Eleven hours, and five hundred and eighty miles later, I have arrived in Marquette, Michigan. It seems a nice place, though I’m too weary to appreciate it tonight. At least it’s relatively cool. I will stay till Friday.
On the journey up from Illinois I was ruminating on the strange obsession many Americans have with the scrap metal business. Although, it’s hardly that they make a business of it; more a lawn decoration really. The drive took me past some beautiful houses, immaculately maintained. Frequently, the property next door, or across the road, looked like a local waste tip. Old abandoned pick-up trucks rusting away alongside dilapidated washing machines and cookers with the grass growing up through them.
This is not restricted to any one area. My wife and I have spent many hours in New England seeking out potential properties, with the idea we may one day wish to retire. Almost without exception, those that appeared initially suitable were abandoned when we inspected the neighborhood. The local scrapyard was inevitably next door, or across the road, or just around the corner.
And finding a property that doesn’t have a bunch of red-neck tinkers in tow doesn’t mean they won’t one day appear. One year, five years, ten years after purchasing it’s possible the rusty pick-up trucks may suddenly arrive at the newly sold property just nearby. Immediately, the family dowry, ready to be passed down to the eagerly-awaiting offspring, takes a serious dive in value.
And don’t mention zoning laws – whatever they may be – because it’s quite obvious they simply don’t work. Or, if they do, it’s only when Mister and Missus Stinking Filthy Rich have a problem with someone ‘undesirable’ in their neighborhood.
Europe has working environmental protection laws and citizens can be dealt with severely if they create such eyesores. It’s time America stopped concerning itself with the freedoms and rights of an individual to make such a mess, and began doing something to stop it.
Filed under: The bad neighbors