Friday, January 23, 2009

The Drunks Only Come Out On Friday

I swear that this must be a full moon time. The loonies were out in force today. And my original post for this evening was eaten by Blogger, leaving no trace. All I need now is a drunken phone call at 3am to make the day complete.

The day began with an assortment of odd people calling. Most were of the sane to moderately loony ilk, but one definitely made it to full on loony status. With just one call. Mr. X, as he shall be known for now, made it to the loony hit parade. No getting to the point of the call with Mr. X. He suffered from verbal diarrhea in the worst form. After about fifteen minutes, he finally came to the first "point" of his call. He had "heard" something on the radio in Denver and thought is was a great idea and why weren't we damn well doing it. So after some more meandering, he final came out with what he had "heard". He "heard" that Denver was forcing all those who applied for welfare benefits to work fixing the city streets. That immediately raised the bullshit detector to high alert since: 1) cities in general have nothing to do with welfare programs and 2) the insurance premiums for having unqualified people working in and around heavy equipment would be prohibitive. When queried, well, he hadn't actually "heard" it on the radio, it was at a bar. Things were beginning to become clear. Mr. X was inebriated and getting more so (at 10am no less). When it became clear that the welfare plan wasn't going to fly, Mr. X changed tactic and wanted to know if he could get a ride. I told him I had a meeting to attend, but he might want to call xxx-yyyy (the local police department number) and they might indeed give him a ride. I hope he enjoyed talking to them. If he is typical of the few serious drunks around here, the police already know him, where he lives, and how long he needs to be held to sober up.

Mr. X reminded me of a gentleman I first met shortly after becoming Mayor. One fall Friday when it was nice but with a brisk breeze, I am walking around the park when a gentleman seated on a park bench yells at me (and anyone passing by) to please hand him the bottle of whiskey by his feet. By the next lap around, there is one empty on the ground and he is still asking for someone to hand him his full bottle sitting at his feet. One more lap and he is turning belligerent, screaming at anyone who passes. It is also clear that he is so drunk that he cannot stand up and make the two step journey to his full bottle.  I called the police and told them about the situation (he was too drunk to even reach down and get the other bottle by his feet and was turning belligerent towards those using the park). Even if he hadn't been belligerent, I would still have called the police since the temperature had dropped 30 degrees in the last hour and he would soon be in danger of hypothermia because he had no coat. The police arrived and immediately knew the gentleman. He was a highly decorated Korean war veteran who would go off the deep end drinking about every three weeks, The rest of the time he was a nice and upstanding guy. So the drug and DUI test officer talked to him for a bit. He was told he could either be taken to the hospital so his BAC could be monitored or he could be taken to the holding tank where someone would have an eye on him. In no case would he be taken home and in no case would he get his other bottle of whiskey. After several attempts when it became apparent that he could not get up, a couple of the officers helped him over to the car for the journey to the tank. That in my mind is one of the great things about a small town. The officers knew the gentleman, knew what needed to be done, did it, *and* treated the gentleman with respect.

Most of the other things today concerned matters that I am not at liberty to talk about. Lets just say it was a day of strange meetings and even stranger conversations.

Late this afternoon, I went to the open house and grand opening of the new Adult Education and Family Literacy Center at the local community college. The program has grown over the years and is now in a new facility (new to them). The program teaches GED and ESL courses. I was surprised to learn of the size of the GED program. They currently have ~100 GED students and ~20 ESL students.  One of the things that sets the program apart is that they have a child care nursery in the building so that young mothers and fathers can bring the kids to a safe and fun place while they are in class. Studies had shown that the number one impediment to young single mothers and families pursing a GED was child care (in many cases it was the pregnancy and birth of the child that had caused  the truncation of their education). This way the problem is addressed and the education happens.

Well, I've got a funeral to attend in the morning. Goodnight for now.

1 comment:

  1. Those are the kind of days that don't come along that often,thankfully. However, with you being a mayor and all, you may have these days more frequently than most. :(

    That first one you mentioned sure was a loonybird!


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