On the beat: 06/09

Mattress madness

By Jim Bucher
This is one of those stories that will leave you thinking, “Where’s the fun-loving Buch from his TV days?”

Well, that Buch is still here, sort of, but occasionally the old man rant slips out—and who can blame me?

If you’ve read my articles, you know I love this region, this city and its people. We are a group of hard-working, caring, compassionate, innovative minds that can handle any hurdle that comes our way.

Sometimes, though, I think I’m going to lose my mind with stories like the one I’m about to tell.

Let me set the scene…

I’m a Five Oaks resident in the city of Dayton proper. I keep my lawn mown and, for being almost 100 years old, my house is not in bad shape. I have some great neighbors on our street (one of the few blocks where all homes are occupied).

Why, oh why, then, would city inspectors make their rounds wielding warning citations to tax-paying residents?

Case in point:

I just purchased a new bed for my daughter.

This might sound terrible, but I believe my grandmother died on the old bed 40 years ago. OK, I digress. But bottom line, it was time for a replacement. So, being the model citizen I am, I timed the new purchase to coincide with the next bulk waste trash pick-up. You know, when the city will haul away and discard beds, dressers, couches, ex-wives’ stuff… anything bulky—hence the name, “bulk waste.”

I called the number, talked to a real person and scheduled a date and time frame for pick-up.

“Sir, please have your bulky items at the curb the night before,” the real, human voice on the other end said.

“Great,” I thought, “that was easy.”

So, following the rules, I dragged the bed to the curb. The kids seemed to disappear right when I needed help moving it, but all was well in the world.

You know where this is going, don’t you?

That’s right: Pick-up day came and went. And it rained like Noah was coming back for a return trip with his ark.

A wet mattress is like a sponge—a sponge weighing 300 pounds.

I dragged that sucker back to the side of the house and called bulk waste to see what on earth happened—or this case, didn’t.

I got an apology and a reschedule date, which, by the way, was almost another month away.

Cut to two weeks later and taped to my front door is a warning notice from a city inspector. I have an unsightly mattress in my back yard.

WHAT? It wouldn’t be there if your people would do what they were supposed to do!

After some consulting with the neighbors, I found out others had received warnings, too.

Anonymous neighbor No. 1 told me he was given a warning citation for his fixer-upper car in his backyard.

Now, your visual is most likely an automobile up on blocks with vegetation entangled under the car and over the hood.

Far from it. His circa-1950s something-or-other is neatly tucked away on his back concrete patio, out of sight, with a car cover.

But wait, there’s more.

The owner of the home behind us received not one but several warnings, ranging from a piece of missing spouting to sidewalk cracks.

My question is why mess with the people who have stuck it out in a neighborhood that is ripe with abandoned, boarded up, collapsing, burnt out structures?

Because they can.

Isn’t it easier to go after the folks who live here as opposed to battle with absentee owners in costly court cases?

My bet is yes.

After a phone call to an inspector guy, I’m told, “Summer is almost here, and we’re trying to stay on top of things so it doesn’t get out of hand.”

Stay on top? So things don’t get out of hand?

Are you kidding me?

If that’s the case, you’re about 25 years too late. You missed the part when citizens sick of nonsense and crime in the neighborhood pulled up stakes for greener pastures elsewhere.

Now don’t get me wrong, we have some wonderful urban pioneers who have stuck it out and new neighbors moving in all the time—including young families.

It’s wonderful to see.

But how long will they tolerate this madness?

In the meantime, let me get this flippin’ bed to the curb. Tomorrow is bulk pick-up day … or is it?

Cheers,

Buch

A regionally known and loved local television icon for over 25 years, “Buch’s” followers describe him as trust-worthy, fun, the guy next door, a friend and role model. You can promote your business with Buch and grab your customer’s attention! Reach DCP freelance writer Jim Bucher at JimBucher@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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For over 25 years, Jim Bucher has been a regionally known and loved local television icon. “Buch’s” followers describe him as trustworthy, fun, the guy next door, a friend and role model. You can promote your business with Buch and grab your customer’s attention! Reach DCP freelance writer Jim Bucher at JimBucher@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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