Apr 20 2005

Town Lake Trail, Part II

A thundering herd of Austin cops flex their glands on the Mopac pedestrian bridge

Here’s some wack synchronicity: not five minutes after I posted my “Town Lake is ruined!” invective,  my letter carrier Mr. McFeely staggered to my door under the crushing weight of my daily unsolicited bulk mail. Amid the customary passel of catalogs full of tacky lingerie and monogrammed dog beds, and the plaintive appeals for cash from every East Coast Liberal interest group under the sun, I detected an entreaty from–guess who–the Town Lake Trail Foundation!

They weren’t writing just to say hi or to reminisce about our good old college days, either. The letter emphasized the dire importance of the trail, reminding me that it’s “Central Texas’ link between north and south and east and west.” No doubt to balance this cryptic hyperbole, the letter also contained some arresting understatements. How about this howler:

“Unfortunately, in recent years, the Town Lake Trail has become a victim of its own popularity.”

I grasped the gist of the communiqué right away. Like all foundations, the Town Lake Trail Foundation is psychic. It had read my mind. Sensing my dissatisfaction with the status quo, it sought to ply me with promises that it would improve, revise, and revamp, to seize upon my moment of despair in an appeal for cash.

[Patriarchy Lie #3: things may sort of suck right now, but if you stick with the program, they’re bound to get better! ]

A glance at the the Foundation’s list of proposed improvements for 2005 revealed its good intentions. They’ll do some landscaping. They’ll build a restroom “specifically designed around the needs of women athletes.” And they are pleased to announce a members-only “Moonlight Margarita Run,” wherein contributors are invited to proceed on foot, in the dark, from Point A to Point B, whereupon they will fall into the waiting arms of “dozens” of margarita machines. My feelings toward running are tepid, but dozens of margarita machines? Sign me up!

Yet, as my wallet finger hovered over the PayPal button, I was plagued by the gnawing sensation that all was not as it should be. Looking over the list again, I realized with horror that providing sensitivity training to the deathbike dickheads does not figure in the plans of the Town Lake Trail Foundation. Of exiling the morons with hysterical untrained dogs to Siberia there is nary a mention. Neither is there the faintest whisper of making the dozens of maragarita machines a permanent installation. Nor a provision to back legislation that would prohibit bodybuilders with hairy backs from appearing on the trail in muscle-shirts (unless they are part of a pack, in which case it’s funny).

I guess I’ll still send them some dough, though. I’m sure they’ll plant some pretty flowers.