Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Creatures Great and Small

Here's what gets me.

I live in Boulder, Colorado, sometimes derisively referred to as "the People's Republic of Boulder" and sometimes scornfully called "25 square miles of fantasy surrounded by reality," usually by people who live in nearby communities and are jealous of the residents who live in the city with one of the highest educated populations per capita in the country and one of the counties that continually votes Democratic in a Republican state.

Well, in the spirit of Chevy Chase on the first "Weekend Update" segments of "Saturday Night Live," I say to all those people, "I live here and you don't."

I say this with all due sympathy and respect, especially in light of all the constant hullabaloo (There's a word you don't see much of since the Sixties.) in Boulder civic circles about the town's needing more "affordable housing," because it is too expensive to live here for the people who work in the service industry, people like waitpersons and salesclerks and ticket takers and janitors.

(Question: Why is it quote: "politically incorrect" unquote: to call someone a "waiter" or a "waitress" and thus we use the artificially created word of "waitperson," but not quote: unquote: politically incorrect to call someone a "janitor," and so no one has created the artificial word of "janitperson" to refer to custodians of both sexes?)

Consequently, these so-called menial workers of undeterminable sex must live in nearby towns where jealousy is high and rents and costs of houses are lower, and they have to commute to Boulder to their jobs. Guess what the second most-pressing problem is in Boulder where the top problem is "affordable housing."

Right. Prairie dogs.

"What?" you say? "Prairie dogs?" you say? "How can burrowing rodents be a problem in a city?" you say?

Okay, okay! Not so much in the quote: unquote: "city" as in the surrounding open-space areas owned by Boulder County, which is an even nicer place to live than the City of Boulder, because you can still vote Democrat and be proud of it, you can still bask in the glow of pride of being associated with one of the unique and most desirable places to live in the country (all puns intended) and you don't have to put up with those clowns in City Hall.

You do, however (and by "you," I mean "me"), have to put up with those wildly clothed and gawkishly made-up jesters in County Hall.

(I kid the clowns in County Hall. I don't even know if they dress in gaudy clothing. I don't even know if there is such a thing as a "County Hall." I do, however, believe that some of them actually wear makeup, meaning those of the non-undetermined-sex types who are not ashamed to be known by words that identify them as being a member of the female sex, such as "county commissioner.")

(Hmmm, why is that not "county commissionperson," because sometimes there are two men and one woman serving in that office.)

Now, the reason for this mild outburst on my part is a local newspaper item I read once that began, "Boulder county open space managers are working against prairie dogs' instincts."

The story wasn't about how managepersons are trying to get the prairie dogs to stop building homes by digging burrows or to prevent them from having sex with other prairie dogs--. No! Wait! I take that back! It was about how they are trying to do that, but can't!

In other words, I guess you can quote: unquote: "fight County Hall."

You see, the people of Boulder are very environmentally conscious (no pun intended), and they manage to get laws passed that don't allow greedy land developers to build big old ugly houses on land where the prairie dogs have been living happily and peacefully for centuries (except for the occasional marauding eagle, hawk or coyote, of course), unless they arrange for the prairie dogs and their innocent prairie pups to be uprooted (pun intended) from their Burrow Sweet Burrows first and transplanted to another prairie dogless and burrowless open-space area.

However, those rascally prairie dogs aren't staying put, so to speak. They keep having sex and building new burrows on adjoining land where they aren't wanted.

So, here is an idea to solve all "affordable housing," "traffic" and "prairie dog instinct" problems: Train the prairie dogs to wait tables, sell merchandise, take tickets and be janitdogs.

They even come with their own affordable housing.

I rest my case.

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