8 July 2008
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EVERYBURG, West Virginia -- Plans are underway to redesign an area in Rosehill, known locally as "the steps", to discourage young people from sitting on the steps that give the area its nickname.
Not only will the steps be made longer and more shallow to make them an uncomfortable place to sit, but no handrail will be installed, just in case teens decide to lean against the rail that won't be there to prevent them from leaning on it. The town council also plans to chain a rabid dog to the handrails that won't be there, because of a flurry of recent complaints that the local kid (name unknown) who is hobbling around on crutches after being hit by a car has been spending an awfully long time just standing there, weeping uncontrollably.
According to police there have been over one calls to them this year concerning children hanging around the stairs, sitting and talking, their actions casting the entire neighborhood under the shadow of a cloud filled with the pall of despair and lined with the melancholy and gloom of the fear of kids sitting and talking to one another.
Explaining the need for the changes David Callaghan, acting deputy-head of Rosehill town council, said: "The steps are like ready-made seats, but set real low to the ground and covered in bird droppings and that bubblegum that the kids [these days] are so fond of chewin', so changes are afoot to make the area less attractive to kids, a group known to enjoy talkin' while sittin' or leanin' against handrails, dagnabit. Back in my day we didn't have time to 'chill' and 'rap' and 'keep on trucking'. We were too busy polishing shoes and delivering newspapers for such tomfoolery. These days the kids [these days] think they own the place, simply because they've got nowhere else to go, dag-blurndit!"
"We rounded up the local adults, and this was one of the ideas we came up with. Other ideas included getting them jobs in factories and mines, and buying us some of them high-tech robots that are programified to shoo kids away, colsarndit! The neighborhood will be a safer place once we get those dang kids out of well-lit public areas and out to the periphery of society where they belong. That alley over there, fer instance, is perfect. It's got garbage, rats, and that guy in the van with 'Free Candy' scribbled on the side. That'll learn those dang kids! Learn 'em good!"
The decision to give "the steps" a facelift was made by the Rosehill area municipal council after ongoing complaints from residents about anti-social behaviour.
"Them dang kids were always sitting there. Imagine! Kids! Sitting in groups! Talking and bein' social!" said Irma McCorkney, a local resident who last year was successful in her bid to get the council to pave over the playground that used to parallel the steps. "If there is one thing I hate, it's the laughter of children."
The $30,000 plan will be funded in part by the council committee with the remainder coming from the Safer Rosehill Partnership - made up of police, council members, and locals that are desperately scared of nothing in particular and in need someone to blame.
"Tarnation! Those kids are usin' the steps as seats. I cotton that steps are fer steppin', so we gots to be a-changin' them so that those kids these days use 'em for steppin' instead of sittin'. Sure, shallow, handrail-free steps inconvenience us adults just as much as it does them dang kids, but it's the price we have to pay to stop them no good kids hanging around our neighborhood no more. We don't care that they happen to be kids who happen to be from around these parts. I says that makes it more worser, as we know their parents, and them gol-dang parents weren't ain't not up to no good no how fer sure! If the adults [these days] could keep their knees together, we wouldn't have this kid problem in the first place." complained local resident and unemployed father of twelve Corkey "Corkey" McCorkney.
"I fought and died back in the war for the freedom to not have kids sittin' on steps!" continued Corkey, after vigorously shaking his fist at a passing group of Girl Scouts, or 'street gang' as he refers to them. "For years now the young'uns have gathered there during the holidays. They just stand around on them steps, jinglin' bells and singin' Christmas carols. If this keeps up, they'll be ringin' our doorbells and hittin' us up for donations to UNICEF next. You know who UNICEF helps? Kids! Pah!"
"Steps in our neighborhood! Pah! Back in my day we had to walk ten miles in the snow just to sit on some steps. It was all uphill, too. Both ways!" said Irma McCorkney in a spittle-streaming outburst to no one in particular.
"Pah! You kids back in your day had it easy compared to kids back in my day. We couldn't afford steps! Snow, neither. We had to make snowmen out of sawdust and tears! Now gerroff mah lawn! Git!" countered Corkey, shaking a broom.
The steps remained popular among the kids [these days], even after the 2005 opening of a community center designed specifically to appeal to them with such kid-friendly attractions as a ping-pong table (less paddles and balls), an incomplete chess set and a heat-warped stack of Pat Boone albums for the broken record player. The center closed in 2006 due to low attendance. The local children blamed the consistent unpopularity of the center on its 9am-4pm Monday to Friday hours, but the adults know better, as the kids these days, with their X-bozzes and Woos, are prone to fibbing, lying and not telling the truth.
Earlier this year a CCTV camera was installed overlooking the steps, but this did not prove to be enough of a deterrent, as children are used to being watched wherever they go, even when they aren't doing anything wrong.
Pending a budget boost from increased property taxes as well as monetary and legal assistance from state and national levels of government, the council is planning to form a subcommittee to figure out further ways to disenfranchise the kids these days. Dagnabit.