Friday, August 5, 2011

The Conversion

The following is based on a conversation I had a few years ago (some of my recollections of that day may be fuzzy) with a friend.  Our Township’s Board had recently approved a family’s proposal to turn their land into a gravel pit on the condition that all the trucks that would now be coming and going use a designated route to and from the state highway.  We’ll pick up the conversation with my friend saying:

“We sure like to tell people what to do in this State, don’t we?”

“I see your point…”

“But?  There’s always a ‘but’ with you, Tom!”

“You should have seen me when I was single! Maybe not a ‘but’, but certainly many fine pieces of…ahem, where was I? Oh yes…I see your point but... since we built those roads and continue to pay for their maintenance, why isn’t it ok to have an engineer tell us which roads can take the most abuse?  ‘We’, through our local government, won’t tell them they can’t build a profitable business for themselves using the roads we built right to their front door and continue to repair but we will tell them which of the roads they must avoid with those huge ass dump trunks. I guess they can either pay to improve all the county roads all the way to the state road themselves or they can take a right at the end of the driveway and use the road the engineer says will best take the abuse.  Either way, they get rich if they want. And this way our roads don’t crumble while they’re doing it.”

“Still, I have a big problem telling people what they can and can’t do.”


“Of course!”

“You’re a douche bag!”


“You heard me.”

“You can’t come in my house and…”

“A-ha!  It turns out you don’t have a problem telling people what they can and can’t do!”

“In my home, yeah!”

“So maybe you need to think of your community as your home, which it is of course. Then you wouldn’t mind if we made some rules that we all have to live by.  In other words:  Congratulations! You are a Democrat now! I’ll get you some bumper stickers next time I’m at the Home Office.”

“Damn."  He paused and looked at the ground. He scratched at the ground with his boots, delaying as long as he could the admission we both knew was coming. "Well, Tom, as always, you make a good point. And you look so good doing it.”


“I guess I am a Democrat. Who do I need to call?”

“We’re a pretty loose affiliation, as you may have noticed.  But you’ll start spotting other Democrats in crowds now. It’s pretty ease.  They’re the attractive ones.”

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