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Mr. Wrong

The City of Positivity

I live in The City of Baltimore, Maryland, America, and I pay my fucking taxes

I live in The City of Baltimore, Maryland, America, and I pay my fucking taxes, so I get to bitch about all the stuff The City of Baltimore is supposed to handle, but I also get to say what I think The City of Baltimore does right, so let’s get some Positivity out there for The City of Baltimore stuff, such as the recycling initiative, OK? I don’t know if recycling makes a difference, but it couldn’t hurt, right?

I toss all my cans and magazines and newspapers and cardboard and beer bottles—so many beer bottles—into a yellow plastic tub that has city of baltimore and sheila dixon mayor printed on it, and I leave it out in the alley, and a truck comes along and my recyclables are gone, and my bin is pretty much where I left it, and it’s not stolen or broken or anything, and all the items that went into the bin and out into the world of recycling are that much less stuff that goes into my garbage can, therefore I don’t have to take as much garbage out to my garbage can, which is nice, because I hate going to the garbage can, man, I always feel like there’s gonna be some sorta rabid animal waiting for me near the garbage can, you know? I have pretty good garbage too, just saying that’s why I think there will be animals.

I am also well pleased with the collection of the garbage, from behind my house in the alley. You’re supposed to leave the cans out in the alley, but The City of Baltimore Employees who pick up my trash reach over my fence and grab the can when I forget to put it out, and I consider that to be a value-added, you know? Thanks! I also appreciate the picking up of my dead Xmas tree that I finally got out to the alley after it stayed in the house too long and became a thirsty fire hazard.

I also appreciate The City of Baltimore for picking up the Bulk Waste, man, that is a Service, you know? Just call 311 on your phone in advance, or go to the website, and you can leave something, well, bulky, like a sofa or a fridge out there and The City of Baltimore will cart it away, and that’s nice, because it is a giant pain in the ass to have to get something like that lashed onto the back of my Honda Civic, man.

You can also call the 311 thing The City of Baltimore has for when there’s some mess going on, for instance, one time in a secluded area near my house, along the path of my morning constitutional, I noticed someone had crashed their car into a streetlight and knocked it completely down, only it was in a bushy area, so nobody would ever notice there was a whole giant streetlight lying down there. I’m not a detective, but I could tell it was a car that did it because of the tire tracks. Basically it was a hit-and-run job on a streetlight, whoever did the deed didn’t report it, you know? So I called the 311 and told ’em where the downed light was, and somebody came and removed the light and within a coupla weeks replaced it with a shiny new one. That’s the kinda action I’m paying my taxes for!

Another 311 call I participated in was kinda disgusting. There was a dead deer right near where the streetlight thing happened, wowee, did that thing smell bad. I’m pretty sure these two things were not connected, the light getting broken and the dead deer, because the deer showed up a few days after I noticed that the light got knocked down. Anyway, I called the 311 for some Animal Control, and a few days later I got a call from a The City of Baltimore Employee who was looking for the roadkill. I gave him a few details and he disappeared it, for which I am truly grateful, because seriously, stinky, man, I woulda had to change the route of my constitutional until Nature took its course, you know?

I have another 311 call to make this week, on account of some lazy ass dumped a dead Xmas tree in the park across from my house, and now every day I have to look at Dead Xmas lying there and it’s harshing my mellow. The whole dumping thing really gets me pissed off, you know? You can bring your trash to a “Citizen Drop-Off Center” on Sisson Street, or Reedbird Avenue, or Reisterstown Road, or Quarantine Road, and they’ll take it, you know? Or you can just leave it for the Bulk Pickup, what the hell is the matter with people?

There’s other stuff going on I think The City of Baltimore has been doing pretty well; the snow removal, for instance, and the salting of the roads to keep people from sliding around, and the yellow wooden salt boxes in strategic hilly places where people might get stuck, that all seemed to be pretty well-timed when we had the most recent big storm, eh? I don’t know for sure about this, but I don’t think those yellow salt boxes are for people to go and help themselves for salt to put on their sidewalks? Anyway, look, we just had Groundhog Day—mine was pretty awesome, plus, it synchronized with Super Bowl this year, and I hope yours was a Blessed Groundhog Day—so we’ve got six more weeks of Winter ahead, and the way it’s been going this year, you gotta figure we’ll get at least one more shot of population-paralyzing Snow Panic, so I hope everything stays under control.

The only thing I see in the immediate future that could be a possible disappointment to my Positivity is the growing pothole situation. I think it’s because the ground freezes up and then thaws out, or the snow plows rip up the road, that’s how you get potholes? Hitting one of those suckers can seriously screw up your car, so I’m gonna start tracking the bad ones along my own personal habitrail from house to office, and if they persist, I’m calling it in for some De-Potholing or Hole Removal or whatever the technical term is. I’ve been having a good year with the 311, and certain services provided by The City of Baltimore, so I would like to take this opportunity to wish all the stuff in The City of Baltimore worked as well. Thank you. But don’t get me started on the street sweeping. Or the murders.

Please listen to Jim and Joe’s Top-Rated Podcast (NSFW), also featuring City Paper’s Spitballin’ columnist Jim Meyer, at Email

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