Thursday, November 13, 2008


Rudolpho Austria organizes tennis matches for old folks at Golden Gate Park every morning of the year. It’s referred to as “Rudy’s Group.” It’s strictly volunteer and there’s no money involved except standard court fees. [email me for more info on Rudy's Group.]

Rudy, or “Rudolpho,” as he prefers, performs a service that we might expect of a playground director. Such services are called “programs.”

I once asked a playground director about the “programs” he was required to run. He said,
“Willie, my boss at Park Lodge doesn’t care about programs. I could conduct a hundred programs, or zero… my boss doesn’t care.”
Anyway, the upcoming economic depression will put increasing stress on the public health system. Out-of-work people tend to get depressed and have more physical illnesses.

One cheap solution would be increased recreational programs at our public parks. Instead of staying home consuming pork rinds and Oprah, the out-of-work could get out of the house, get some health-promoting exercise, and socialize with people like themselves.

The only difference between the out-of-work and the folks in Rudy’s Group is that Rudy’s Groupers are unemployed voluntarily.

I think this would be a terrific use of City resources. But it ain’t gonna happen. Why?

Because the Rec and Park employees who would actually do the programs will all be laid off. The remaining Park-Lodgers mostly suffer from a work related partial disability—fat assedness—which renders them unable leave their deskchairs (except for breaks.)

It’s just like City road repair crews, if you’ve ever seen them “at work”: there’s one guy digging in the ground, two guys watching the one guy dig, and two supervisors, who haven’t had a callous in twenty years, watching it all, “supervising.”

So, with the City budget cuts, which member of the road crew gets laid off?

Answer: The guy who actually does the digging. Those remaining now have an official excuse for doing nothing—staffing shortage.

Happy depression!

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