By Mark Barnes
Elmer burst through the front door of the office.
“Have you seen the water tower?” he asked incredulously.
“I’ve been writing about it for months,” I replied. “Of course we’ve seen it.”
He pulled off his gimmie cap, brushed his hair to the side off his forehead and stared at me with concern. Slowly, he repeated himself, “Have you seen the water tower?”
Not knowing what he was getting at I simply asked, “What about it?”
“It has a ‘K’ on it,” he said with the ‘K’ sounding like he was coughing up something deep within his lungs.
I told him we knew that, it had been painted last week as part of the project started by Casey Cobb over at the high school.
“Well who do they think that ‘K’ is for?” he said as he put his hat down on the counter forcefully. “It can’t be so the high school kids can see it. They’d need binoculars from the top row of the stadium bleachers. I almost got in a wreck as I drove in down Meridian Road trying to make out the K on the freshly painted white tower. I thought it was a fly that had gotten in the cab of my truck stuck on the window.”
“What you getting at Elmer?” I said trying to stop him from going on one of his epic rants.
“Well, who’s that ‘K’ for?” he repeated. “When I make the turn on to Linder coming in to downtown I only see half of it. The only place I get a good look at it is when I spray the mud off my truck at the car wash.”
I explain to him that the ‘K’ was painted in that spot as a compromise to point somewhat towards the high school, but still be able to be seen a bit from main roads.
“Well you can’t see it from nowhere,” he argued. “Maybe we ought to put a giant lazy Susan up there and let it rotate around.”
I told him that would cost too much.
“Well don’t be surprised if it moves in the middle of the night. I might just get up there and repaint it myself,” he said.
I told him I didn’t know how he’d do that. Elmer is a bit long in the tooth and I said I didn’t think he could make the climb.
“Well, someone screwed up,” he said in exasperation.
“You can’t please everyone,” I told him suggesting that he needed to file a complaint with the city if he felt that strongly about it.
“Well, just like in Warshington, when you try to compromise it all goes to heck,” he said as he walked out the door.