting the bridge and deciding whether to close it, but in fact, I was just being a tourist. A lady drove up in a big SUV and rolled down her window and started ranting. I want to say she looked like a republican, but that would be profiling, so I won't say that. I will say that she was wearing a giant sign on her head that said, "DON'T TAKE MY GUNS AWAY." I guess you call her apparatus a hat. She was probably in her seventies, and except for the weird sign on her head, she was put together with make up and a hairdo and so on. (Is "hairdo" still in use? Or did that go out with dippity doo?).
She starts ranting that she can't take any more flooding, and it's the county's fault. She's pointing her finger at me in that particular way that suggests it's actually MY fault. I look at her and say, "I'm so very sorry," in my inside voice. She begins to weep then, and says her garbage can, which is on the far side of the bridge, is tipped over and she can't pick it up, because there's too much water, and she doesn't have boots. I offer to go turn it upright, because why the hell not? It's not like I have something better to do. And it fits in with my whole other thing that I'll get to in a bit if I can focus that long.
And the river is coming up really fast, and now it's over the bridge. And I look out and there are three dead birds -- two ducks and a goose (hey, that sounds like a children's game! but it's just an honest to goodness species account.) They've washed downstream and are now caught on the bridge, and its horrible, like Wah Mee of the avian world. And I'm not a real medical examiner, but it looks suspicious.
And the lady is alternately ranting and weeping. "We never used to have all these dead ducks! The ducks used to be alive. And it didn't used to flood before." And I just keep standing there, and every so often I say how sorry I am about it all. She asks me who's ass to kick at the County, and I say I have no idea, but I can turn over your garbage can. This goes on for a while while the water gets higher and higher. She tells me she has more garbage in her car that she couldn't put in the can because of (yeah, we're back to the beginning again -- the water, the County, no boots.) I offer to take her garbage, and she hands me these giant plastic sacks of garbage, and as she drove off, I slogged through the by now nearly six inches of water in my shoes with her garbage, because I, too, forgot my boots. Thanks Obama.
I think it's weird when an actual lame duck washes up on the almost last day of friendly rule in this land. I also think it's weird that I carry random lady's garbage through a flood, but that's not the point.
Friday I'll post something with fewer dead animals and more of a point.