Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Harrison County (WV) Receives Prestigious FUGAWE Award

            In recent years, my county has undertaken a task that it should have left alone.  Harrison County, like all others in the state, is implementing a brand new location numbering system that will make emergency 911 response more efficient.  And like the typical government solution for a non-existent problem, it’s as screwed up as government employees can make it.

            Apparently, the old street numbers and rural route box numbers just weren’t adequate for the 911 response system.  Never mind that the mailman found the address.  Never mind that the TV cable guy found the address.  Never mind that the county tax assessor found the address.  Never mind that UPS and FedEx found the address.  Never mind that the utility companies used the old address as the service address.  It doesn’t matter.  The 911 people want their own unique system of house and building numbering.

            The public be damned.  We have to comply.  It’s homeland security, by God, and the SWAT teams and bomb squads don’t have time to read mailboxes.

            The county’s 911 mapping and numbering specialists are hunters—modern-day Nimrods if you will.  The pejorative term, Nimrod, attributed by some sources to Bugs Bunny’s describing Elmer Fudd’s prowess, also describes the 911-ers well. 

            I live on Davisson Run Road which, until now, began at its junction with US 19.  The Nimrods have held a mirror to the road map and reversed my road.  The Nimrods say that Davisson Run Road begins at its junction with US 50.

            The “US 50” they refer to is actually the third incarnation of US 50 which was built in the late 1970s and early 1980s.  The intersection they refer to is actually the junction of Sun Valley Road with US 50, not Davisson Run Road.  Sun Valley Road (also called “old Route 50”) is the second incarnation of US 50 which was built in the 1940s.  Davisson Run Road turns off of Sun Valley Road about ¼ mile from the US 50 intersection.

            Under the old system, the postman began at US 19 and all the buildings on the right (north) side of Davisson Run Road were even-numbered.  The Nimrods have reversed that.  The north side is now the odd-numbered side of the road.

            I did live at 640 Davisson Run Road.  My new address is 2361 Davisson Run Road.  Why?  As it was explained to me, I live 2.36 miles from US 50 and the “1” designates the odd side of the road.

            The Nimrods could care less that I have to notify some 300 people and businesses that I have moved but really haven’t moved.  The Nimrods have the law of the land on their side.

            For the Nimrods, I want to give them a prize—the FUGAWE Award.

            The FUGAWE Award was invented by Col. Glover Johns, the U. S. commander who broke the Berlin blockade in 1961.  Col. Johns would, from time to time, hand out a FUGAWE Award to a junior officer who screwed up royally in a training exercise.  The story behind the name of the award goes like this:

            Prior to the attack on Gen. Custer at Little Big Horn, Sitting Bull gave all of his chiefs explicit instructions on how to attack the US cavalry.  The chiefs then went to their designated places to wait for the signal to attack.  When the signal came, one of the chiefs rode off in the wrong direction.  When he realized he was lost, he stopped and yelled as loud as he could, “Where in the fuck are we?’

            Back at the base camp, Sitting Bull heard only the faint echo of the chief’s cry: “Fugawe.”

            On behalf of myself and all the other peons in Harrison County, I offer the FUGAWE Award to the Harrison County Commissioners, the 911-ers, and any other deserving county employees.

            It’s our way of saying: “We know where we are.  Where in the fuck are you coming from?”