Sunday, August 7, 2011


I'm a wee bit unhappy with some of my neighbors. They're not close by neighbors, living as they do in a more affluent section of town, but they're close enough that if they played golf at the public course where I play, had a beer at the local gin mill, or picked up chicken at the local KFC like I sometimes do, I'd run into them from time to time. But, of course, they do none of those things. They can afford better.

Now, before you think this is going to be a slam against rich people, think again. The ability to go from poor to rich has always been one of the Great American Dreams and I will never fault anyone for having achieved it. Nor am I envious. I like my public golf course. They know me at my local pub and treat me just fine so I'm happy when I go there. And I really enjoy KFC. Honest.

Okay. Okay, KFC is crap. But the rest of it is true enough. Mostly.

So, why am I perturbed with my almost neighbors? I'ma tell you.

There's a VA hospital not far from where I live (for those of you non-'Mericans, that's a Veterans Administration Hospital). The hospital's even closer to where my well-to-do friends live. The hospital and the upscale neighborhood existed side by each without incident for years. And then the Vietnam vets started getting old. And the Iraq and Afghanistan vets came home needing medical care. The hospital census exploded. With inpatient and outpatient counts through the roof, hospital parking was at a premium. The VA had no choice but to build another parking structure. But, of course, it takes time to build a parking structure and their need was immediate.

Enter the Huron Hills Church. They were only a mile down the road from the hospital, had extra parking space available and were happy to lease it to the government as a temporary staff parking lot. The hospital purchased two vans and arranged a shuttle service, ferrying workers back and forth between the church and the hospital. And everybody was happy.

Well, not quite.

Much like Ted Kennedy objected to the proposed energy-efficient windmill farm in Nantucket Sound that would have obstructed the scenic view from his Hyannis Port compound, the residents of Glazier Way in Ann Arbor have objected to the "howling, screeching shuttle buses" that pass through their otherwise serene neighborhood ruining their reverie. The noise is apparently more than the residents can bear.

"We and our neighbors are the victims of the noise and traffic generated by this commercial enterprise," said the president of the neighborhood association in an article in Ann "The buses literally wake us up every morning and annoy us all day long."

Well, boo fricken hoo. Excuse me while I shed a tear for the "victims."

Then there was the woman who, in a comment appended to the story, objected to the look of the vans. "That paint job is pretty 'loud' too, "she said. "Maybe something less obtrusive?"

The paint job she objected to can be seen in the top picture in this post. Those "obtrusive colors," are contained in a representation of a red, white and blue American flag. Having served under those colors for three years, I can't quite find it in my heart to agree with her, and I expect the patients of a Veterans Hospital might have the same problem.

But that's not important. What's important is the serenity of the residents--the victims of Glazier Way. Never mind that these shuttle buses are only a temporary inconvenience. Never mind that these shuttle busses are using a public road. Never mind that these shuttle busses transport staff who take care of sick and injured veterans--perhaps preparing their meals or cleaning their treatment rooms or checking vital signs or changing their IV bags. Perhaps they're there just to hold a veteran's hand as he dies. None of that matters. To them.

But like I said, I have nothing against these folks just because they're affluent. In other circumstances a poor person might act this way I suppose. But poor or rich, I do have something against dickwads. And now I know that some of them live on Glazier Way.


  1. Surely we can think of a better name than 'dickwad'... oh. Wait. I bet you've thought of the same ones I have - and none of them are suitable for public discourse. Almost makes you wish the Taliban would move in on Glazier Way, doesn't it?

  2. How sorry I feel for them and their hard lives where their biggest problem is a brightly coloured van passing their MASSIVE houses on its way to help out people neck deep in the brown stuff.

    What a bunch of complete smegheads.

  3. Jen, my sisti uglers read this blog from time to time, so I do try to keep it clean--suitable for public discourse as you so brilliantly phrased it. But, yeah, sometimes you gotta use a word that sorta sounds like a bad word even if it's not. The Glazier Way folks? They deserve both.

  4. Yeah, kind of brings a tear to your eye, doesn't it, Luke?

  5. *sighs*

    That pisses me off. Have we all lost empathy for one another? Rich or poor, empathy seems to be something we have been slowly trading in for apathy. :(

    This is truly unfortunate.

  6. I'll be keeping my eye on the situation here, Bea. The residents have made a lot of folks unhappy. We'll see where this goes. If they keep it up, I may have to drive by, back and forth in their neighborhood, blowing my horn.

    Nah. I'd never do that. Probably.

  7. Make a real statement and burn yourself in effigy on their front lawn. That'll learn

    I'll bring potato salad. We'll make a picnic out of it.

  8. You're slacking off in your old age, MrB. Usually you'd be trying to prod me into self immolation, not burning myself in effigy. Apparently you need more bitterness in your life. With that in mind, I'll start emailing you every day. :)

  9. I'm trying to be a kinder and gentler bastard, you SOB.

    *grumble grumble*

    *hopes the multicolor bus runs over you*

  10. There you go, buddy. Good to have you back. :)

  11. Holy crap. Must be nothing better to complain about at the moment. Pretty sad when we have to complain about something helping people. My hubby would have a hay day with this - don't think I'll even tell him. Maybe I will... we could come visit & have cheese while he kicks some rich whiner @ss!

  12. You and hubs are welcome any time, Buggers. You and Hunney can sit around and eat cheese while Mr. Bug and I might just take a for a bit. Then we'll all go to Zingerman's later. :D

  13. LMFAOx2

    Upon initially reading your finely crafted rantette I imagined a neatly trimmed neighborhood with sidewalks skitting short distances to front doors where sound waves echoed between closely placed houses and neighbors conversed casually over the trimming of rose gardens, some waved as they cut the grass as friends drove past on the narrow street. Concerned residents gathered in a common yard discussing the horrible violation of the neighborhood's tranquility by loud and excessive diesel city bus type transports...

    I had an ounce of sympathy.

    Enter Google Earth.

    Its a friggin secondary highway cut through the woods with what...FOUR HOUSES even remotely close to the road?!!

    And the offending buses...E250 chassis--tops. They have a decibel value equal to lawn sprinkler.

    My inherent concerned citizen just flew out the window in a fit of unbridled hysteria.

    It's a ROAD!

    If they want quiet and unmolested vision tell them to go buy an island so the rest of society doesn't have to tiptoe around their over taut, delicate senses.

    Geeze Louise.

    Thanks for the laugh.

  14. I know. It's a freakin' road. And a public one at that. And if anyone deserves to use a public road, it's a vet, or somebody providing services to a vet. Of course if it disturbs the feng shui in somebody else's professionally installed Japanese meditation garden, all bets are off.

  15. NIMBYism gone mad. Selfish bastards.

  16. You made me look that one up, Diane, but I'm glad I did. New ammo for me now. :D

  17. Ahhh... Well, a nice wall lining the sides of the road would take care of all that noise and those ugly buses, right? Maybe some local talent could decorate the wall for them, even?
    *buys spraypaint*

    Good blog post, sir!

  18. Thank you, ma'am.

    Good to hear from you, Cella. Hope all is well.

  19. Now I know where to send my ex-inlaws who objected strongly to my taking our daughter to the airport for her flight to USAF boot camp.
    Better you than me Haggis. I've always been a selfish non-caring bastard when it comes to you.
    Maybe I can even get my ex-wife to join them living there. Her new husband was riding the same bandwagon.Gee, hope they can keep the colors on that bandwagon subtle so that they fit in when they get there.