Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sketches

Life in a small town: The bus stop meeting. Hurrah! We saved our bus stop. But was it ever really in any danger? The meeting took place in the cafeteria of the neighborhood grammar school. We all sat with our knees up to our ears, waiting for the city manager and the public transportation manager. The television media arrived. (Television. This really is a small town.) Our new neighborhood association president, who is young and cute and earnest, spoke about how there are good arguments for removing the bus stop but that there are equally good arguments for keeping it. Ah me, what to do, what to do.

The anti-bus stop man stated his case. I know him, of course, since he's a neighbor. He's a nice guy--a tad eccentric, but nice. It appears his ultimate goal is for no car to ever be allowed to drive past his house, and the first step in achieving that goal is to get rid of the bus. While he spoke, the woman sitting behind me who is famous for blocks around for her beehive hairdo, kept up a running commentary of irritated mutterings. I wondered if she was going to start heckling Mr. No Bus. I'm not entirely clear on why she is so strongly in favor of the bus stop, since she's not really the type to be a champion of public transportation. I think she has a personal policy of always being in opposition to anything that Mr. No Bus wants.

The pro-bus stop side got its say via the elderly lady who lives there doors down from me. She pulled a handwritten speech from an envelope and read it, frequently referencing other neighbors who weren't there, but who are busriders: "There's Mary Smith who lives way down the hill and she's been working at Timberlake's Drugs for thirty years, and she rides the bus and she's a real nice lady, and there's Mabel Townes, and she has bad feet and..."

We were all able to reference the helpful diagram that Mr. No Bus had drawn and taped to the wall, but the meeting was at an impasse. It became clear that the city officials had no intention of moving the bus stop, or (as I had been told) removing the bus route's loop through our neighborhood. Ah, but what about lowering the speed limit? No, not happening. Speed humps? No. Mr. No Bus asked the Director of Public Transportation if he could just order his bus drivers to slow down to 15mph when driving around our park. "I can order my people to do anything," said the Director, and I admit he looked really sexy when he said that. Despite the Director's omniscience with his "people" he will not order them to slow down. "We can't have a special bus speed limit," he said in tones that just barely hid his derision.

And there it is folks. One person doesn't want the bus, other people do want it, and ultimately the status quo is maintained. There was more to the meeting, such as a visitor from another neighborhood association who came to warn us about the large camp of homeless people in the woods on the edge of our neighborhood. The candidate for county sheriff passed out his card. In the post-meeting chit chat I met a man who already knew about me because of my famous bunny. I noticed that the television cameras were long gone.


The Mediterranean Temperament

Last night Drama Queen, Miss G, and I went out for dinner and then to the Richmond Ballet. We went to a Greek diner, and I was feeling grumpy because I'd been unable to find an outfit that looked good, and my hair was terrible. We approached the counter, and the owner shouted, "Ah, three beautiful sisters!" This was more brazen flattery than I am used to and I blushed as I ordered three souvlakis. The owner affected amazement. Was I Greek? I admitted that no, I am not Greek and the owner turned to his cook and demanded, "How can they be so pretty if they are not Greek?" He asked us to give him more time for our souvlaki. "I will make it fresh, for you," he said. And when he brought it to our table, "For the Greek sisters." The girls commented on his flirtatious nature. "Just wait until we get to Rome," I said. Indeed, I am somewhat worried about how to screen my daughters from male attention in Rome. I am hopeful that not even an Italian will try to hit on a young girl in the presence of her mama. (Not that the Greek man was hitting on us. And anyway, he totally destroyed my grumpy mood.)

2 comments:

  1. Yay for your bus! Yay for your community involvement! Yay for Greek men who know the simple art of flattery! I think I'd love Greece:)

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  2. I have a feeling that your account of the bus stop meeting was even better than being there.

    I'm glad you enjoyed your fresh souvlakis. ;)

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