Thursday, June 08, 2006

Confessions of a Bureaucrat

The deeper I sink into the demands of full time employment, longer are my intervals of detachment from those stories that once consumed me and the more impersonal and emotionless my writing becomes. Detachment is necessary from eight to five, a hindrance afterward.

These are challenging days for a North Texan who works in local government public relations. I often find myself seeking mental refuge in that writer's realm where I ink worlds into existence, the very clouds obey me, conflicts have resolution, dark characters have redeeming qualities, and my pen is less of an epee and more of a lightweight foil that carves victorious Z's on behalf of the oppressed.

Public service is an opportunity to protect human rights, restore integrity to government and practice those altruistic qualities that few of us really believe our government officials possess.

Some days, I am the fairy godmother. Others, I am a bureaucrat and a villain. Today was one of those days.

Drought season never retreated last year. It only fell back a few yards, regrouped, and then charged the dry line of scrimmage in a 4-3 defense, breaking into the backfield and sacking any approaching cold air mass that might attempt to shift to the southwest, decrease temperature and humidity and permit a rise in pressure that would usher in -- gasp -- precipitation.

In other words, no rain. It started sprinkling the other day. I can spit more than that! So, I wrote a thunderstorm into my golf screenplay.

Small victory.

Lake levels in north Texas are at record lows and some uninformed and many down right stupid taxpayers demand to know why their public servants weren't prepared with alternative water supplies instead of infrastructure improvements, citywide drought information campaigns and State mandated conservation requirements.

Oops. Silly us. Alternative water. Why didn't we think of that? Maybe while we were bidding new police cars, we should have also accepted bids from metroplex water dealerships for an extra few million gallons of water per day just in case.

Good grief.

Is mankind really this arrogant? That we presume to defy hurricanes, quell volcanoes and command the heavens to shower?

Dear citizen, I regret that I am incompetently unable to make it rain -- at least, not in your world.

Typical of Many North Texas Cities:
Frisco Feeling the Heat


Anonymous said...

just curious as to if you have written a script around a local texas gov't PR woman who um, gets involved in a corruption scandal and has to run for her life OR who, tired of the 9-5, shows up at work with an UZI and.... says "hey, look at my new gun" haha. I owned a music store for 11 years so I have a classic rock fanclub, coming of age, romcom, stalker type of story that takes place around a music store. I should finish it one day

MaryAn Batchellor said...

No, haven't done that yet, Todd. Wrote one once that was local government related and apparently, I slid into my government voice when I wrote it cuz it reads like a 105 page press release!

No-- that's actually too kind.

It sucks.

Anonymous said...

if you ever feel like exchanging scripts to read let me know, I could always use an opinion

MaryAn Batchellor said...

Glad to read anything you want but got nothing to show you in return. My finished stuff is finished and my unfinished stuff is in such raw stages that even I can't stand to read them --

But wait... maybe ...

Hey, I have an idea. I'll email ya.