Sunday, August 08, 2021

Don't tolerate vandals, vandalism

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for July 7, 2021)

The article in last week's paper about the problem of restroom vandalism in Clovis city parks struck a chord with me. I've seen the results myself.

I realize the people who vandalize park restrooms aren't the kind of people who read newspapers. Nor much of anything else for that matter. I'm going to express my contempt for those reprehensible creatures anyway.

The most useless thing in the world is a park without restroom facilities. If you're going to have a park, you need the facilities. It doesn't matter if you're the parent of a small child who waits until the last minute to tell you they "need to go... NOW", or an adult who has to interrupt a family visit to the park in a desperate attempt to find a nearby fast food restaurant with a public restroom-- which was even harder to find in the era of "take out only" under Covid-19 hysteria.

If I sound like I speak from experience, it's because I do.

I never excuse taxation and don't want it used to fund anything, even things I like, including parks or their restrooms. But what kind of a dimwit vandalizes restrooms? I'd guess they are the kind of people who will relieve themselves on a picnic table or on someone's lawn, just because they are too self-centered to care about others.

Vandalism and litter are two things I can't think of any excuse for doing. If you ask me, both are as irresponsible as cluttering the world with legislation.

Vandalizing tax-funded property can only have one of two results-- either those damaged properties get repaired, costing even more stolen money (you might call it "public funds"), or they get taken away so that no one will have them. Don't count on getting a tax rebate due to fewer available facilities, though. It's not going to happen.

How can this problem be solved? My suggestion would be to let local businesses and individuals build, own, and maintain park restrooms. Let them protect their facilities however they see fit. I would hope security cameras inside the restrooms are off the table, but there have to be other clever solutions.

What can you do? Don't tolerate vandals. Anyone who vandalizes anything is your enemy. They are violating you and me. Don't vandalize anything in my presence and expect me to laugh about it or ignore it. I won't. It's completely unacceptable.

(The week after this was published, vandals struck the city aquatic center. And a week or so later, vandals broke the glass in both outer doors of a Family Dollar near my house.)

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Kitten update #2

Yesterday we went to the Big City to celebrate my son's birthday with him. The rescue kitten went with us because I hated to leave him alone all day. It was a good decision.

I've been giving him antibiotics in his food since Friday. He can taste it and can be stubborn about it, but has finally accepted it. He's still snotty and his eyes are still gooey, though. I do think he's improving some. He has gained a lot of weight in the past week. He no longer feels bony; I can pet him without his spine and ribs feeling so obvious. He is very playful. 

He has also been taking up most of my free time, but that's OK. 

The road trip was probably the kitten's best day ever. He had a great time with my daughter on the 180-mile round trip. He played, ate, and slept in the back seat. Usually in my daughter's lap. He got to play and explore my son's apartment, too. I think he's already spoiled.

The kitten also got a name: Whiskers.

My daughter is wanting to buy him a lot of things. I really need to find him a home once he is healthy, but that's not going to go over well with her. I guess we'll see what happens.


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