Wednesday, June 06, 2007

My encounter with the Vogons of OKC

PROSSER: "This bypass has got to be built and it's going to be built. You should have made your protest months ago."

ARTHUR: "The first I heard of it was when a workman came yesterday. I asked if he'd come to clean the windows, and he said he'd come to demolish the house. He didn't tell me right away of course. First he wiped a couple of windows and charged me twenty quid. Then he told me."

PROSSER: "Look. These plans have been on display at the planning office now for a year."

ARTHUR: "On display? I had to go down to a cellar!"

PROSSER: "That's the display department."

ARTHUR: "I eventually found them in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'beware of the leopard'."

I had an Arthur Dent morning.

I live on a boulevard with a median, and over the past few months, every intersection of that median has been blocked off. I didnt say anything, I just kept driving one more block out of my way to get where I was going. Then one more block. Then another. But this morning when I was taking Arnie Puppy on a walk, I noticed there were two, brand new 'RIGHT TURN ONLY' signs at the intersection by my house. The very last crossover this median near my house. If they close THIS median off, I will have to go five blocks out of my way to leave/enter my house, and Ill have to make left turns across two busy roads. Instead of having a nice, easy drive into a quiet neighborhood, like there was when I moved in.

So I called the OKC traffic people today to complain. After being transferred three times, they finally found the person I was supposed to complain to. He was in a meeting, but he called me back an hour later when I was in the middle of setting up my Real-Time PCR.
Traffic Guy: "Whats the problem?"

Me: "Well, ya know, there has been a lot of construction going on on the median by my house, and I noticed two new RIGHT TURN ONLY signs at one of the last open intersections we have. I dont know whether you all messed up, or what, but if youre planning more construction, I need to complain. This is getting silly."

Traffic Guy: "That intersection is probably scheduled to be closed."

Me: "WHAT?? Who authorized this?? Who do I complain to? You all cant do that!"

Traffic Guy: "It was funded by private funds. Its already water under the bridge. Theres nothing you can do."

Me: "WHAT????"

Traffic Guy: "Well. You can come to a city council meeting..."

Me: "When and where are these?"

Traffic Guy: "I dont know. But go to a city council meeting and both sides can argue for or against it. They probably wont repave the intersection, though."

Me: "But its not filled in yet! Honestly, whos bright idea was this? This is a hazard! What if my house catches on fire??"

Traffic Guy: "I dont know. It was privately funded. Let me call you back later."
I *know* why my boulevard is getting walled off. I live in a historical neighborhood downtown, which means that there is a combination of rich old white people and... *whisper-- BLACK people!* Rich old people are bored, mean, and have nothing better to do with their money than build a street wall to keep the Darkies away and their property values 'up.' Ive met some of the old people in their neighborhood, and I assure you, it was a reaaaal treat (I should transfer a post I made at IIDB over here on that topic, you all will get a kick out of my adventures).

So Ive been in a tizzy all day (even though my Real-Time turned out beautifully!). And then Traffic Guy calls back.
Traffic Guy: "Oh, we messed up. Those signs were supposed to go on 16th street (one of the recently closed intersections), not 14th. Thanks for telling us."

Me: "Thanks for not closing 14th. You arent closing it, are you?"

Traffic Guy: "I dont think so."
Im sure they are, and the plans are on display in a cellar somewhere, guarded by a leopard...

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