Thursday, June 4, 2015

Nurse the Hate: The Comeback City

I live in America's Comeback City TM.  I know this because the mass media has been telling me so.  These proclamations coincidentally bubble up to the surface on the slight rise of fortune of our various sports franchises.  For example, I first learned Cleveland was "coming back" in the early 1990s when the Indians constructed a baseball team that bludgeoned all comers.  Well, until they got to the Series.  We must have stopped "coming back" for awhile as the next time we "came back" was when the Browns returned in 1999 like a bad case of chlamydia.  I thought we had come all the way back in 2007 when the Cavs went to the Finals and got whipped by the Spurs, but it turned out that we came back for sure this year as our prodigal son LeBron has led us to elusive glory.  It was on the Today Show this morning.  It must be true.  Whew.  It's good to be back.

You can imagine my surprise yesterday as I hit a pothole on 1-490 that jarred me as if I had been hit while returning a punt against the 1972 USC Trojans.  I would have expected that a city that has indeed "come back" as we have would have soft silky roads that were like driving on cotton candy.  Instead I had been herded into one of the three functioning lanes into The Comeback City.  I found it odd that this highway lane had yet to have any repairs done to it as of June 3.  We must have "come back" so fast that we forgot that a two foot deep hole is located in a spot where cars drive over it at high speed.  Now, Cleveland used to have more lanes, but the political graft money used to repair our rusting infrastructure had yet to open more than one lane on the main artery into town.  This is sort of surprising as this road project has been going on slightly longer than the time it took to build the Great Pyramids.  However, before I become critical of the pace of labor, I should remember that the Pharaohs had slave labor while The Comeback City has guys that smoke cigarettes and look around while wearing their neon safety vests.  The Union frowns on "example killings" to move projects along as I understand it.  My grasp of labor regulations is admittedly shoddy.

I immediately got a flat tire.  This sucked as I was driving about 453 mph.  I do have "run flat" tires so I was able to continue without cartwheeling off the highway in flames.  As I made the turn into the city with my tire beginning to make a "flap flap flap" sound I thought "what a golden age I live in here in The Comeback City.  It's as if I live in Paris in the 1920s.".  I made for the east 18th street exit as I knew there was a tire dealer two blocks away.  I was filled with joy as I gazed upon the billboard for the Horseshoe Casino, my car lazily steering off the highway.

The Horseshoe Casino is yet another blessing we have in The Comeback City.  In our wisdom, we decided to allow the man that owns the basketball team that he purchased through profits of predatory lending and mortgage default swaps to have a monopoly on games of chance in the State of Ohio.  The Comeback City also built him an arena downtown which we all also pay to keep up to date so as to allow folks to pay up to $21,000 to sit in a folding chair to watch a basketball game.  It's a nice system that works well for everyone as it has allowed our city to "come back".  There are also going to be a windfall of profits from the casino that will enrich all of our lives, but so far all I have seen are scary bums in Public Square that hover like a pack of jackals looking for wounded antelope.  I probably just need to be patient.  We are "coming back" after all...

I must have been lost in thought when I struck another pothole off of the 18th street exit.  This was also a shocking impact.  Amazingly, this flattened my other front tire and made my dashboard explode with warning lights.  It must have been 37 seconds since I had gotten the first flat.  As I limped the car another block to the tire dealer with two flat tires, I thought "I have never been more proud of this city I call home.  I cannot wait for the trumpets of triumph when the Republican National Convention slithers into town next year."  By then, some temporary road system will be hastily set up providing the false impression that the city has spent its money wisely on infrastructure and not on some fools gold like a basketball arena, football stadium, baseball scoreboard or downtown three card Monti shack.
As we prepare the start this NBA Finals series, I look forward to receiving more information on how the city has indeed "come back".  Granted, I will be a little light in the wallet after paying for two bent rims, two new run flat tires, a new muffler, and God Knows What Else, but there is no reason to worry about money.  That is a concern of the past, of the Old Cleveland.  Today might just have been the day we came all the way back.  Someone let me know.  I have to go see if my car is repaired. 


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