Friday, May 9, 2008

Return of OoMM

[The subsidized apartment building I live in is called The Union Hotel. It's run by DESC, Seattle's Downtown Emergency Service Center. All the residents have been homeless. I write a column for the monthly building newsletter. The column is called Out of My Mind. I'm posting them here, because I can. This one is a month old; I was too sick to think of posting it here at the time. The hiatus was due to the 9 month hiatus of the Union Hotel Newsletter. -- wes]

It's been nine months since we've done one of these newsletters. I'll have to get nine months worth of complaints out before I can get back to normal.

First, I have the flu. I'm convinced that one of the reasons I get the flu twice a year instead of the normal once is I ride buses.

Have you ever thought about why it is so dangerous for you to ride in a car, sitting down, unbuckled, that the government is justified in ticketing your driver for it, but when it comes to bus riding it's OK to have people not only not buckled in, but standing? How does this situation come about? Could it be that when it comes to buses in King County, it's the government that's really driving?

So follow the connections, please. The government operates the bus system. Your excuse that "I didn't use my seat belt because it was inconvenient" translates nicely to the governments excuse, "We didn't put more buses on the road because we needed to spend that money on more cops to give people tickets for not buckling up."

So if you ride the buses every day, and you're not so obviously handicapped that the driver makes some other victim give you their seat, you are going to be standing in the aisles along with all the other human cattle, and someone behind you is going to sneeze on your neck, and there's your flu.

OK, that was one complaint. The next one is like unto the first.

When the city announced that there was going to be a Fire Department facility at 4th and Washington, was it just my imagination or did they not say anything at all to lead us to expect big bay doors and an emergency response team? I heard "offices, a communication hub, conference rooms."

The same city that tries to shut down night clubs in this area on the grounds that they're too loud for us poor residents, goes and plants an emergency response facility one block to our Northeast, when we already have Fire Station #1 a block to our Southwest? What next, at all compass directions?

Why don't they just install 52 separate fire engine sirens in our 52 individual rooms, set to go off randomly 52 times a day? Obviously they think this is all for our own good.

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