Here’s the FREE WHITEWATER list of the scariest things in Whitewater. I’ll start in reverse order, from least frightening to super-scary.
10. Fear of Outsiders. You’d think that Milwaukee and Madison were Lord-of-the-Flies nightmares. If you’re describing someone from another country, you might as well be describing an extraterrestrial. It’s not that they’re scary, it’s that you’re afraid of them.
9. Mosquitoes. Squadron after squadron, swooping down upon you. They’re parched, and you’re just Gatorade® to them.
8. Squirrels. They only look innocent. They’re small, fast moving, silent killers. Whitewater has an ordinance against injuring squirrels; I can assure you that squirrels have no similar ordinance against attacking people.
7. College Students. I don’t think they’re scary, but quite a few of the entrenched town clique think they’re little monsters. Perhaps, somewhere in town, there’s a councilman sitting in his bed, curled into a ball, shivering at the thought of students running lose in the city.
6. Pratt Institute. Whitewater was once a center for ‘spiritualism,’ the crackpot notion that people could use crystal balls, or séances, etc. to talk to the dead. They had the arrogant notion that, through their for-fee training, they could distinguish between good and bad spirits, and engage the former, and manage the latter. Some people may think that all these spirits are the reason Whitewater’s such a mess now, but I doubt that. The fault is our own lack of vigilance over the living, not the dead.
5. The Bypass. Nothing scares a business owner more than the realization that hundreds of consumers can easily and conveniently circumvent the city. Years ago, some people foolishly thought that the bypass would benefit the city by reducing congestion. It didn’t reduce congestion; it reduced ordinary consumer traffic through town.
4. Our Former Municipal Judge. Disgraced, perpetual vulgarian Steve Spear may never leave; he told attendees at a Kiwanis meeting this summer that he was thinking of running again. He’s not the one who should run; you should run, as far away from Spear as you can.
3. The Whitewater Register. Only Pravda was worse. Carrie Dampier writes poorly, with a tired bias in favor of the worst, stodgiest, most selfish faction in the city. We don’t have a community newspaper – we have a weekly press release for the status quo. It’s not right that countless trees should be ground into pulp for this unworthy purpose. Feel free to contact the Sierra Club at 415-977-5500 and complain.
2. Poverty. We must be afraid of poverty and the poor, because as a community we seldom dare speak of a poverty rate higher than neighboring communities. The poor are the only group in the city capable changing a conversation with the town clique: mention poverty, and suddenly the whole room’s looking for an exit, or asking about the Packers, the weather in Mongolia, anything.
1. Our Current Police Chief. Here’s the number one fright for 2007. We have one of the least honest, least capable police chiefs this side of …. well, Mongolia, I suppose. That’s certainly scary.
All across America, thousands of police officers do diligent work each day. Someday, someone will lead this force properly, and he’ll have heroic work ahead of him, to fix the force that Jim Coan and his ilk will leave behind. Until that better day, their failed leadership is the scariest, saddest part of life in Whitewater for 2007.