January 10th, 2008

Tom Lehrer is Smug


The MBTA/MBCR/Dog-And-Monkey Show that is Boston's commuter rail system is notorious for consistently late trains, unexplained service delays, trains with windows so scratched and element-worn that you can't see out of them (well, that part is being fixed in some of them) and just overall poor and frustrating customer service. These problems are further compounded every time some spokesman comes out and says "Yay for us! We're doing better than ever! Look! Here are some numbers and graphs!" The commuters waiting an extra half hour in the rain to board a late train that's already packed to the gills have declared they indeed know where the spokespeople can put their numbers and graphs.

So it's no surprise that a commuter would be so disgruntled as to scrawl a friendly invective-laden message to the MBTA on one of the trains. The graffiti in question politely requested that the transit authority "FIX THIS SHIT".

And it's no surprise that the transit authority would not want this message going around on its rolling stock, right? First, it's profane, okay, can't have the Tiny Tots looking at those words, and second, it's the train's equivalent of writing "WASH ME" in the dust on the back of someone's car. It's embarrassing to have that message follwing you around, though it may provide the impetus for you to actually go and spray your car with a hose. Perhaps our friend who wrote "FIX THIS SHIT" on the train was hoping it'd work on the same principle.

But the message just could not stay on the train. The transit authority proactively made the decision to save face and dispatched one of its finest maintenance workers who, with bucket of gray paint in one hand and brush in the other, set out to remove the offending message.

Here are the fruits of their labor.

I can't say anything else. This pretty much sums up the entire commuter rail issue in Boston in one fell brushstroke. Or maybe they took the time to actually apply two.
Dr. Katz - Fuddy Duddy

(no subject)

I having been trying so very hard not to get all amazed and gawk-like when I find that someone hasn't seen or heard of what, to me and an enlarged social circle, at least, is a popular or well-known phenomenon ("YOU'VE NEVER SEEN STAR WARS?!") I mean, I never reacted in all caps with italics, but I did respond with wide eyes and stuff.

Today however I heard someone in the office talking about Joe Jackson tickets to another person on the phones. Turns out he'll be playing the Somerville Theatre in April and by gum I'll go as soon as I have enough money to mortgage for a balcony seat.

"Holy cats!" I said. "Joe Jackson's playing at the Somerville? Awesome!"

Two people immediately went "Who's Joe Jackson?" Now these weren't your average just-graduated-from-college types, but people actually older than I. I couldn't help it. I had to boggle.

But once I explained he was the guy who sang Steppin' Out and Is She Really Going Out With Him (not to mention he's The Man who gave you the hula hoop) they both went "Ohhhh! Okay!"

But for one brief, not-so-shining moment... confusion reigned supreme.
Tom Lehrer is Smug

(no subject)

I don't want to hear about it, and I don't want to talk about it.
That is all.