The Blog Squad

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Wilder's Trash Talk

Sniff, sniff. Do you smell something? Sort of like a combination of rotting oranges, coffee grounds and dirty diapers? Wait! It’s coming from Richmond! You see, Mayor Doug Wilder is threatening to cut back on trash services in the city, because City Council, in its budget, shaved 1 percent from the allotments for city agencies. That means $600,000 less for the Department of Public Works, according to this morning’s Times-Dispatch. It also reports that the department spends $12.6 million to collect the city’s trash and $10.9 million in administrative costs. City Councilman Manoli Loupassi, whom you could almost see shaking his head without the benefit of a picture, said that 1 percent decrease was expected to affect expenditures like computers and office supplies. Not, you know … actual services. But of course, Doug has pounced on another opportunity to stick it to Council, by threatening the services that make people crazy -- namely, removal of their rotting oranges, coffee grounds and dirty diapers, and blaming Council for it. Oh, and just for fun, he also threw in a threat to close neighborhood recreation centers early because of the cuts in Parks and Recreation. What else could he do? The man’s hands are tied, really.

The mayor dropped this little bomb in “Visions,” a newsletter that goes out electronically to about 10,000 people. There were no details offered, nor would Wilder comment for this morning’s paper but his spokesman, Linwood Norman, offered this nugget: “The mayor will have an elaboration tomorrow.” I hope that’s not as painful as it sounds.

As for that awful smell … well, it’s obviously not the trash. Not yet, anyway. So I suppose it’s just the stench of Wilder politics. But we’re used to that.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Coming up... watermelon

I'm a big festival person, particularly when it comes to food and music, so this Sunday's Carytown Watermelon Festival is a don't-miss on my calendar. Not for the watermelon, per se, although it's delightful in the summer heat, but an ultra-cold cucumber pop. Since it's been a few years since I've been to the festival, I don't know if the cucumber stand will be there, but nonetheless, a girl can hope. Plus, with a forecast of sunny and 85 degrees, it should be a very nice day to stroll down Cary Street.

As for the cucumber pop, you can make it yourself. Take a large cuke, peel it, put it on a stick, drop it in ice-cold water and then shake seasoned salt on it. So refreshing, and a little better for you than the standard concession-stand food.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

My Good Deed for the Day

Hello, friends. My sincere apologies for my absence this summer, but I am on something of an unforeseen sabbatical. It never occurred to me that once school (in my case, preschool) closed and my daily schedule actually became a day-follows-night-follows-day marathon of fetching popsicles and wiping … oh, well, you know, that I would lose the several hours a week I normally take to post to the blog. Anyway, I just couldn’t pass this up today.

So there I am parking my car at the Ukrop’s at Sycamore Square when I notice something stuck into the driver’s window of the car beside mine. In big black letters it reads “W.W.J.D.” Oh, OK, I think. But on closer inspection, I see that it doesn’t say “What would Jesus do?” but “Who Will Jesus Damn?”

And then it gives a list. The Hypocrites. The Unforgiving. Homosexuals. Fornicators. The Wicked. The Covetous. Backbiters. Haters of God. Boasters. Inventors of evil things. (Toy packaging, perhaps?). The Unrighteous. The Effeminate (does that count women?) Drunkards (Goodbye, Mel). The Abominable (snowman?). Whoremongers. Sorcerers. And so on.

I looked around to see if these things were stuck on all the windows and I saw no more. Not one. I looked to see if the white car had any overtly evil (read: liberal) bumper stickers, but no. Something, though, had made this kind person who left this thing deeply concerned for the mortal soul of sinner who drives the white car.

Under the list of the damned, it said this: “Wait a minute! Isn’t Jesus all about love and warm feelings?”

Then turn it over and it reads:

“Perhaps this isn’t the Jesus you’ve heard about. Maybe, just maybe, the Savior from the Bible isn’t all about warm fuzzies.”

It goes on from there to quote Revelation -- “His eyes were as a flame of fire … clothed with a vesture dipped in blood … out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword … smite the nations … rod of iron … fierceness and wrath of Almighty God …”

Oh, heavens. Then:

“You see, Jesus isn’t just a teddy bear (really, you can make one at Build-A-Bear!) kind of guy to be ignored or simply mention as a curse word. He will one day be your judge. He has all the evidence he needs to damn your soul to hell, and that day may be just one heartbeat away. ...

“Things aren’t looking too good for you friend. There is only one way to escape your just and impending damnation. Repent of you [sic] sins. …”

And on from there. It gives a Powhatan P.O. Box and a website which I shall not put on here, because I don’t want to be responsible for a single additional hit.

How do I remember precisely what was on that card? Because I took it. That’s right, my good deed for the day was to spare that person coming out of Ukrop’s the intense rage they would have felt all day. That, my friends, makes me a thief. Condemned to damnation in 1 Cor. 6:10.