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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

By the Stain of my Thumb You Will Know Me

There is a season between spring and summer, as is well known amongst us city types, and it is “graffiti”;  so while you may not know from one day to the next whether or not an umbrella is in order, you will know that Scribble-Dee and Scribble-Dum have emerged from their winter’s slumber.

Here they come, climbing the steps of their mothers’ basements, up, up, up, furtively scratching their nethers only to open the front door and squint, uncomprehending, into the sky.  Lips stained with the cough syrup/Tahitian treat cocktail that is their special-ity, they move, zombie-cow-like, toward the hardware stores, intent on the purchase of aerosol-propelled pigments.

We fight the good fight, here in the Great City of Minneapolis, and while GUISE and BRAIN DEAD (not their real names) may go about marking things as if they own them, it won’t be for long.  The City and I have an agreement:  I will continue to call them with locations, and at some point before the snow flies again they will spray over it.

Unless, of course, it is at the bus stop. 

The bus stops are not the property of the city, nor are many of them the property of the Transit Commission.  Some of these bus stops have been leased out to ad agencies, where they put up posters for advanced education, advice on what to do when one discovers one has herpes, and subtle encouragement to fit more exercise into our lives.

I discovered Monday morning that my bus stop – not an advertising hub, mind you – had been hit over the weekend by a magic-marker-wielding ne’er-do-well with appallingly poor handwriting.

I don’t know what they were trying to say, but they need to try harder.

It’s the season between spring and summer people, and so I have begun doing what I am compelled to do every year about this time. 

I’m going to remove that graffiti using nothing but the drive the pioneers gave me and my poor, unsuspecting thumb.

This is MY bus stop.  And I like it neat.

Take that, Scribble-Dee.


Indigo Roth said...


Should Fish More said...

Have you been to Berlin? It's been elevated there to a high art, of sorts. It's controlled (it's Germany), limited to the area that used to be East Berlin, and specific places like abandonded buildings.

vanilla said...

Our small town is blessed with very little of that. But if we wish, we can see graffiti as the rail cars that once sat in the yards in Minneapolis pass through.

Keep up the good fight!

Shelly said...

I would love that there be a billboard erected in any graffiti prone area with your picture on it, your finger pointing at them, and no words- just you giving them the look I am imagining is on your face right now.

joeh said...

I believe graffiti and cutting across my front lawn should be capitol offenses!

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om
Ever busy, Pearl, clearing space for new art... YAM xx

jenny_o said...

Sometimes graffiti steps into artistic territory, but the "appallingly poor handwriting" marks it as the former, for sure.

I'm diligently trying to figure out how to work "zombie-cow-like" into conversations today, and still smiling over Shelly's comment!

Elephant's Child said...

Human cloning is at work. Scribble Dum and Scribble Dumber live here too.

Joanne Noragon said...

Isn't there room in your yoga bag for window cleaner and paper towels? Quicker than one square inch of thumb!

Sioux said...

Shelley's idea is a great one. The billboard could be painted/created so that your eyes follow the spray-painters...no matter where they go.

River said...

I often wonder how the scribble-dees and dums would react if someone followed them home and graffitied THEIR property and belongings.

Gigi said...

I'm with you AND River...how would they like it if it were scribbled all over their property?

Rosemary Nickerson said...

River has a GREAT idea! When two Tweens did the easterly deed here in our small village, everyone at school knew who'd done it. Disciplinary measures, involving the patents, no less, we're very successful. Nothing like getting the parents of delinquents to own responsibility!

That was supposed to read: dasterly deed. Auto correct doesn't like that.

the walking man said...

Careful Pearl, you have to be wary when the dogs mark their territory. Wouldn't want you to get tagged or anything.

Daisy said...

I'm sure the city is glad you are on the job! :)