Rants

The Fire Hydrant Leaks

You ever try too hard to be a decent person?

I feel as though the universe actively combats your efforts with unnecessary vigor.

Like you’re too eager, and it doesn’t trust your true intentions.

If I’ve learned anything, it’s that chaos will always prevail. You can either let it flow and mind your business, or you can fight the current and inevitably get swept away, becoming a vessel of the very madness you tried to prevent.

The fire hydrant outside my apartment is leaking.

I saw a small stream of water running down the curb one day.

Hmm…

I looked for a car being washed up the road or something. Saw nothing. Moved on with my day.

I saw the stream of water again another day.

Okay, where is this coming from?

A quick scan and I see the hydrant a few yards away, leaking a little. Mystery solved, and I thought nothing more of it. Moved on with my day.

I think knowing what the source of the water was blinded me to it for a while, but a week or two later, I paid attention again.

That hydrant is still leaking. How long has it been? That’s like…not good, right?

It isn’t good, right? It can’t be. We need that water.. That’s why we have hydrants. To have access to water. What happens if it all leaks out? Don’t I pay for this water? Taxes totally pay for fire hydrants and water and sewage and stuff.

My taxes… 

I am being billed for this leak right now.

Oh hell no.

But what to do? I guess I have to tell the city. Has anybody else cared enough to say something to someone? Has anyone even noticed the leak? Nobody is going to do anything. It’s up to me. I have to be the one. That’s noble, isn’t it? Yeah, man! I’m a good f’n citizen of Philadelphia. I’m reporting a leak! But, who do I notify? Who will fix it?

The Fire Department would be my assumption. At this point, I was on a crusade. There was levels to this. I didn’t just report some leak, like it was something simple. Being good is work. I had to research the number to the fire department, because it’s not like I could just call 911 for a hydrant.

I looked up their number and called.

No answer.

I called a second time.

No answer.

I looked up a different number.

Disconnected line.

So not only am I paying for wasted water, but I’m also paying for the fire department to not have phones that work?

I called 911 for a fire hydrant.

I had to. They made me. There was no other way. Somebody needed to know and fix this leak. Somebody, anybody.

911: 911, what’s your emergency?

Me: Yeah, hi. I don’t really have an emergency, but I don’t know who else to call. So there’s this hydrant leaking outside my apartment…

They asked my address and some questions about the hydrant, thanked me for calling it in, and said they’d send someone out as soon as possible. Felt good, I saved some water. I gave our taxes purpose. The city thanked me. I just did a good thing.

The hydrant outside my apartment is still leaking a month and a half later.

 

It leaks as I speak…

As I speak, it currently leaks…

 

I walk out everyday, and there’s that constant stream, running down my block.

I started seeing traces of my patience and sanity float by along with it, too.

 

Water.

 

Water that my taxes pay for.

Water that a concerned citizen notified the fire department about over a month ago.

Water that the fire department said they would stop from leaking.

Water that they probably heard about and hung up to promptly laugh over my concern…mocking me, having a good ol’ time.

Water that won’t be there for an emergency.

Water that won’t be there for an emergency…

 

Now wouldn’t that be unfortunate, an emergency?

 

What if, say…one of the dilapidated houses on my block just, I don’t know…caught fire…somehow? Like, that could totally happen, yeah? They’re very abandoned. Very…made of flammable material.

A fire on my block…

The fire department would rush to the scene, sirens blaring from the big red fire engine, neighbors running outside for safety, for spectacle.

The firefighters pull out the hose, connect it to the fire hydrant, and oh?

The hose points to the billowing flames, but nothing juts out.

Panic ensues from the growing audience around the block as the flames grow out of control and charred remains of abandoned house start falling, with no water to hose it down.

 

Water.

 

Where’s the water? What’s wrong with the fire hydrant? WHAT HAPPENED TO THE WATER?

 

“Oh, the water? HOW PECULIAR,” a deranged voice screams from the crowd, laughing maniacally, “WHEREVER DID IT ALL GO? OH, I THINK I SEE IT, THAT STREAM BY THE CURB TRICKLING DOWN THE STREET…A LEAK? A LEAK EMPTIED ALL THE WATER? WHAT A SHAME! IF ONLY SOMEONE REPORTED THAT LEAK BEFORE SUCH AN EMERGENCY! DID NO GOOD, CONCERNED CITIZEN NOTIFY YOU OF THIS LEAK? Maybe someone did. Maybe someone called. Where were you then, huh!? Laughing, possibly, on the other end of the line I bet? Now look at what you’ve done! Heh.. heh heh, hahaha…HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA LOOK AT WHAT YOU’VE DONE! WHO’S LAUGHING NOW?”

