August 14, 2012 in City

Stackers’ work ethic admirable

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Kids get knocked all the time for being too fat and too lazy.

They need to drag their butts away from the PlayStations and go outdoors where they can work up some by-gawd good, old-fashioned sweat!

Then some of them actually take this advice to heart and what happens?

The town goes bughouse, that’s what.

I’m talking about the civic handwringing over the strange rash of stacked picnic table pyramids that have been rising up in Spokane parks this summer.

Well, you won’t hear me complaining.

I’m too busy being impressed.

Come on. Think of the brains and brawn it takes to not only build a pyramid out of picnic tables, but to also put it together without getting nabbed by The Man.

My most sophisticated act of youthful hooliganism was to ring Old Man Knowles’ doorbell and then scamper into the bushes before he could shuffle to the door.

Now consider the latest pyramid.

The edifice, according to our news story, was composed of 36 tables that were layered upward into an ever-narrowing triangle that would make an ancient pharaoh proud.

This baby was the summer’s fourth, although not the biggest.

The record goes to a picnic pyramid that was found a few days earlier at Riverfront Park. That monster was made up of 45 tables, which put it at roughly the same height as the Paulsen Building penthouse.

Still, the Manito pyramid had a couple of touches that set it apart.

The still-unknown builders topped it with festive traffic reflector lights. They also left the following in-yer-face note to park employees:

“We heard that our riverfront table pyramids cost $500 each to remove,” it read, “yet they only took 4 teens 25 min to assemble sans equipment! Please stop wasting taxpayer dollars.”

Four teens?

Twenty-five minutes?

We do need to catch these merry pranksters.

Then the city can pay them a fat salary and put them in charge of the street department. Maybe we’d finally get the potholes plugged.

Building a picnic pyramid takes planning, teamwork and probably more cardiovascular fitness than that ridiculous ribbon-twirling gymnastics event at the Olympics.

In short, our serial stackers have exhibited the energy and ingenuity Spokane so desperately needs.

Yes, I am also aware of the downside.

We had to bring in a bucket lift and take workers away from lifesaving pruning jobs and blah, blah, blah …

That’s not the only way to dismantle a park picnic pyramid.

You could also follow my far cheaper three-step alternative:

1. Round up a few burly guys.

2. Stand next to pyramid.

3. Shove.

But why take them down at all?

Leave ’em be, I say. Spokane can use some fresh tourist attractions.

The garbage goat and that red bronto-wagon are pretty stale, if you ask me.

I wish the stackers hadn’t left that letter.

We could have blamed the pyramids on visiting space aliens. You know, the way Wilbur does with its annual crop circles.

Ah, to be young and crazy again.

If you pyramid schemers are reading this, I’d love to be present at the next erection.

You know the heat is on.

I’d be a fabulous lookout man.

Of course, there’s an irresponsible part of me that yearns to be one of the stackers.

Sadly, that ship has sailed. Heck, I threw my shoulder out of joint trying to put my lawn chairs away last year.

But I do know I could come up with a better note to leave.

Take that last line in the letter that was found.

“With hard work,” it read, “anything is possible.”

Boy, you know kids are involved when you read idealistic crap like that.

Spokane’s Serial Stackers will eventually grow up, of course. They’ll go out and get dead-end jobs and learn that the world is really run by bureaucrats, con artists and fanny kissers.

It’s enough to make you want to stay in your room and play video games.

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by email at dougc@spokesman.com.

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