A Testimony to Urban Atrocities, aka Dallas

I just had three excruciating experiences that exemplified the contemporary attitude of modern-day big cities, especially those in the sunbelt. This is really a fright-rending scenario when I think about it. I just called my friend/architect Louis Thomas …he’s moved to a rural area in east Texas near Grand Saline. The point is that he moved to extricate himself from the drivel and drone of Dallas. Case in point: Louis and I collaborated on a design for a spec house in North Dallas Forty. It was low-scale and contemporary, a stark departure from the ubiquitous two-story, high-pitched roof “megahouses” with their slavish “European” style. Our design was not what the inane market desired. It goes to show ya’ what the taste of this town is. Unbelievable.

That was the first of three diatribes on the deterioration of Dallas. The second incident occurred in front of my local super market. A police officer was standing nearby in a somewhat desultory position as I was padlocking my utilitarian Schwinn no-speed to the flimsy frame of a plastic bag recycle container. Overestimating the mental aptitude of the men-in-blue, I blamelessly blurted out, “There seems to be a paucity of parking spaces for bicycles around here”. He looked at me with a stealthy stare. I recoiled with: “There ain’t no bike stands”. He replied, “It’s too dangerous to bike in this town”. Well, with that insipid reply, I could only remember how civilized Denver is with all its bike lanes on public streets and lock stands everywhere..

The third encounter of the same kind occurred in front of the Driver’s Defensive Driving Laughing School directly behind Tom Thumb. I timed it so as to meet Bob Buckner during an intermission. He was talking with an attractive young brunette, and I soon found myself engrossed in her somewhat tarnished driving history. It was quite evident that she was an incorrigible nonconformist of posted speed limits. My mentioning of the fact that Dallas had no system of graduated signal lights as does my beloved Denver, which allows one to practically traverse the entire city limits without encountering a red light (as long as one maintains the posted speed limit of 30 mph) had no rationale to this bimbette’s sophomoric logic. Her ludicrous excuse for accelerating at every green light at full-throttle-nuclear-break-neck-redline-juke-and-go, and flame-on-it-burning-brake-and-squeal-to-a-splatter-copy-allover-the-windshield-stop was that it saved her precious minutes. Absolutely absurd. I figured she must have received her driver’s ed from watching “Dukes of Hazard” reruns. And she had a curious analogy, which I reluctantly relate: “In a weight-loss program, every pound you lose, there’s one more pound to lose. In driving, every second you gain, there’s one more second to gain. You gauge for yourself. Is it worth it? No way, Jose.

Well, that’s it folks….my testimony to Big D. My sincere wish is that you do not find my name listed in the obituary column as having been run down by a motor vehicle while trying to cross Greenville Avenue by bike, or was it by foot?

William C. Early © 1992