Yeah, soooo I’m just gonna let the hydrant leak.

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Much Ado: Instagram

Guys, if you didn’t know, I’m old. Too old for this world.

Yeah yeah sure, all legal documentation and social media bios will tell you that I’m 23, but I swear this is a mistake and some kind of cruel joke. I don’t belong in this generation.

I try to make it work. I try to be about the social medias and whatnot. But this stuff is the worst. And every time I get to a kind of comfortable place and find my little niche aesthetic for each platform, they revamp and make me learn new things. Don’t I have enough things to learn that actually matter? Ugh.

I’m probably very late to complain about this, but like hell if that will stop me.

So…this Stories feature on Instagram..

What’s up with that? I don’t get it.

I can only pay attention to maybe two social media platforms at a time. Lately it’s been only the least useful ones, Snapchat and Tumblr. I realized how long it’s been since I used Instagram and how much my blog was thriving when I utilized it regularly. I took a lot of care to follow a lot of artistic users who always kept me inspired on that site. Honestly, I wholly forgot about the app when it changed its iconic logo to some rainbow gradient, minimalist nonsense. But I rediscovered it yesterday. And found this Stories feature. I tried to use it a little, but…

Why the blatant and shameless rip off of Snapchat?

And if you’re going to do that, at least improve upon the concept.

Social media, as annoying and over demanding as it can be to our lives, is a compilation of some really fantastic media, communication, and marketing tools. The appeal, at least to me, is the variety of each platform and the differences that make each site work toward different uses. You can’t, or at least shouldn’t, approach all of them in the same way.

That should be reassuring to these companies. That should give them a blanket of security in the sea of competition. As long as they do what they do well, and cater to the best examples and most effective users of their platforms, they will stay relevant.

Someone please tell all of this to Instagram. In an industry where you’re only as good as the content you freely allow the masses to create in your space, it’s dire for the space itself to maintain a strong foundation and not act like the insecure, desperate attention-seeking tweens who use the product. And envying other apps’ appeal and feeling threatened by their competitors seems to be Instagram’s entire business model.

Like, chill. You’re embarrassing yourself. We all love you just the way you are.

Instagram is like that gorgeous friend who is hopelessly insecure about themselves.

Instagram is that person who can’t compliment anyone as if someone else’s good features discredits their own.

Instagram is like those mid-life crisis panicked people who dress in trendy clothes that don’t suit them and use current slang that they don’t understand to desperately convince the world you’re still cool.

You’re pretty, Instagram. You are beautiful just the way you are. Just because Snapchat is cool and fun doesn’t take away from your cool and fun-ness. Wasn’t rendering Vine completely useless and causing it to shut down enough for you? When will this end? How much is enough?

I must commend you for taking care into developing with the times. I mean, while you were a huge factor in Vine’s demise, the fault also fell upon Vine’s failure to develop beyond their initial concept.

But,

Half-assedly biting off of the sole function of an entire application is not effective development.

I have no interest in splitting my attention between two platforms just to do the same thing. That’s the point of utilizing multiple social media channels. I open Snapchat with expectations. I take pictures and videos and doodle and write all over them, and look for the latest snap and geofilters. I go into My Stories to see what my friends and others I subscribe to have posted in the past 24 hours. I look at the event and location based curated stories. I follow maybe 70 people and only about half of them are active on a daily basis. People can only find me if they have my phone number or know my username.

I open Instagram with expectations. I try to only post quality imagery on my page or at least have a decent caption for something basic. I scroll through my timeline to see photographers, artists, musicians, djs, restauranteurs, coffee crafters, etc. post quality imagery and good reads for captions. I follow over 1,000 users on Instagram. I have maybe 500 followers myself.

I do not care about the monotonous day to day goings-on of over 1,000 people. I can’t care about the random day to day happenings of over 1,000 people. And 500 people are not going to care about mine, nor do I care to craft my day in a sequence of pictures and videos to entertain that size of an audience. I know it’s not popular among people my age to realize, but I am not that important. And I’m definitely not that interesting. And random strangers can find me way too easily on Instagram. I don’t want to publicize my life to an unapproved crowd. I’ve had an issue with a stalker before. And for what, Instagram? Where’s the pizzazz? Where are the stickers I can swipe across my screen to have my friends know where I am? Where can I turn my face into some piece of fruit? How about you leave the whole operation to the pros, and stick to what you know.

This needs to stop. Please everyone, reassure Instagram that they’re pretty and useful and current. And stop tempting them and other platforms to start merging services by not knowing how to post proper content on the proper mediums. It’s as annoying for them as it is for your friends. The shallow understanding of social media is really killing the game. I have many a rant regarding that, but I’ll end things here.