Wednesday, February 17, 2010

An Open Letter to the Inconsiderate Ass Who Hasn't Shoveled His Sidewalk Yet

Dear Inconsiderate Ass Who Hasn't Shoveled His Sidewalk Yet,

I know you're there. I can tell by the way your driveway is cleared out and how your mail gets picked up every day. Your stairs are clear from door to your driveway. I notice these things as I trudge pass your house in the morning and later in the afternoon, dodging traffic on the way to the bus stop.

I know you know I'm there. I know you can tell by the number of footprints that have built up on your sidewalk over the last week, and because I saw you peer from behind your living room curtain windows, as if you were hoping that somehow all the snow had gone away.

Perhaps you have a bad back and you're unable to shovel... but that couldn't be true, as your driveway is clear. Perhaps you've gotten sick and are now unable to go outside... but that couldn't be true either, because, as I said, your driveway is clear. Perhaps you've left town and aren't around to shovel the sidewalk... but again, that couldn't be true as I've seen your pudgy face staring back at me as I struggle past your house.

Look: I'm a reasonable person. I will give you the benefit of the doubt that, for whatever reason, you are unable to shovel those extra 15 ft. Perhaps you think it's the City's job. Perhaps you're trying to track the deer in the neighborhood. Perhaps you have been burying evidence under the snow, and you don't want anyone to discover it.

The more likely story, however, is that you're a lazy, selfish ass who would rather watch people fall down on his property then, you know, do what the City requires of you in these kinds of snow situations.

So, I am taking the liberty of alerting the neighborhood that you have a mental defect that does not allow you to empathize with other human beings and that you need some assistance in shoveling. That's what that hastily written yellow message on your snowy lawn reading "Plow Me Up The Ass" is all about. I'm hoping that someone in the neighborhood will gallantly leap to your rescue.

Not me, however, as I need to drink another five gallons of coffee to send another message to the guy who stole my demarcated, shoveled parking spot.


The Angry Drunk Bureaucrat


Mark Arsenal said...

Since you brought it up, and as an angry drunk bureaucrat you should know, what exactly is the legalese around this tradition? Especially in the more urban neighborhoods with no driveways/yards, lots of alleys, lots of vacancies, and low ownership rates, how is sidewalk clearing enforced?

Anonymous said...

The "24 hours after the snow stops" law has been suspended until next week by the Public Safety Director.

Mark Arsenal said...

That's all well and good, but I still can't imagine this law is ever all that strongly enforced in denser areas with lots of vacancies/firetraps and low ownership rates (I'm thinking Garfield, Polish Hill, Allentown) - especially areas with lots of steep grades. I can't imagine people really caring much outside suburban/well-off neighborhoods.

Anonymous said...

hey, i know who you are talking about..or are there a bunch of them? and on same subject, why is it ok for the city to NEVER clean their sidewalks? I can understand the 500+ vacant properties not being cleaned but how about the regional parks and the other main streets? I know, that is asking wayyy too much.

Anonymous said...

Pittsburgh has been receiving national recognition as a "walkable" city, but between snow (and not just this year) and poor/no maintenance you often can't get there from here. A PG article earlier this year stated something along the lines that the city generally issues less than 200 "warnings" for snow removal annually and less than 60 citations (the fine is only 25 bucks). The irony of suspending this weak and weakly enforced ordinance just when it is needed most is just another one of the interesting quirks of our city.

BOD said...

This ordinance is never enforced anyway. If it was, the city could make a killing by having regular flunkies walk around neighborhoods and write tickets.

Anonymous said...

I really like the people that not only shovel their driveway but pile it up on the sidewalk in a large mound so that you couldn't walk thru there if you wanted to.