Tuesday, March 14, 2006

State Of Emergency

You may have heard that Oakland is on the verge of declaring a state of emergency due to the soaring murder rate, triple what it was this time last year. Hopefully my mother won't hear about this. Once I was talking to her as I walked around the lake and we had to pause as an ambulance sped by, sirens wailing. "What in the world is going on over there?!" she asked me suspiciously, as if no one in the suburbs ever called 911. I can just imagine that if she hears this news she will be unable to block the image from her head of her youngest daughter, clad in a Kevlar vest issued by the city along with the recycling bins, walking to her car in a hailstorm of bullets.

The area where I live is okay--on the border of much nicer areas but also on the border of much sketchier areas. So it seems to be with most cities, a couple of blocks in either direction and wow, you're not in Kansas anymore. Luckily, since most local network news is so incredibly provincial she is more likely to hear about the local Kiwanis Club pancake breakfast than that the residents of Oakland are killing each other in record numbers.

I'm going to have to let the politicians deal with this issue, because I have my own state of emergency right here inside my apartment. My toilet is hopelessly clogged. Unfortunately I have to leave for a job interview soon and I really would like to pee since I have had a lot of coffee and what if there is traffic on the bridge? Who knows when the next available bathroom will be?

I knew I should have bit the bullet and splurged for the black plunger with the extra grippy bottom that allows you to make a good seal and yank out whatever is causing your troubles. Like a five dollar umbrella in the wind, when I try to make a good seal with this piece of junk, the darn thing just turns inside out and splashes the floor and my feet with disgusting toilet water. Luckily, although they are no doubt the cause of this problem, the unmentionables are nowhere in sight, sparing me utter embarassment should I need to call the property manager who hopefully did not cheap out when it came time to pony up for the good plunger.

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