We live in a fairly quiet neighborhood, although, it does border on ‘Da Hood’.  Even though the town only has 20,000 residents, we do boast a ‘bad part’. For the most part I just take everything with good humor. For several months I watched with interest as the City Crews would find a seemingly harmless part of the street we live on and dig it up. In fact it became quite the joke in our household. The street was barely paved, but our tireless maintenance folks would come and dig a hole. They never actually seemed to do anything in the hole. But they always had fresh ‘red’ dirt to fill the hole up with.

Look honey, they are changing someones dirt!

That became a familiar comment in our household. In fact I was on the verge of complaining, all of my neighbors had had their dirt changed, but our part of the street remained as it had for 40 years.

That all changed about 2 months ago. The town decided that what we needed was ‘black dirt’, for those of you not familiar with ‘black dirt’, that is dirt mixed with tar and poured out of the back of the worlds strangest looking contraption. We had a whole crew armed with lasers and other amazingly accurate devices spec the road out.  The next day we had a couple of guys with a bucket of paint that was on wheels, they wobbled their way down the street, then decided that the marks were wrong, so we had a second visit.

The whole street was closed for the big event! The black dirt machine! While it may not win any awards  for speed, it sure is an impressive beast. It even came with a whole bunch of hard hatted cheerleaders.

Before you could say Mississippi we had new steaming fresh black dirt. My guess is that we have about 6 inches of it.

The one thing I have learned in my year here is, if it hasn’t rained already today, it will! Because of the rain issue we have honking big drains. The Black Dirt guys spotted this. They were careful to leave them alone.

Unfortunately many of the drains are actually in the road. We live on an intersection, and also on the edge of the hood. Many of the cars we see are ‘tricked out’ and the sound system would deafen us mere mortals. I find it hugely amusing to watch the local hoodlums turn right onto the street and discover this  huge ‘sink hole’, it must play havoc with the 120 CD changer in the trunk. I also doubt it does much good on the customized wheels.

Simon Barrett

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