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The Beav asks: Do city fathers know best?

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POSTED January 18, 2014 1:04 a.m.

Maytecafield. It’s the perfect, idyllic community.

Everyone has a two-story, 1,800-square-foot home with a one-car garage on heavily landscaped 9,000-square-foot lots.

The lamp post-lined streets never have speeders. There’s not a speck of graffiti nor weeds in tidy neighborhoods and it’s rare when someone doesn’t park their cars in their garage. There is no need for affordable housing because everyone is middle class.

Stay-at-home moms are the norm. Dad drives to work in town and wears his business suit from dawn to dusk on work days. And when dad needs to make a repair around the home, he goes down to the Maytecafield Hardware where clerks actually know what they’re talking about.

There are hardly any fires in Maytecafield, which is why you always see Gus polishing the one fire engine in the one fire house.

The Cleavers are a typical Maytecafield family. Let’s eavesdrop on one of their typical Tuesday nights at home in front of the TV set while dad — that’s Ward —  is getting ready to talk civic responsibility with his sons Wally and the Beav while watching the Maytecafield City Council on TV much to the chagrin of mom June.

JUNE: “Ward, I don’t think it is a good idea to let the boys watch that TV show.”

WARD: “Why not? They’re old enough to learn about government and how it works and how our elected leaders work together to solve problems to build a better community for families that are here and ones that will come here some day.”

JUNE: “Ward, I don’t think it is wise to let other people move here. It would ruin Maytecafield. Why we might get more stores, a performing arts center — and you know how risqué those places can be — and more economic activity and jobs. Can you imagine what would happen to our streets if people could afford two cars and there was too much for them to do outside of their homes? It could get crazy. Our world of dinner on the table at 6 with all four of us seated and talking about the day’s events could be gone forever. But then again, growth may not be that bad because I’d like to see the boys to be able to stay in town after they get out of school, get married and raise their families here.”

WARD: “Hon, you worry too much. You know very well that when the boys grow up they’ll magically be able to get good paying jobs that’ll be within six blocks of a home they’ll be able to buy for $3,000 . That’s because every time someone turns 18 in Maytecafield and gets ready to move out some family completely disappears from the face of the earth to make that home available. The only reason people want to build homes in Maytecafield is to attract other people from the other side of Maytecafield Pass. All they want to do is destroy our idyllic little town where there’s no crime, no unemployment, and no poverty. Our streets never wear out, we have all the shopping opportunities anyone will ever need, and there’s no reason to leave town unless you go on vacation. It’s almost 7 o’clock. I’m going to call the boys in.”

With that, dad calls out for Wally and the Beav. Like any typical Maytecafield High senior, Wally was upstairs doing his homework while wearing his school sweater. The Beav was outside working on his soap box derby entry for the annual Maytecafield Cub Scout Jamboree.

WARD: “Boys, do you know why I called you in here.”

WALLY: “Gee, Dad, you’re going to make us watch that boring twice-a-month show?”

WARD: “No, Wally, it is live coverage of the Maytecafield City Council meeting.”

WALLY: “What’s the difference, Dad?”

WARD: “Never mind. Let’s just watch and listen.”

BEAV: “Dad, why is that guy accusing the council of destroying Maytecafield by allowing more homes to be built? Doesn’t Eddie Haskell’s uncle work in construction building homes? How will he support his family if he can’t build homes?”

WALLY: “Yeah, Dad. What about Susie Bay and her family? They wouldn’t have been able to move here if Eddie’s parents didn’t buy a new home and they bought their old home. And aren’t they a client of yours?”

WARD: “Well .... Let’s just listen, boys. There’s another citizen getting up to talk.”

BEAV: “Dad, why is she saying developers are bad? I thought you told us men like Antoine Bailey and the folks who run the Maytecafield Savings & Loan were the heart and soul of Maytecafield because of all the good things they’ve done like build the Boys & Girls Club for us kids, establish free tutoring through Give Every Child a Chance so Ernie can do better in school, and help build churches?”

WARD: “Well, Beav, um . . . . Look there’s Mr. Scrooge getting up to talk right now.”

JUNE: “Why is Mr. Scrooge saying it was a waste for the City Council to spend $1 million on an aerial fire truck? Why does the city have an aerial fire truck?”

WARD: “They should never have bought the truck. We need more police enforcing curfew. It’s alarming the number of kids you’re starting to see out on the streets at 7 o’clock on a school night. They have money for fire engines and workers to keep the streets perfect and tidy but they don’t have money to hire more police officers to ticket people for parking too long down in front of the Maytecafield Hardware Store.”

BEAV: “But Dad, Gus told me the aerial fire truck was needed to fight fires at some of the buildings we already have and that it will help protect new employment centers that open in Maytecafield. He said out city fathers were smart to prepare for that. Dad, don’t you always tell Wally and me to plan ahead?”

WARD: “That’s different, son.”

BEAV: “And why does the council say they’re worried about building more interchanges?”

WARD: “I honestly couldn’t tell you, son. Nobody in their right mind is ever going to commute 20 miles to make 20 percent more money than they can right here in Maytecafield. Let’s turn off the TV and talk about what we’ve just seen. Wally, you go first.”

WALLY: “Gosh, Dad. If Maytecafield doesn’t grow and everyone else does the same, where are all of the people going to go?”

WARD: “What people, son?”

WALLY: “You know, Dad. People like Eddie, the Beav and me. When we grow up and have families we’re going to have kids and need a place to live unless you and mom are going to allow us to move in here with you guys.”

JUNE: “Yes, honey, where are they going to go?”

WALLY: “And it’s just not us kids in Maytecafield. There are kids all across the country who are growing up and are going to have families. You don’t think the government should do like they do in China and limit us to one kid do you? We read about that in Mrs., Harrington’s social studies class. If that were the case you guys could never have had the Beav.”

BEAV: “Gee willikers! You mean I’m the cause of all of the junk you guys don’t like about growth in Maytecafield?”

WARD: “Not exactly, Beav. It’s not our family. It’s other people. Our world is perfect and they’re just messing things up for us.”

WALLY: “By wanting a better life, you mean?’

BEAV: “And by having babies?”

WARD: “That’s not exactly what I meant either. That’s enough for today’s civics lesson. Hey, there’s some daylight out there. Let’s do something that doesn’t have anything to do with growth and politics in Maytecafield. How would you boys like to go to Woodward Park and toss the old cowhide around?”

BEAV: “But Dad didn’t growth and politics make the park possible?”

WARD: “Ok, uh .. how about going by Bass Pro Shops and checking out the fishing equipment?”

WALLY: “Dad didn’t growth and politics get us Bass Pro Shops?”

WARD: “Well, uh, it’s not... Hey what if we go over to the Big League Dreams sports complex and  toss the old rawhide around.”

BEAV: “You mean the place the council and everyone spent years arguing about and then built with money that’s essentially from growth?”

Ward turns to June with an exasperated look on his face.

JUNE: “I guess you’re lucky you’re not auditioning for the lead role in ‘Father Knows Best,’ dear.”



This column is the opinion of executive editor, Dennis Wyatt, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Bulletin or Morris Newspaper Corp. of CA.  He can be contacted at dwyatt@mantecabulletin.com or 209-249-3519.

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