Humor - The Mark of Zorro Doesn't Hold an Open Flame Essay

The Mark of Zorro Doesn’t Hold an Open Flame

It has been a problem in our fair town of Marysville recently, that people with very bad handwriting have been leaving their signatures all over town. In scientific circles, we call this annoying.

It’s not a pretty thing to have badly written block letters and squiggles all over the signs we need to read—you know, speed limit signs, school zone signs, beer sale signs. And it’s all because these silly people have some compulsive need to write their “tags” (translated into proper English as “the stupid person’s legacy”) on whatever they can find. Kind of like Zorro with an attitude (and a rap sheet).

A “tagger” will use whatever he or she can find to get their “tag” seen by “everyone possible.” They seem to think it’s a “cool” way to find “immortality” via “destruction” of private “and” public property. Often placing them in such highly visible places such as behind buildings and on dumpsters where janitors for centuries to come will see the cryptic scrawl and think of the greatness of the writers’ minds. Uh, yeah.

Now, there are some very interesting things I’ve picked up via my sources (I can’t name these sources for you because I couldn’t come up with enough names that would sound believable). Needless to say, the information gleaned from these sources will help me fill out the word count requirement for today’s column.

The first thing I found out is that most of the taggers are from the local schools. Mostly middle school and high school. While not in gangs per se, they are absolute jerks. I blame school, peers, parents, the judicial system, global warming, and the housing crisis. (Also reality shows, personal hygiene commercials, trans fats, and credit card companies.)

Who knows why these kids do it? But there is a really easy way to find out who’s doing it. Just check out their lockers. The perps will definitely have the marking utensils they use in there and are bound to have several samples of their tags. (Hey, lockers are school property, right? What? Many schools don’t provide lockers any more and kids carry back packs and rolling luggage to tote their books? Okay, stop filling my head with useless reality. I’ve got a humor column to write here.)

Some cities have taken to writing things next to the graffiti such as “…is a loser” or “…uses far too many quotation marks.” This, unbelievably, worked for them. The same with setting a wall aside just for graffiti “artists” to use for their creative release. But our city is looking into turning all spray paint and markers into Over The Counter items. Now, if this were a cartoon world, that might be highly effective, just like it was with keeping cigarettes out of kids hands and keeping cough medicine out of the possession of druggies. Good idea, lawmakers of la-la-land

All in all, it’s not that big of a deal. I have been a victim of these terrible, malicious, intolerable dolts (oh, I hate them so much, but I digress). I simply used turps to remove the ink. It worked great! I’m not sure why so many people would rather try to paint over the offending marks instead of just obliterating them with solvent. I’ve known solvent to get rid of entire small cars when used properly. And by “properly” I mean in massive excess with the application of open flame. It’s quite impressive.

I truly hope that those miscreants are captured soon. Maybe they can be sent to do community service. LOTS and LOTS of community service since it’s the community they have been really cheesing off over the last few years.

Oh, for the good ol’ days of chain gangs and canings.

Okay, not really. I don’t want a lot of letters telling me how vile it is to want to actually punish a juvenile delinquent. Goodness knows that we shouldn’t provide any discipline for them if their parents won’t. You remember what Doctor Spock wrote in his wonderfully misguided book on child rearing: “It’s life, Jim, but not as we know it.” And I think that says it all.

There are so many lingering problems with youths, the middle-aged, and elderly. Is there no end to the delinquency? Although I think elderly delinquents can be a whole lot funnier than the juvenile sort. For one thing, they get the reference to Zorro I made earlier. For another thing, in public, many of them look too innocent to be blamed for anything. But, in their private time, one of them may actually be Zorro (or, at least, think he is). You never know.

So, there you have it, all the information you could possibly have thought irrelevant about graffiti in Our Town. What can be done about it? Where will it turn up next? Is Zorro responsible, and if so, which one; Douglas Fairbanks or Antonio Banderas? We may never know.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have to go do some community service.


I thought I’d give you a little update on the graphiti situation.

I am temporarily staying in a place called Lowell. It is part of Everett, WA and is a little less scary than where I stayed in Marysville.

There is, however, a much higher rate of doodlebug drawings in Everett.

Here, they will tag anything that isn’t moving: parked cars, fences, houses, old people standing on the corner waiting to cross the street.

A new building was going up in an area south of me and someone tagged the foundation. When they put up the water barrier paper and covered the tag, the tagger came back and tagged the water barrier paper. I’m happy to say that they finally put the fill dirt around the foundation and covered the tag altogether.

And the tagger tagged the chainlink fence.

There is no limit to the stupidity of people who tag.

I know that it doesn’t seem very damaging, but when you look at it in another light, you see how dangerous it can be. Tagging is territory marking. Most people do it to get recognition, but in some places, it is a gang’s way of saying, “This is our property,” even though they have tagged someone else’s property.

Yeah, makes complete sense, huh? It’s like stealing something without actually removing it from where it is.

There is a yellow dumptruck which has been sitting in the same place for the past two years and was just fine–no one ever bothered it–until a few months ago. Then, someone tagged it and someone else tagged over that tag and then the original tagger, not to be outdone, tagged over THAT tag. The thing is beginning to look a bit like a Jackson Pollock painting.

Don’t know who that is? Look it up. Wish I could make money by throwing paint against stuff and calling it art. Wait! Is that what taggers are doing? Am I wrong about them looking for territory and prestige? Are they just trying to artistically express themselves and are misunderstood like Van Gough?

Silly me! What was I thinking? No. They’re just stupid jerks. I was right the first time.

Complete and utter jerks.

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