Coffee heat rising

No Escape from the Mayhem…

This just in on the local news wires: a woman hiking in the desert around the residential tract near the Mayo Clinic was attacked and murdered.


Every time I think about how much I love my house but hate the marginal area where I live…how much I dislike Tony’s Home for Delinquent Boys and Girls across the street…how much I hate the constant cop flyovers, the noise from Conduit of Blight Blvd and Gangbanger’s Way, the transient bums, the need to keep every door and window locked…I daydream about moving to Fountain Hills.

The Mayo, replete with the best medical doctors in the county, is located right at Fountain Hills, a suburb of (un)lovely Phoenix. The houses are blandly handsome enough in appearance but cheaply built and elbow-to-elbow — don’t even ask how much it costs to air-condition one of those fine cardboard huts. There is a shopping center out there, but it’s pretty basic: you’d have to drive a ways to go to a first-rate supermarket or Costco or a specialty store of any kind. When my car got a flat while I was at the Mayo, I couldn’t find a gas station with a repair shop out there, not for love nor money.

The truth of the matter, I’m afraid, is what my friends say it is: you can’t get away from the mayhem that characterizes this part of America. Or maybe characterizes all of America. You’ll put yourself at considerable expense to try to escape. But you ain’t a-gunna escape.

And the prices in my favored part of town — a district called North Central — are just crazy! Even given that I could no doubt get a crazy price for my house, moving would cost enough to send me to the poorhouse.

Lookit this thing! That’s not a house: it’s a patio home. It’s smaller than my house. It’s a block from Seventh Street: noise, noise, and incredibly more noise, especially during rush hours. It has no yard. It has no pool. It’s not as nice as my house. It doesn’t have a real stove: just one of those glass-top hot plates.

Very nice, I’d say…if you don’t mind being smushed on top of the neighbors. Anything in the North Central area that’s truly in the same ball park as my house, in terms of size and quality, is waaayyyyy beyond my price range.

The houses in my present tract are cheaper because we’re bordered on the north by Gangbanger’s Way (the southern edge of Sunnyslope, a dangerous slum) and on the west by Conduit of Blight Blvd, also known as the Bum’s Highway. The homes and the neighborhood are quite desirable…but the areas around it ain’t!

SDXB moved to Sun City. He’s happy there. I’ve lived out there and don’t wanna do that again. It’s as far away from the central city (and my son) as Fountain Hills. Where Fountain Hills gets noise from jet passenger planes roaring in to Sky Harbor Airport, Sun City is blasted by racket from fighter jets flying out of Luke Air Force Base. And both venues are too, too far away from where my son lives.

And my son is very strongly opposed to my moving beyond shooting distance from his place.

For that matter, so am I. Of course I like living near where lives. And I like living in the North Central area.

But most of the centrally located neighborhoods are absurdly expensive. My area is within reason only because of the proximity to Conduit of
Blight Blvd (and now that damned train running up and down it!), to blight-ridden Sunnyslope, and to rackety Gangbanger’s Way. Despite those (considerable!) disadvantages, the houses are significantly newer than other structures in North Central (older houses are difficult and expensive to air condition, have weary wiring and leaky plumbing, and hordes of termites hiding inside the walls).

It’s crossed my mind to suggest that he and I trade houses. Then HE could deal with the Romanian Landlord and his disruptive delinquents. But he’d also have to deal with the pool (not bad if you hire a guy to ride herd on it, but my son is not the hired-help type) and the aging air conditioner and the aging landscaping… On the other hand, we could easily borrow enough against this house to pay off his mortgage (though it might be better to have me paying “rent” on his house, thereby making maintenance and repairs on that place at least somewhat tax-deductible….).

Heh! Here’s a thought: I rent his place from him, and he rents my place from me. This makes a WHOLE lot of costs tax-deductible for each of us! And I could still swim in the pool. Hmmmmm…..