The way everything should go
Eh, how come thieves can't find something valuable in an old washer or an abandoned car at the side of the road?
Why does it have to be the copper wiring that is essential to the freeway lighting that keeps thousands of people safe in the dark commute every night?
Why does it have to be the flush valve out of the toilets in public parks?
Why does it have to be the rain gutters at public schools or the roof flashings on churches?
Why does their criminal creativity have to cost taxpayers so much money, cause the public such inconvenience and cause local government offices such unending headaches? Can't they use their twisted ingenuity to benefit all?
In a perfect world, or a Walgreen's commercial, dishonest thieves could make an honest living stealing people's cast-offs. Junk cars would disappear from North Shore roadsides without the city having to hire a single tow truck. Stacks of leaky car batteries would magically vanish from the long grass around public playgrounds. Even the long grass around public playgrounds would be mowed up and carted off and sold for a profit.
And who are these guys who are committing these crimes in broad daylight right on the side of the road? Somebody has to see them, right?
Like the hoodlums who spray paint the overpasses. They gotta come home to their mommy's house smelling like enamel, right? Little flecks of spray paint on their shirts. Nobody notices?
In a perfect world, the people who know would be compelled to tell. They would see it as their duty. They would be honored to serve.
In a more perfect world, the feds wouldn't have to pass down money to the local police departments to run "Click It or Ticket" campaigns to bust on otherwise innocent people who are only putting themselves in jeopardy. Instead, there would be funding for massive crackdowns for the bands of miscreant 30-something-year-old motorcycle riders who terrorize commuters on the H-1 townbound in 'Aiea doing crazy stunts like riding with one leg in arabesque and one knee on the seat like some sort of Lippizzaner horse show.
Or the speed demons who weave back and forth in their little cars between lanes.
Or the people who talk on the phone, eat their Jumbo Jacks and change lanes without signaling.
In a perfect world, nobody would drive stupid. Or there would be a designated "idiot lane."
Wishing for a perfect world is pointless, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try for a better one.
Or at least a community where the lights stay on along the freeways, the toilets in public parks flush and the flagrant crimes of those who endanger the innocent are swiftly, consistently and decisively dealt with.
Lee Cataluna's column runs Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Reach her at 535-8172 or firstname.lastname@example.org.