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November 10, 2006

Passion for Potholes

Zach at LAist understands me. He knows I am crazy, and that I have a herd of felines, and that sometimes I develop obsessive tics, like for example the way I spout off about traffic every two and a half minutes.

I do not know Zach, in the sense of "we have met and seen each other and are not just innernet weirdoes." I merely know that he is Perfect, because he does not Judge. He has a website, too. Stalk stalk.

Since it was election week, a lot of folks asked me how I felt about the outcome (The Governator: The Sequel) and the changes in Washington and so on. And I said pretty much the same thing, over and over again:

"I have potholes on my street that could swallow a school bus."

If asked in more detail what I thought about Democrats or Republicans or Congress, I said:

"And also, I hate the Orange Line. And why for the love of fat Elvis can't they time the FREAKING TRAFFIC LIGHTS ON WHITE OAK? WHY?"

People soon stopped asking me election-day questions.

I used to be very passionate about politics, I even worked on a Presidential campaign once in college as a volunteer. I'll admit that I had a madly inappropriate crush on Al Gore. He was a Tennessean, you know. And he looked really good in red plaid flannel shirts.

Maybe I lost my passionate fervor with politics around the same time people started getting really weird about the subject, like they would CUT YOU if you didn't like their candidate. You looked the wrong way at someone's White Guy In A Tie, and they would bust a fact up in yo ass! Yo yo!

Then I got divorced and I was like, "Politics? Are you kidding me? I AM CRYING HERE DO NOT BOTHER ME WITH YOUR SILLY VOTING." After I re-emerged from the fog of dissolution, it became very clear to me that there was one pressing political question, and that was: WHY CAN'T THIS CITY FIX THE DAMN POTHOLES AND TIME THE LIGHTS?

For the most part I like our Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa. He seems like a nice guy and he's from the 'hood and all that. Except... he's not from the Valley Hood. In the mayoral primary, I voted for Bob Hertzberg because he was a nice Jewish boy from the Valley and I figured he might care deeply about the potholes plaguing the finest place on earth. He lost, but I held out hope for Antonio. I thought maybe he could help us all ... rich and poor, young and old, black, brown, white, botoxed beyond recognition. I thought he might actually pave something.

I have wishes, people. I have dreams. They may not be the passionate dreams of someone taking over the Senate, but they are my dreams all the same.

For example, I might out of sheer happiness molest the first road crew I see filling up the potholes on my street.

And I really do wish that Mayor Antonio would come to Encino and try to get on the 101 on-ramp at White Oak each morning during rush hour for one whole week. I think he would be interested in the half-hour he loses merely trying to turn left ... with the help of a left-turn arrow, even! He might wonder why the lights are so badly timed. He might honk, because that is what we do every morning. It's very exciting in the Valley, you could die of old age trying to merge on the freeway.

And I would like every person on the City Council and the Board of the MTA to ride the Orange Line each day during rush hour for one whole week. They might wonder at first why people are literally shoving them out of the way, trampling them to get on the bus. Shhhh! It's a secret! There just aren't enough buses! So people shove, kick and push you to get on the one overcrowded bus available and stand squeezed in like toothpicks for thirty minutes. And by the way, PEOPLE OFTEN SMELL BAD. Soap is not optional, folks.

I would like the Mayor to force his wife or daughter to ride the Red Line subway each night from downtown to North Hollywood at 7:45 p.m. each evening, just as I do when I work late. I think they would feel so safe, what with the complete absence of security. Then his daughter or wife would have to walk alone to her car through a parking lot that has three working bulbs. Try it! So much fun!

And then of course, they would drive home, through the Valley on darkened streets that are full of potholes and they would hit every single red light along the way.

I care, people. I care deeply. My passion is potholes. And traffic. And wine. And with those qualifications I should probably run for office ... except for the molesting of road crews part. Those darn sex scandals get you every time.

Posted by laurie at November 10, 2006 9:25 AM