I am sure that there were many times during his trek to the North Pole that Admiral Peary had occasion to remark on the vista ahead being the “utter frozen limit.” But then, three days later, there would be more. As we have dealt with the monkeyshines of our intolerabuddies, I have used that expression (UFL) on more than one occasion. And then, three days later, it becomes apparent to me (once again) that our love-of-the-coders have a seemingly endless supply of exasperation for regular people.
Before I settle into a few moments of self amusement based on the latest, just in, let me express (in all seriousness) my condolences to the long-suffering staff of our city, who are burning up lots of taxpayer money while having to respond to these trivial complaints. Yes, I know that it is my doings about town that are provoking all these energetic and boorish complaints to the city, and I have racked my brain about anything that I could just stop doing that would cause the complaints to cease and desist. But unfortunately, the only thing that I have been able to put in that category is breathing.
That said, let me bring you all up to speed. T’other day, yet one more complaint was filed with the City of Moscow asking them to investigate 32 instances of people in our churches (Christ Church and Trinity Reformed Church) boarding NSA students, without, mind you, conditional use permits. The complaint assumes that the city’s authoritative reach is broad because they included on the list a number of homes from the county outside the city limits, including one in Potlatch, about fifteen miles to the north of us. But nobody in Canada has been affected though.
Sometimes, when talking to my wife and daughters about Jane Austen, and I am not changing the subject here, I feel like Bertie Wooster talking to Jeeves about Spinoza. I will say something like, who wazzit that said something, maybe in Pride and Prejudice or something, about you don’t want me to laugh and all, and yet you are provoking me to it every minute? You know? And my wife will say that was Elizabeth talking to Jane. And I will say ahh. That’s what this is like. People complain about my jolly d’vivre in debate, as a macaronic observer of the human condition might say, and they don’t like it when I have a little fun while defending the right of NSA college students to not have to sleep in the rain. So people don’t want me to say things that make people snort while reading about it, and yet . . . and this is the unfair part . . . they do things like this. They are provoking me all the time, and putting me, as Austen would say, quite out of countenance.
So let me just say this. Moscow has a little over 20,000 people in it. About half of that is made up of college students at the UI. 10,000 is probably low, but let’s go with it. NSA has about 130 students. Let’s say that all of them are boarders in some sense (for the sake of argument, if you want to call this latest imbroglio an argument) because the complaint does not just include students boarding with families. It also includes a single man with a room-mate, and a group of single girls sharing an apartment. With the net cast this wide, we can get everybody. So let’s max it out, and say that every last NSA student is boarding somehow, somewhere. And let us also assume a low percentage of UI students living off-campus. Does ten percent work for you? Okay, about thousand students out there in town, paying rent like there was no tomorrow! Since our love-of-the-coders could not possibly be animated by anything like Religious Bigotry (let’s call it a little R&B), this whole thing is a marvel, a miracle. They went out into the town of Moscow to find out where all the boarding turmoil was coming from, and they made a list, and lo! every name on the list just happens to be connected with the same institution that this particular group has been professionally harassing for the last several years, and none of the boarding fiends from the UI were on the list. I mean, around ten percent of the total cases constitute one hundred percent of the list on the complaint? But it must be a coincidence, because if it really were a little more R&B, they would have done a little more to hide what they were doing. I mean, this is so flagrant that if they were smart . . . oh, never mind.
But wait! I have been using the word boarder in far too cavalier a sense — really, I have. I mean, what is a boarder? Are room-mates boarders? Out of a couple of lesbian roomies, which one is the boarder? Does a lease make a boarder? How about a family’s nephew from Alabama? Second cousin from Ohio? Are foreign exchange students attending Moscow High boarders? Can a UI student even be a boarder, even if he attends Christ Church and believes in the basic rudiments of Calvinism? Or would it just be NSA students who are capable of this foul outrage? The more we ask the questions, the more the answers just fade away from us, like the mists of Lothlorien.