Pet Peeves

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Designs on You

by Mark D. Crantz
by Mark D. Crantz

I was sitting in my living room reading the Indy article  “Let Laguna Live.”  The column written by Michael Ray points out the difficulties residents have going through the city’s Design Review Board. I was halfway through when there was a knock on the door.  “Who’s there?” The visitor answered, “Design Review. Open up.”  I hesitated when seconds later inspiration hit.  “My parents aren’t home.  Come back later.”  The visitor huffed, “Quit fibbing, Crantz.  We got a big thick file on you.  Your parents ran away from home years ago.  Our information says they couldn’t stand you.  We can’t either.  Nobody wants you on Laguna’s Historic Residency list.  Your presence is offensive.  By the authoritative powers vested to us by the Mills Act you have taxed our patience for the last time.  You are being relocated to Barstow. Your parents have requested to be relocated out of Barstow before your arrival.  Happy trails to all of you.”

Before I knew what hit me, I was on a relocation bus to Barstow.  There were 30 of us who had run afoul of Design Review.  I asked, “Will there by an in-service meal?” Nobody answered.  “What about at in-flight movie?”  Several passengers moved up several rows to get away from me. What the heck?  “Hey folks, I’m just trying to be neighborly.”  A fellow passenger whispered, “Don’t say anything. We think the bus is bugged.”  I scratched my head or tried to.  I came up short due to the restraints.  This is ridiculous, I thought.  I screamed, “Alexa save me.  I didn’t change anything on my house.  It’s all a big misunderstanding.  Run a carbon dating test on my house paint.  I haven’t painted or changed anything since the original greeter waved me a welcome.”  (Silence.)  Geez, where’s big sister when you need her?

We bumped along on our way to new sanctuary.  I stewed over losing my home when I had so thoroughly neglected it. How had I crossed up the Design Review Board?  I looked up and caught the eyes of the bus driver in the rearview mirror.  I knew those eyes.  They were so familiar.  Somebody famous, I thought.  Then it hit me.  Tom Cruise was driving the bus.  It made no sense.  Stars don’t drive.  How bad could show biz have gotten for Cruise to be an Uber driver?

Cruise said to me, “Don’t ask.  You can’t go to the bathroom.  You’ll have to wait.”  I said, “How did you know that I had to go?”  Cruise answered, “The Precogs told me you were thinking about it.  The same Precogs that told us you were going to update your home without Design Review approval.  It’s all laid out in their “Minority Report.”


Crantz tells the Indy that his new Barstow home is a ‘McMansion’ right down to the drive up windows. 







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