Walking up Gold Street this morning, passing through the projects, I saw a backhoe slowly chugging up the street alongside me. This is not an unusual sight in the neighborhood, since there’s an insane amount of road work going on.
Except for two things: It was brand new, nearly pristine John Deere backhoe, the kind you’d see on a farm. And it was laden down with junk.
The “hoe” part of the backhoe was filled with an old TV, broken kids’ toys, and a smashed-up sub-IKEA particle board furniture. The junk was arranged carefully, trying to make the best use of the space available in the hoe. But this still struck me as an extremely inefficient use of top-notch construction equipment.
It was also an extremely inefficient use of the roadways. Gold Street is all torn up from road work, leaving only one lane in either direction. So there’s no hope of getting around a backhoe traveling 12 miles an hour.
The backhoe made a left on York Street just as I did, and I decided that I had to see where this thing was going. It stopped halfway down the block, again blocking traffic, and waited for cars in the opposite lane to clear. Then it hopped the curb and drove into a project building’s trash lot, where all the dumpsters are kept.
So whoever runs this particular project decided two things:
(1) A backhoe makes a better trash hauler than a pickup truck, or a van, or any other regular vehicle.
(2) The dumpsters at this particular building are insufficient for the needs of this particular junk. I must truck it two blocks away, as slowly as possible, to another identical set of dumpsters.
Your tax dollars at work, ladies and gentlemen.
* * *
Shortly after this incident, I passed into the ritzier confines of Dumbo. I saw a gleaming red BMW with MD plates parked right underneath the Manhattan Bridge. I’ve driven to work many times, and I can tell you that you’ll see open parking spots like that about as often as you’ll see leprechauns. In fact, between the roadwork and the ridiculous alt-side restrictions, I usually wind up parking so far away from my office I may as well have walked from home. (This is how much I hate relying on the bus.)
So basically, this guy’s got everything in life working out just fine for him. Except that someone placed a banana peel on the car’s trunk.
This placement was not accidental, like someone was eating a banana and just tossed the peel casually, maybe hoping to start a silent film comedy cavalcade. The peel was at the exact center of the trunk, with the two halves splayed symmetrically.
I’m guessing someone saw the exact same thing I saw–brand new car, doctor’s plates, perfect free parking spot–and decided to throw some misfortune into his otherwise spotless life. Thank you, stranger, for making me smile.