It was a squirrel

Yes; the blame falls on the squirrel nearly every time anybody’s power goes out anywhere in Austin. If it’s always a squirrel, then why are we spending so much time and money on squirrel guards? Ah! But it’s not always a squirrel. Sometimes, we’re told, the power goes out because a tree branch was in some way involved. This explanation usually precedes renewed attempts to clear-cut an entire neighborhood, leveling every bit of vegetation to a height as close to the ground as possible.

And when there’s an overflow in a wastewater line (read “sewage”), it’s usually attributed to household coooking grease. Although sometimes the named culprits are some of those many, many bad, bad, children who spend their time removing manhole covers and then throwing rocks down the opening. It’s never, ever because the wastewater lines are inadequate to the demands placed upon them, or because they’re outmodedand worn out, or because they run right in the creek beds or are suspended over them.

We can know where to lay blame by reading those tiny items on page two in the Metro section of the local daily, which faithfully prints the press releases that the City issues.

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