1. Slap Tags: The Gateway Graffiti!

    In an ongoing effort to “completely ruin my knees” before I’m even 35 (as my more zaftig pals insist I’m doing), I go running thrice weekly. (And I say “thrice” because I’m really trying to ramp up the pretension on the blog this month.) I need to exercise now because once I hit fifty, I plan on not caring any more, really start packing on the pounds, and rest on my laurels that at one point, years ago, for a month or so, I ran thrice weekly.

    That way, at the buffet at Circus Circus (or whichever buffet), Mrs. P and I can chat with an attractive, trim, younger couple at the next table, and as I dig into my third plate of all-I-can-eat fried shrimp, I’ll remark, “Oh, yeah, I used to run, too – just like you. Worst thing I ever did. Blew out both my knees.”

    But that’s all in the future.

    These days I run in one of my community’s more affluent neighborhoods, because it’s fun to pretend I live there, and because occasionally someone leaves their garage open and this is an excellent way to score power tools. (You’d be surprised how few people look twice at a half-naked man lurching down the sidewalk carrying a bright red plastic Sawzall case that’s loudly slapping against his left thigh. In fact, most tend to look away.) Also I figure it’s only a matter of time before I have some sort of impromptu rendezvous with one of the comely housewives on my route though so far the only luck I’ve had has been an awkward tryst in the pricker bushes with a gardener here or there and these fellas always – and I mean always – fall in love with me. And afterwards, it’s difficult – they don’t speak English and I don’t speak…you know, whatever. Gardenese.

    For a little more than a month, as I passed this one stretch of houses that border a park, I saw these things in the leaves and dirt on the curb:

    And, well, you know me, I’m like a five year old – always picking crap up out of the gutter (and then putting my fingers in my mouth). So a couple of weeks ago I gathered all of these that I could find, tucked them into the waistband of my sheer running shorts – with the liner intentionally cut out and the legs slit way up the sides to give me plenty of freedom of movement – with the intention of writing an insightful post on taggers.

    Well, I never did. But some of the points you would have enjoyed reading might have included:

    • How delightfully amusing it is to find evidence of tagging in wealthy neighborhoods by the kids who live there and should know better. Because they’re not poor. (In addition to pretension, I’m also trying to increase the overt elitism here on the ol’ blog.)
    • Some over-the-top rant about how dumbasses like this are solely responsible for USPS rate increases since his monicker was scrawled on free Priority Mail labels – which now are used more by taggers than by law-abiding postal customers like you and me who stimulate the economy by selling, on eBay, ashtrays stolen from long-defunct hotels and then shipping them across the country.
    • And some little zinger like, “Isn’t this fellow’s little monicker missing a letter?  Specifically S?  Shouldn’t it read LOSER?”  Yeah, I went there. Or, rather, I was going to.

    But I never wrote any of that, instead deciding to focus on more pressing matters over the previous weeks, like cartoon birds and French fries.

    And then two days ago I was driving down the street, a few miles from where I found these slap tags, and I see this billboard:

    Hm! Recognize the name?

    Anyway, CBS Media, owner of the billboard: I can’t guarantee it, but I bet  – I just bet! – I can pinpoint to within maybe three or four houses where the young man who’s vandalizing your signs lives. Ooh, and his family’s rich so it’ll be fun to make an example out of him. Especially if you offer any kind of reward to me, and by God, I’m putting my life on the line here, so you’d better make it worth my while. Hell, let’s get Warner Bros. and J. K. Rowling in on this thing, too. They’d be happy to throw some cash my way to nail the little bastard, right?

    As to the mother and father of this miscreant: Dad, you pony up a new cordless drill, a small table saw, and one of those big red metal tool chests on wheels – namebrand, none of that crap from Harbor Freight! – and we’ll forget the whole thing. (Unless CBS, et al., offers a better deal.  Jesus, I could have a bidding war on my hands!).  Or Mom…? I need you to go outside and pick up the paper in your bathrobe after hubby’s left for work when I run by tomorrow morning and, eh, we’ll take it from there.  And, ooh, wear fuzzy pink slippers, too – I have this thing for them.

    Look, Mr. & Mrs. Where-Did-We-Go-Wrong, it’s up to you, but Junior can kiss his chances of getting into Pepperdine goodbye and LOER his college expectations if I blow the whistle.

    And that’s not a threat. That’s a…well, that’s a vague hope that I can something more out of this whole thing than the dog doo under my fingernails I got from picking up trash from the side of the road.

    Posted by on July 18, 2011, 9:00 AM.

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