I love these people!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Men are from Jupiter (which rhymes with stupider)

At a bus stop not far from my office, there is a sloped area covered with size large river rock - a demonstration of The Organization's dedication to water conservation. Or it's disdain for steep water bills. Or both.

We do live in the desert so it is a marvelous thing to see that someone had the good judgment to replace much of the skinny little grass strippage with something more drought tolerant. Like rocks, because we have TONS of rocks in You-tah and they aren't all being used to fill our legislators' skulls.

While rocks are low maintenance, they're not particularly interesting. Unless some enterprising soul - I'm guessing an art student, a potter in particular - has left his mark.

If you've ever spent much time waiting at a bus stop.... the SAME bus stop every day, you know that pretty soon you run out of things to look at and you find yourself staring down at drought-proof parking strips while mentally making your evening must-do list.

Until one day you notice a rock that looks like it has a face! Very subtle features, but unmistakably human. Huh, you think, cool rock! But your bus comes before you can get a closer look.

Next day, or maybe a week later - it's hard to affix a time line to bus stop coma - you have the same experience. That seeing-the-face thing. Only this time you have arrived uncharacteristically early, so you have time to check it out and notice, wow, there is another one!
And another and another....

Amid the hundreds of the basic roundish rocks, averaging maybe 6-8 inches across, someone had cleverly tucked handmade faux rocks with facial features into the mix. They appeared ceramic in origin, made of multiple shades of clay with various size and expression. Nothing about them was obvious.

I just don't think I can express how excited I got. True, I tend to find delight in odd places but this was a complete Nobel Prize for Cool, odd thing for me.

And what made it even cooler was the fact that no one else at that bus stop ever seemed to see what I saw. At first I was tempted to share this coolest, cool thing with my oblivious stopmates. But I didn't because first, there's the unwritten no-chatting rule at bus stops, which is very similar to the elevator etiquette that says: Everybody face forward and ignore each other! Secondly, it felt like the kind of thing that would lose magic if it had to be pointed out. Or possibly I was just feeling greedy, point is that I kept mum. Which is unusual for me.

Meanwhile, I'm sure those around me were all making mental Post-its that said 'Do NOT sit next to the crazy Bus Stop Mona Lisa Lady who smiles at rocks!!'

I'm not saying that I was the only one who ever saw those faces. That bus stop is visited by hundreds of people every day while I only know what goes on between about 5:04 and 5:09 Monday through Friday when the worker bees gather to head home from work - thinking about what's for dinner or how they're going to fake their way through another 8th grade Algebra homework assignment.

I badly wanted to get some pictures of this rock project because someone had gone to a LOT of work and wouldn't that make a great desktop background? Sadly I never remembered my camera and didn't think to use my phone camera.

And then one Monday the opportunity was lost forever. I got to the bus stop and found... pieces. Bunches of scattered pottery shards because some a$$hole had taken and smashed as many faces, I assume, as they could find.
Over the next week or so the rest either disappeared or joined the Humpty Dumpty club.

Months later, I am still kind of angry about it and I don't know what prompted me, but the other day I related the whole sad story to my husband. Now I didn't expect he would understand my excitement over fake rocks, but when I wondered what kind of a sleaze bag would do something like that, I did not expect the response that I got.

I said "I just don't get it. I mean, I can sort of understand people stealing them; I would guess that they like them so much, they want one for themselves, but I just can't make sense of someone who would just destroy them. What were they thinking?"

To which Homer shrugged and replied "I can't believe you would expect that they were thinking anything. I'm sure it was boys. Boys smash things."

Yeah, that's what he said. And don't yell at me because this is coming from a guy who once threw rocks to smash out half the windows of his neighbors' large passenger van. His friend did the other half. He was probably only 5 or 6 but he says he still remembers how much fun it was to see who could make the biggest spider in the glass.

Yeah. And suddenly I don't feel so bad that his Y chromosome won't be moving on to the next generation.


Lorna said...

At first I was sad about the smashed up rock faces...and then your husband's childhood antics and your Y chromosome remark totally made it all better:)

Bus stop coma; you nailed that one!

Gaston Studio said...

Sounds to me like you should tell your local TV station about this; make others aware of the senseless smashing, whether little boys (who should know better) or not.

How wonderful that you actually pay attention to your surroundings!

thesleepdeprivedmomma said...

I would have loved to see a picture. I absolutely understand the horror of the smashing, though. People suck sometimes.

Hope you are well. So glad to see a post.

Anonymous said...

I'm outraged and sickened. Seriously. One, because that very cool art was destroyed. Two, because your husband is probably right. Some little boys probably noticed them, had to touch them, realized they weren't real rocks, so threw one down to see what would happen. Then relished the sound of destruction and finished off as many as possible. And that's the part that makes me sick. The total disrespect of other people's property, anyone's property is frightening. What DO kids nowadays respect? We're such a "throw-it-away-and-get-a-new-one" society. Oh, sorry. I ranted. But some little a$$hole broke the light on the pole in my front yard so I'm sensitive to such matters at this time. Little *******.

Laoch of Chicago said...

I think sadly in general that people have trouble not destroying things no matter how beautiful they might be.

A Mom on Spin said...

Look at it this way, my friend.

Women like us have helped to make the world a smarter place!

Debbie said...

That just makes me a little sick feeling. I hate it when people are so rude and destroy things - male or female.

Deedee said...

Hi Jane - I felt exactly as you did-so excited to read about the faces in the rocks and outraged that some neanderthal smashed them.
Some people are so devoid of life, that they can't stand to see beauty or whimsy- it forces them to confront the ugliness inside themselves. Maybe the artist will recast them in unbreakable resin and replace them-I hope!

Something Happened Somewhere Turning said...

I was just thinking, "How cool, I must go find this place."
Now that just pisses me off.
You are right, and so is Homer. They must have been boys, and most certainly a$$holes$.

Kat said...

Really trying to think of something witty to say here, hmmm... got nothing. Must have rocks in my head.

Cindy said...

My 3 yr old grandson broke a sliding patio door with a rock. There might be something to the whole 'boys smash things' thing.

Sherrie said...

I like that, the crazy bus stop Mona Lisa Lady! Sad about the rocks though, it would have been cool to see a picture of them.

Boys smashing things, let me see, the one and only time I got a "boy" babysitter, he and my son played hockey in the basement and smashed our 150 gallon turtle tank. Thank goodness it was only partly broken so that the LP record sized Larry & Balki turtles didn't escape!

Ann said...

I am so mad and bummed about the faces!! This stuff pisses me off... when we lived in YouTah (Salt Lake) they built this wonderful park downtown, and there where these adorable, sort of larger-than-lifesized stone figures of bunnies and such all around the edges... one day not long after it'd been built, we went there to play and all of them had been smashed to some extent - it made me sick to my stomach and my heart. They never did replace them; only removed the remains. Some people are horrible, I think.

Jeanne said...

He's probably right. There's something about boys that makes them want to smash things.

Bummer about the face-rocks. I was hoping you'd post some pics later.