Sludge, Mike Baron


Kim and I set out to see Batman at the Carmike, which lies across the railroad tracks behind Karate West. The city’s revising Mason Street with new rails and a commercial bus line and the whole city has been a clusterfuck since May when they started the Repairs. Every year, the same streets, the same repairs, and the construction crews don’t communicate with one another so it sometimes seems as if the city has become a giant rat maze, at least for drivers.

We were on foot. We crossed the tracks and saw that the City has blocked off the pedestrian bridge over the ditch. “Come on,” Kim said, leading the way by climbing between the plastic yellow ribbons strung across each end. Plastic yellow ribbons that said, DO NOT CROSS. It was about 96 out, which caused the black ink on the yellow plastic ribbons to turn into crankcase engine oil. Mere seconds after climbing through the final strand I noticed the heavy gray sludge on my arm and legs. Likewise Kim.

We spent some time in the men’s room cleaning up.

The movie was good.

On the way back we steered around the fateful bridge and as we neared the sidewalk a well upholstered city employee with a yellow hard hat and coveralls on approached us with a twinkle in her eyes.

“Uh-huh. I saw you boys go across that bridge. Now you know why we put those ribbons up.”