Proposal for a New Town Uglification Committee
November 12, 2009 § 2 Comments
It has recently come to my attention that our lovely New England farming community is far too charming and bucolic for its own darn good. How, I wonder, is a citizen supposed to get on with the important and difficult business of growing crops, milking, slate quarrying and sugaring, when he or she is constantly being bombarded by requests from Vermont Life photographers to “move a little to the left” and “look a little more rugged and haggard in the next one- but in a good way.”
You know the problems as well as I do. Every autumn our town is overrun with the dreaded Leaf Peepers, peeping at our leaves most indecently. Then the antique hunters arrive, breaking into our storage barns in hopes of finding a charming little shop selling glass milk bottles in which they might arrange flowers for their Soho loft powder rooms, or perhaps a family heirloom rocking chair they might yank from my beneath my dying grandmother’s arthritic fanny.
Every winter, the skiers descend like locusts, wearing parkas made of yak fur and demanding lactose-free ice cream at the diner, asking where the nearest Starbucks/sushi bar/Apple store is and lamenting the failure of civilization to bring sufficient cell phone service to our area as if it ranked slightly above sewage treatment and clean running water.
Every summer the “snow birds” arrive to open their fourteen-bedroom, seven-bathroom “second homes,” drive around in their mid-life-crisis-mobiles, complain about taxes and generally pretend that they live here.
Every spring, we get left the hell alone– and why? Because it’s mud season: the closest thing New England gets to ugly, not to mention sloppy, difficult and generally unpleasant.
I say enough. Let’s take a cue from Spring and make it honorary mud season here all year round. I would like to propose a new committee which would be appointed by the Select Board and thereafter function autonomously in the manner of a loosely organized street gang. The purpose of this committee would be to uglify and otherwise un-charm our town to the point that we can be free from the hordes who till now have arrived, unbidden, and proceed to spend their silly money here, egotistically assuming that they are providing some important source of income to the community. No, we can get along just fine as we always have, subsisting on federal grants, milking rodents and eating dirt, thank you very much.
Because the latest food trend is to eat local and organic, the first step should be to make sure our farms are all using as many dangerous chemicals as possible, preferably ones which have been banned in most civilized nations around the world. I say, if it’s causing frogs to grow extra sex organs, we should be using it. Conveniently, this will serve the dual purpose of deterring not only plant and animal pests, but the ones wearing $400 sunglasses as well.
Next, we should outfit the town road crew with some butter knives and a rusty hedge trimmer for purposes of roadside maintenance. You’d be amazed how fast our formerly “scenic” dirt roads will resemble the setting of some recent catastrophic event on the order of a Stage 12 hurricane. How’s that for rugged, Vermont Life?
Lastly, it would be our sworn mission to dismantle each and every so-called “historic” attribute of our town. “Historic” is code for “you could build fourteen crappy new ones for what it’ll cost to fix this.” Although many “historic” and otherwise disturbingly lovely structures in town are in private hands, we could start the ball rolling and hope private home owners would follow suit. (Could we pass out sledgehammers at town meeting? Just a thought.) Personally, I would start at our National Historic Register Town Hall by gutting it like an abandoned car and selling off salient architectural elements to the highest bidder- pressed tin ceilings, elaborate custom wood paneling, rare signed copy of the Town Charter, yadda yadda- replacing them with durable sheet rock, or perhaps more economical tar paper.
I know once the evidence is reviewed, your readers will see that I am right to take this approach: the uglier, more destructive and unsafe our town becomes, the less danger we’ll be seen as a charming, pastoral, or desirable place to visit or live. People will finally stop moving here, visiting here, spending money, and driving up our sales and property taxes. They will stop making asinine demands about keeping the roads plowed, making public buildings safe, and educating our children properly. Only then can our townspeople can be left in peace to enjoy life the way it used to be: short, difficult and generally unpleasant.
Yours most sincerely,
Edna P. Rockcrop
Editor’s note- Doesn’t this explain a lot?