Are you not entertained?

God Of War

The original Super Bowl. Image by Sean Molin courtesy of Flickr

My house was ‘destroyed’ as one guest so delicately put it just before leaving on Sunday. We’d hosted a Super Bowl viewing party and toys and chips ground into a fine dust under a stampede of little feet covered the floors. My memory from the time we used to host this party before children is foggy, but at times like these, I wonder if the mess was once easier to clean up when it consisted of only left-over red plastic cups and the occasional “party-foul” carpet spots.

The following day was a struggle. Why, oh why, isn’t the Super Bowl on a Saturday? I complained to everyone and no one in particular. Silly Allie. Do you really think an organization accused of minimizing studies on the impact of concussions on its employees really cares that you have to work with a potential hangover the next day? The question you should be asking is, were you not entertained?

The party had been fun for the most part, even if the team I was rooting for lost. Snacks were warm, beverages, cold, and the chairs were full of friends and family. In fact, the only thing, shy of the loss, I hadn’t enjoyed was a string of commercials about children born nine months after the Super Bowl. Eww. Sorry, that was a song no parent should be comfortable watching their child sing, especially not in front of such a big audience.

But, my hostess duties prevented me from watching it all, and apparently others saw something in the program that I missed. Oh my gosh. Did you see what Beyoncé was wearing during the halftime show? I couldn’t believe it either. All that money and she can’t find pants that fit. No, it’s not that. I hear she hates pants. She’s so anti-pants she won’t even so much as wear a skirt. That’s how much she hates pants. Maybe she’s just really proud of her legs? If I had legs like that, I’d promote them too and why aren’t you talking about Flint? Flint, as in Michigan? What does Flint have to do with Beyoncé or her pants?

Well, since you brought it up, let’s talk about Flint. When I hear the word Flint, I don’t instantly think crisis, although the thought quickly follows. Flint, to me, is a house a short distance from an automotive plant with a basement that was once stocked with carpentry tools, a sunroom that opens to cool summer breezes as no other artificial air conditioning is needed, and an older couple who once choose to raise a family there rather than in another town just up the road. The same couple who now stubbornly refuse to come south no matter how much my mom begs.

I started to pay attention to the water crisis when I learned that my brother-in-law arranged for bottled water to be sent from states away to my grandparents’ home before he would bring his daughters to visit. He wasn’t the last either. A cousin sounded the alarm, well before the current media storm, across all her social media. Her friends, anxious to do anything at all to help, but at a loss as to exactly how, sent bottles upon bottles more. It is a truly sweet gesture, and I for one appreciate the thought as well as their generosity, but just as the decision to switch Flint’s water from Detroit was likely made with best intentions (but not enough homework), the quick solution wound up creating a different sort of problem. Water is heavy, and once delivered, is difficult for my grandparents to move to where it can actually be used. So the bottles sit.

Now it is winter again, bringing its weather with it. A few years ago, homes near my grandparents lost their roofs under the weight of the unrelenting snow. My grandfather bought a snowthrower, only to have it stolen away. Flint is not new to problems. It is only the scale of the public’s attention that has changed. And yet for all its problems, there are those who continue to call it home for any number of reasons. People like my grandparents who refuse to give up and leave. People like my grandparents’ neighbor who shovels snow-covered sidewalks well beyond his own property line for nothing more than thanks. People who remember the Flint that was and people who still dream of the Flint that could be. People who simply want to drink a glass of water unafraid.

So no. This isn’t a story about pants, or football, or even my house (that rest assured is no longer in ruins). It is a story about people. No matter what team we root for or whether we wear trousers, kilt, or body suit straight out of the nineties, it is good to remember we are all made of water. So let’s try to keep it clean.

And no, in this, I am not entertained.

 

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32 thoughts on “Are you not entertained?

  1. Flint to me is something you use to start a fire. Then again, I’m a very outdoorsy type!

    I debated taking Monday off to celebrate my team’s victory, but if the Super Bowl was on a Saturday (which I’d be in favor of), that would be a moot point, huh? Love it. Let’s start a petition.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I grew up in a small Midwestern city like Flint that had problems the whole town knew about, but no one would fix. My heart goes out to those residents dealing with the dirty water. I hope that this situation, now that the whole world knows about it, is taken care of swiftly. But the fact that it came to this, makes me wonder about the humanity of some of the people running the state of Michigan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is heartbreaking to hear my grandparents talk about it. Flint, as far as I was told, used to be a great place with programs such as free education for adults among other incentives. Now its homes, once great investments, are now considered worthless and the whole situation makes me feel so helpless, so I am glad that people are at least now making an effort, even if it has been a long time coming.

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  3. I have to admit as I read this I saw an essay with many twists, any of which could have been a blog on its own. I was waiting to see how it all fit together and you delivered.

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    • There are some very complicated issues which need to be dealt with, and so I thought a piece with twists and tangents was appropriate. I am glad you were satisfied with the ending.

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    • There seriously needs to be an accountability as this should never have happened and should never, ever happen to anyone else ever again, but right now I am more concerned about just getting the problem fixed.

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  4. I feel so sorry for the people in Flint. Really crazy that this hasn’t been fixed by now. I thought we lived in America. Sorry about the Super Bowl. I didn’t host, and I felt a little bad for the people who did. But we cleaned up afterward, for the most part. I too wondered why Beyonce wasn’t wearing anything on her bottom half and was uncomfortable by that super bowl baby commercial. Yeah, who wants to think about their parents doing that? Why not Superbowl Saturday? I agree! Superbowl Mondays are rough!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Flint situation is painful.

      I am more optimistic about my team’s chances next year. On the positive side, I don’t have another party planned for months so my house might just stay that way for a bit. Wait. What? There might be a snow day coming up? Shoot. There goes that plan.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. So much we could say about Flint. I went to school in a town about 45 minutes away. My dad worked in the shop (retired now). I remember when I was a kid, when the teacher asked the class who worked in the automotive plants, pretty much everyone raised their hand. Now no one works there anymore. And I look at the city, not just the water, but everything–the empty houses, the crime–and it all just makes me sad. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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  6. I cannot imagine how distressing this particular issue is to you and your family. We have a tendency to watch stories of other people’s hardships in a detached fashion via TV. It’s quite another thing when it’s happening to us. Thanks for sharing your story. I hope things resolve themselves in short order for your family and the people of Flint.

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  7. Blimey. This is all a bit sobering for first thing Sunday morning. Read the FAQs. *gulp* I can’t imagine that kind of a restriction. That kind of a knife to your home town. It must be horrendous for them. I imagine there must be a real sense of community though and solidarity between them. The worst water situation I’ve ever had is trekking in the Himalayas I had to use iodine to purify my water constantly. But that was through choice to go there and was limited to the trek. I can’t imagine what it must be like for that to happen to a hole u have loved forever and a day.

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