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Friday, December 14, 2007

Contest Report: What is Your Address?

I once sent my sister Sharon, a copy of a letter I sent to a national organization with whom I had a serious beef, to ask for her advice about how I had expressed myself. In the letter, I had made multiple valid points but for added emphasis and to add somewhat of a dagger into the heart of whoever might be paid to read incoming correspondence, I used some form or another of the "F" word.

My sister, who has great experience as a professional writer, advised me that I may have actually lessoned the credibility of the clearly valid content of my letter by stooping to such a level, and quite frankly, in retrospect, I agreed with her assessment. I would use that advice for years to come in my correspondence with others.

A friend of mine cusses as much as I do. But he does not cuss in front of his kids. He is a Green Bay Packers fan, so this year, he is okay. But in years past, while sitting in his living room watching my Tampa Bay Bucs pummel his Green Bay Packers, I witnessed him give the following directive to his youngsters:

As Brett Favre threw an interception, he said, "You kids go upstairs, Daddy is about to cuss."

So, I mention all of this so I can tell you that I am about to say "Fuck".

This evening, my wife and I went out on sort of a volunteer mission to take pictures of houses within several of the sub-divisions that make up our Neighborhood Association. The idea is, people decorate their homes with lights, we take pictures of the lighted homes and then later, some committee will look at all the pictures and choose winning homes for each sub-division.

I printed off a list of addresses that had already been pre-selected for viewing with the instructions that any other homes that looked really good could be added. Fair enough. But you can only really look at the lights when it is dark.

When my wife tried to burn my house down... Okay, let me rephrase that.

When we had an accidental kitchen burning at our home, the fire department made it to our house in minutes. Thankfully, all we got out of the ordeal was a new kitchen and dining room. I'd hate for any of you to have to suffer such a fate, but the fact is, our damage was limited because they got here so quickly.

Heaven forbid the fire department had to track down half the houses on my list tonight because homeowners are too lazy or too cheap to pay the $20.00 it costs to have reflective numbers painted on the curb or heaven forbid, they might change the light bulb that shows the 35 cent numbers mounted on the front of your house. What the Fuck? Are you people nuts?

I wish no pain upon anyone. What happens if your kid chokes on a chicken bone and you dial 9-11 and the EMT's can't pick out your house from the other ones on the street without numbers? What happens if your neighbor is the guy the SWAT team is looking for but they get confused because neither of you thought it was a good idea to post the address to your house on the curb or the freakin' house?
Then what?

For God's sakes, it's just a stupid Christmas Lighting contest but now is the time to figure out whether or not you need to fix your address marker. Walk out front at night and ask yourself if a paramedic or a firefighter is going to come right in and help you, or drive up and down the street looking for your house.

I'm not sure how valid my use of the F-word was in describing this situation, but it sure made me feel better.


Anonymous said...

Eva's Side

Being that I was the driver it really got old looking to the point were I just wanted to give up. So If YOU don't win the contest ask yourself. Was it my fault they didn't find my house?? Hmmm Does my address show from the street?? I totally agree with Dave. Thank goodness for Garmin :) Otherwise 75% of ya'll would not have gotten your picture taken.I drive in circles for NO ONE :) And on that note . Merry Christmas to all and to all a Goodnight:)

Anon E. Mouse said...

Same Song, Second Verse, Same as the First... This brings a smile to my face after reading Dave and Eva's comments... Visit the GNW website, look up the old newsletter issues, specifically January 2004, page 11, top right column, first article.

I'll try to copy / paste that article here for those who don't know how to look up the older newsletters at http://www.greatnorthwest.org/passages.htm address. The article was as follows:

Can EMS, Police or
Fire find your house
at night?

Sure, the firetruck might have an easier time finding your house if it was on fire, but how about the Police or EMS responding to a call? If your house doesn’t have clearly marked numbers on the front of your
property that can easily be read from the street at night, you could be delaying their response to your call for help!

One of the problems the Holiday Light Judges had was determining
the correct address of some of the houses. Many of the houses had
faded numbering on the curbs that were all but impossible to read.
Others had numbering on the house or over the garage, but in colors
that didn’t show up well at night, or even in the daytime. Curbside
numbering is the easiest way to display your address. Perhaps this is an idea for some group’s fund raising in 2004? All it takes is a set of sturdy number stencils and a few cans of fast drying paint. Maybe the GNWatch, the A-Team or a local Boy / Girl Scout Troop might want to look into this idea.

This might be something Code Compliance will look for during the
Sweep in Emerald Valley in February as well. Step outside your house
at night and take a look, before someone else needs to find you!

Dave said...

Well, now I feel justified in my outrage!

Shorty said...

My sister and I window shop alot for houses on sale. I would say at least every other house has no visible house number.

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San Antonio, TX, United States
I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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