This is a column I wrote last week for my local newspaper, The Westmore News. That being the case, as you might expect, it's mostly about some current hometown issues—most notably a well-intended, but badly executed, homeowner amnesty program, designed to “protect” homeowners from potential penalties and fees, due to some past, sloppy building department practices, dating back 75 years or more. So, basically, if you're not currently from my hometown these issues will mean nothing to you. However, seeing as most hometowns have their own specific issues to rail against, at any given time, feel free to insert the name of your own town and issues in place of mine, and hopefully it might make some sense. Most likely it won't...but why should this story be any different from any other. If you can't relate, and would rather just skip it, feel free to head on outside and enjoy the first full day of spring. I know I would, if I didn't have to stay here and talk inside people's heads. Just try not to make too much noise on your way out. Thanks....
Ahhhh…it’s nice to be on the right side of world, again.
The clocks have spun forward, spring has arrived, and now…let there be light, wonderful, spectacular daylight right through 7 PM, and beyond, stretching a little bit further, every day by spring day.
How’s that for optimism?
Z and I have already begun our early evening bunny counting walks through Rye Brook, again…although there’s not a bunny to be found, right now. I think they’re waiting until “Dancing with the Stars” has wrapped for the season before emerging into the world…pretty much like my cousin Herb.
Being from PC, of course, we had to procure all of our required papers and shots from the Rye Brook offices in order to stroll along our designated walking paths.
I have to say the whole process was pretty painless this year, especially now that they’ve cut the quarantine period by a third.
This year we’re even allowed to speak to people, although only 2 per any given mile.
Of course, I’m kidding…the Rye Brook peeps are the best and welcome us with open arms anywhere we happen to wander.
And I have to admit, it’s pretty cool having that nice police cruiser riding right there behind us, watching out for us the whole time. We even know most of the guard dogs by name, now.
The snow is finally disappearing, little by little. I figure by June…July latest…it should be pretty much a memory.
I’m goanna miss all that weird black, pot hole patching residue, that’s been speckling the snow on the sides of the road, though. You know the stuff that shouts out…“WELCOME TO A NORTHEAST WINTER!”
And speaking of pot holes, I have to remember to get back up to that massive one on upper King Street that just reopened and try to fish out the old VW Beetle I lost in there, back in 77.
I keep forgetting.
And speaking of forgetting, I have to remember to apply for some sort of PC “Amnesty”.
I’m not exactly sure what it’s all about, but it’s been in the news a lot…and besides, for someone like me, if I hear the word amnesty, for anything…I’m right there…especially if there’s a deadline, which means it’s important...I think.
I guess that makes sense…if I want to protect myself, there should be a deadline. I mean, especially if I’ve followed all the rules and done nothing wrong…why not sign up ahead of time for a little “Amnesty”, as well?
Not that I’ve been worried about anything in the past. I’m pretty sure all those lawyers and Title Insurance guys I paid a bushel of money to did their jobs correctly and verified that everything in regard to the new house I was buying, more than a decade ago, was on the up and up. I mean those guys go right to the source for their information, don’t they?
Can’t get any more accuracy than that when sealing the deal…right?
So I guess it makes sense I should be a little wary and want to apply for “Amnesty”…especially if everything went through so smoothly…twice.
I mean it’s not the Village’s fault that a long, long time ago the only apparent requirement the building department had was a proficiency with Legos…is it?
I mean rules are rules and what’s a little amnesty between neighbors. I always offer to sell my friends amnesty when they walk into my house…you know…just in case they break one of the house rules I make up throughout the night.
Kind of like the rules I made up for kickball in my back yard, back in the day—not sure which day…maybe a Thursday. If I kicked the ball, anywhere, it was automatically a home run. If you kicked the ball anywhere, it was an out…and if you kicked the ball over the fence you automatically lost…plus you owed me a new ball.
Of course if I kicked the ball over the fence, I automatically won, but you still had to buy me a new ball, plus pay a fine and a replacement fee for not making sure I kept the ball in the yard in the first place.
And if I forgot to tell you the rules ahead of time…or made up new rules later…well…what’s past is past and all we can do is move forward, at least according to the rules I just made up now, which may not apply tomorrow...if I change my mind again.
Not very fair…I know. But for a quarter, I did offer everyone a chance to buy amnesty, just in case…as long as they signed up a month before we decided to play.
Anyway, daylight has now returned to our evenings, along with the optimism of brighter days ahead.
Which is good because I’ve been a little concerned that this investigation into the Fire Department is going to interfere with the investigation into the Police Department, which definitely interfered with the investigation of the Building Department, which didn’t help the investigation into the Public Works Department….or vice versa. I’m also having trouble understanding this whole new sewer tax thing I’m going to have to pay soon. I’m trying to set up a schedule to use my toilet sparingly in order to save money, so I have to get up to speed.
I’m thinking of Tuesday and Saturdays to start…and of course holidays, just because they’re special. Of course I can always sneak into the school at night and use theirs because I hear they’re only going to be paying a flat flush fee, so who would notice….
And did I mention I’m looking forward to the concerts in the park.
Love the daylight…love the spring.
They always bring out the optimist in me….
If you enjoy the Retort, do me a favor and click on the "Like" button, up top on the right, and "Like" the FLR Facebook Page. Things have picked up considerably from a week ago and now with a few more "Likes" I'm hoping to cash in on the Telescope.
If you don't like it, please click the same button...but with a negative attitude. Thanks....
Or Now you can just
—"Like" is much too much of a commitment—