Sunday, October 19, 2008

2008 Nationwide Better Health Columbus Marathon

Bexley city council has time to consider whether six protesters should be banned from the sidewalk in front of a private residence.

Does city council have time to consider why eight porta-johns are blocking the sidewalk in front of my house.

Eight porta-johns.

Eight. Count them.

These green and gray outhouses stood outside our dining room window. Saturday and Sunday.

The eight outhouses mysteriously appeared Saturday morning.

No “By your leave.”

No courtesy notice. If we had guests for dinner on Saturday night, imagine the conversation.

The outhouses appeared with not even a “Wham, bam, thank you ma’am.”

We identified the culprits pretty quickly.

The 2008 Nationwide Better Health Columbus Marathon.

The usual Sunday morning run in the autumn. Always a minor inconvenience if you live on the marathon route. But nothing worth comment.

Usually the night before the run, we park our cars outside the route. We did that again this year. No big deal.

Also in years past, the Sunday of the run, I walk to church a little before eight o’clock and find a gap in the runners to get to the church on the other side of the street.

Danger of collision with the runners adds a little excitement to my walk to church.

Again no big deal and I get a kick out of dodging the runners to get to the other side of Drexel Avenue.

In years past the litter has been no big deal either. The volume of litter is always more than after a football game at Capital University or the Gallery Walk, but in years past, the litter has been nothing major.

This year it was different.

On Saturday when the eight outhouses arrived, neighbors called. Some dropped in to comment on the public toilets in front of our house.

Bexley neighbors are funny so much of the commentary was toilet humor. To be expected.

The real change from prior years was Sunday morning.

A four piece rock and roll band started playing before eight o’clock in the morning.

When I first heard the band, I was still inside the house. My first thought was that I was hearing the braying of jack asses.

The band was located at the Capital University entrance. The band’s amplifiers were loud. Very loud. Loud even as far north as Saint Albans and as far east as One Dawson Place.

Inside the sanctuary of my church, the rock band was audible.

A theme of the sermon was listening. Paying attention. My attention drifted from the preacher to the music coming from the street.

What does a rock and roll band have to do with a marathon race?

What does a band have to do with a marathon race for better health.

The band remains a mystery and I wonder if the permit issued for the marathon route included morning musical entertainment.

The eight outhouses blocked the public sidewalk in front of our house.

The result was predictable. People walked though our yard to get around the porta-johns.

As the race went on, toilet paper began to litter the grass in front of the eight porta-johns. To avoid the toilet paper, people ventured further into our yard.

The eight outhouses were not enough. My wife reports that at one point, there were thirty people in line waiting to use the outhouses.

Why was my front yard selected for the public toilets? There are more suitable locations near by.

One hundred and thirty yards from my house and still on the marathon route is a Capital University field. It is on East Main Street from Drexel Avenue to College Avenue. Wouldn't this be a more suitable location for a public toilet than a private residence?

And my favorite for an alternate location is also on Main Street. In front of the city administration building.

The workers for the outhouse company arrived early Sunday afternoon to tidy up. They were apologetic about the litter. One of the workers said the litter was more extensive at the outhouses near the Governor’s Mansion on Parkview.

Subtle that hint that when it comes to outhouses, I’m playing in the same league as the Governor. Of course, the Governor has his anti-capital punishment protesters in addition to the outhouses. I have only eight porta-johns to endure.

Six of the porta-johns have been taken away by two o’clock Sunday afternoon. Two unwelcome protesters remain in front of my house blocking the public sidewalk.

The marathon is almost over for another year.

Opinion by the WCRX-LP Editorial Collective.

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Steve said...

One word, relax. It is one weekend out of your life. No damage was done to your property and the people who put them there returned and cleaned up. We are lucky enough to live somewhere that has events like this marathon and because of that each one of us has to deal with these inconveniences
from time to time.

WCRX-LP Editorial collective said...

Roger Lee Holzen comments: " What a convenience for your household dinner guests."