Monday, June 16, 2008

Malden Monday: Insights

So, this blog is something of an attempt to learn about my new home, Malden. I've approached it as a volunteer, an engaged citizen, a consumer and a historian. I've taken on the public works department (if you google "Malden trash" I'm on the first page of hits--my claim to fame!).

My attempts to get to know this city are ongoing.

One area I haven't been able to penetrate is the Malden mind, particularly the mind of the youth. What are they thinking as they hang out in front of the pizza shop at the end of my street? Why do they call each other on their cell phones while standing across the street from each other, instead of crossing the street and talking face-to-face (true story)? As Patrick asked me the other day, is the logical progression of Malden fashion to one day simply carry one's pants in one's hands?

As I've posted before, there is a serious trash problem in my neighborhood. For days after trash collection bits of wrappers, plastic bottle caps, chicken bones, and papers come blowing into our yard. True, this does give me some insight to Malden's consumption habits. But usually this debris doesn't provide me with a peek into the head of the average Maldonian.

Until now.

Behold, the first piece of evidence.

Wondrous! I've examined this scrap at great length, calling in friends and family to help me decipher its meanings. Some insights and points for further exploration:
  • This is clearly the work of someone still in school, as it is written on a piece of a text book. Huzzah! Maybe now I can begin to understand why Malden's teen girls wear winter jackets that end at their ribcage, leaving the middle of their torso exposed to the elements.
  • Maybe the author--let's call them Teen A--broke the recipient's--Teen B--mother's bed, and needs to reimburse the family. Why has the price gone up?
  • Maybe Teen A is buying Teen B's mother's bed for themselves. Why would Teen B go and play them like that?
  • Perhaps Teen A's math teacher gave a homework assignment that required them to write their own word problem.
  • Why are teens dealing in beds anyway?
  • I can't tell you how much it pains me that the note is cut off like this. What did Teen B say?????
Any theories are appreciated.

* If you can't read that, it says, "Yo first you say save 150$ so I could pay for your moms bed then your tellin me keep saving for that bed then you say"


Traci said...

As part of the team called in to decipher - I've been waitng for this. Yea!

hunnybunny said...

This is absolutely fantastic! Your blog hasn't been updating in my Bloglines, stupid bloglines. You should start seeking out these notes and could make a book of just Malden's trash. That would be an even better claim to fame.

Stacey said...

I like your scrapbook idea, though I'm too much of a germophobe to keep a book full of trash around the house. But maybe I'll continue to document what I find here on the site.

John Brownlee said...

The most plausible theory, to me: this is indeed part of a homework assignment, some math word problem, except the teen in question doesn't know the answer, and so is irately trying to quibble about the semantics of the question.

But believing it's really a letter passed between two bed-breaking conspirers is the more SATISFYING theory.

Stacey said...

I don't know. I like the idea of some kid's mother having her bed sold while she's at work. To another kid, no less! And for only $150!

Amanda said...

Have you ever looked at FOUND magazine? I think you'd like it.

Mary said...

Love it. I get the feeling, though, that Malden's trash problem isn't unique. We just moved to town from Beacon Hill (ooh, snooty!), and I have to say our old street was just as litter-strewn as our new one. Must be a Northeastern thing; I grew up in the South and it wasn't like this down there. What boggles my mind is the fact that anyone litters in the first place. I mean, seriously -- who just drops their trash on the ground? WTF?

Stacey said...

I agree, Mary. I truly can't think of the last time I littered. It just doesn't make sense--who does that anymore?