(I’m Back) The Los Gatos Version of the Bridge Locks
I went to the doctor yesterday and got a clean bill of health after several months of a nagging bug that I just tried to ignore until it got way too serious. Since before Christmas, I have given it very serious attention and now I’m officially rid of it. They told me that pneumonia (which is what I ended up with) usually take nine weeks to fully recover and thus, I am really pooped out and very seriously run down, so I’m only taking on the little issues, the minor annoyances and the small joys and easy ecstasies of day to day life in our uncommon little town.
I cannot think of a more appropriate tempest in a teapot than a tiny controversy that many people have brought to my attention in recent weeks, the locks on the bridge. Frankly, while ill, I was turning my head away from it, wondering if we can’t find some really more significant wrongs to be righted with all of our righteous energy. But, you know, now that I’ve been out and about a few times and I’ve actually seen the locks myself, with my own eyes, the fact that there is a controversy at all strikes me as absurdly ridiculous.
Since the early 1970s, I’ve been dealing with a discreet and personal disability that I don’t like to talk about but for a very long time it has kept me involved with numerous bureaucracies with specialized services and many levels and tiers and sub-strata and side compartments. For some reason it seems that each of these “compartments” have their own set of rules, regulations, each with their own overdeveloped and little understood vernacular of three letter acronyms and secret, ultra-important, privately held dialects. The problem is, the ultra-importance is only important to them, the big fish in the little pond, all the little ponds, the tempests in so many tiny teacups. And the big fish, and all their supportive little fish, take all this “importance” so damn seriously. Hell, they will fine you or put you in jail if you don’t respect each and and every important thing that they cherish and fear in their particular pond.
I’ve very recently learned something, and I’ve learned it in spades, when you are seriously sick, there is only one important thing, sick. And there is only one objective, ending sick. Screw all the little ponds and all the teacups and what they want from you. When sick, they get nothing from you, and without ending sick, they never will. They had better dig the sick and leave you alone long enough for you to get productive again.
To get back on track, how many big fish, in how many little ponds did it take for the faceless “powers that be” to become aware of the locks on the bridge. And how many other big fish got involved enough to design, then print, then put up all of those faceless signs all along the bridge? Oh, yeah, I wonder how many over-manned road crews it took to put up those plastic covered pieces of paper? How much did it cost the taxpayer to pay for these “important” attentions and actions? And why in the hell did they even bother with it in the first place? Are the one or two dozen or so locks going to throw the bridge off balance and dump it down onto Highway 17? Are they going to blind the view of the picturesque freeway? Are they eventually going to rust and contaminate the cyclone fencing (which is covered in protective plastic anyway)? Why don’t these powers that be go down to some of the underpasses and overpasses in the area and get rid of some of the very obvious, ill intentioned graffiti and leave these tiny, romantically intentioned little tokens alone? The entire thing is simply preposterous. Why doesn’t the town manager or council or whoever represents us, tell what ever department to leave our town locks alone? Ooops, that’s just dragging in one more little pond and even more big fish.
If anyone can’t tell, bureaucratic idiocy is at the very top of my list of things I feel free to bitch about, as much as I want.