Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Demolition Derby

Written 5 February, 2008

Demolition Derby

I’m sure my Polish sim neighbors would be delighted to know I, too, have an antisocial side.

Or maybe, being contrary by nature, they wouldn’t be delighted.

In RL I tend to rebel against authority. I once lost a job because I bought a can of rubbing compound and removed the words “Mental Retardation” from the side of an agency van. The vehicle, a shiny new Chevy Astro 15-passenger, was leased to the organization by the Knights of Columbus Mental Retardation Foundation for a dollar a year, and the KoC logo was prominently displayed.

The logo bothered me on principle, but it stuck in my craw in particular because one of my clients had to ride to and from school in the van. She went to a mainstream high school, and was traumatized and stigmatized by having to arrive in a rolling advertisement that proclaimed to all the world that she was retarded.

I didn’t remove the logo on impulse, or for reasons that were anything less than pure. I removed it because the agency wasn’t living up to its own principles, and because it was, darn it, the right thing to do.

I was certain the Knights of Columbus had never even considered the potential effect of their logo on their vans, so I brought the matter up— repeatedly—at the home office of my agency. Both my supervisor and the agency’s director at first assured me they would take the matter up with the KoC, and later assured me they had, but I knew they were lying. And so I went to the auto parts store and spent a dollar for a tin of rubbing compound and got a soft cloth and rubbed that logo right off. The white paint of the van was unblemished underneath; it was as if the logo had never been there.

I was sure I would lose my job, but I figured it was worth it. I had no doubt I was doing the right thing.

I did lose my job—sort of— and it was darn well worth it. Four years later, in another part of the state, I saw a KoC van full of mentally retarded adults. The words Mental Retardation were conspicuously missing from the logo on its side.

As I had known would happen, my action forced the agency to go to the Knights of Columbus and explain that an employee had “vandalized” the van (how appropriate, "van" dalized). And the KoC had asked why, and the agency had had to tell them, and the KoC had been aghast and had taken action and removed the words from every one of the dozens or even hundreds of vans in their leased fleet.

But I did have to eventually find another job. (Officially, I was laid off for 30 days and told upon my return that it had been necessary to fill my position. So I went behind the Director’s back and got myself rehired and worked for months while looking for and finding a better job.

Maybe I was a hero. Or maybe I just like to vandalize vans.

The latter is a distinct possibility, for in Second Life, I am drawn, and not in a good way, to UPS trucks.

Now, UPS doesn’t require young retarded women to ride around in vehicles sporting Mental Retardation signs, so I don’t have anything against them except for the way they mutilated that package that time. It’s just that freebie UPS truck. It does something to me.

I love to set it afire and make it burn and smoke. Then I hoist it 20 or 30 meters into the air, turn it temporary (VERY important) and physical, unlink it, and stand back to watch the action.

The van comes apart like a doll won at a carnival and falls onto the ground in a million pieces. Well, about 30 pieces. Van body. Cab. Wheels. Axles. Headlights. Taillights. Doors. Windshields. They roll around like crazy, covering hundreds of square meters of space.

And then they disappear.

That’s why it’s so important to set them to temp. If you forget, you have to track down and eradicate dozens of tiny parts, all of which are named, of course, Object. It’s worse than a roach hunt. I’m sure there are axles and taillights scattered about Pele, left over from that time I trashed a truck at Boofhead Oh’s art studio, which is 700 meters above the ground, without first setting it to temp.

As a form of amusement, I highly recommend trashing UPS trucks.

And it won’t cause you to lose your job.


Corgi said...

Frag that, you ARE a hero. And that was brilliantly non-destructive (I'll have to remember that 'rubbing compound' stuff).

[standing ovation]

Cheyenne Palisades said...

:) Thanks, Corgi!

Melissa Yeuxdoux said...

That is a wonderful story, and I agree... you are a hero.