About a week ago my old manager from the Centennial Beach, Nathan, stopped by to pay us all a visit with his new baby. The baby was cute and all, like babies almost always are, but I just could not stop looking at Nathan's shirt. The shirt had a picture of Ronald Reagan's head and it had text that said "kick a commie for ronnie." Finally, someone else mentioned the shirt, and of course Nathan gets as excited as he was on the day his little boy was born and says, "yeah, my in-laws got it for me, isn't it great?" and lets a little chuckle slip out the side of his mouth.
Well, first of all, Nathan, the communists are old news, we have a new and equally not as threatening enemy now, the terrorists. The United States always has to have some common enemy to dance around the American flag to rally against. This enemy was the "commies," but now it's the terrorists, but either way, I am digressing.
Nathan and I are very different concerning our views on most issues. His shirt is a good example of this. But, an even better example is what Nathan hired me to do about a month ago. Somehow Nathan owns a property in Sugar Grove, it is just a [now it is empty] lot. Apparently he is sitting on the property until the subdivision that is being built around this said lot becomes more developed. Developed neighborhoods mean higher value for each lot, especially empty ones.
Nathan needed help clearing the patch of land that he "owned." The lot he owned was still covered in trees--rather old trees for that matter, most of the trees stood much taller than the two story houses that were their neighbors. Nathan hired me and another lifeguard to help him cut down every fucking tree in the lot and then feed the trees into an industrial sized wood chipper. Nathan obviously had not thought twice about chopping down all these trees and turning them into mulch, but as fed each piece of wood into that chipper I winced as if I were extending my own arm into those rapidly spinning blades and gears. I could practically hear the branches scream for help as they got sucked into those grinding gears that chopped them into tiny fragments of the great trees they once were. I imagined that their branches were hands, reaching out to me hoping that I would grab on and save them from the horrible death they were about have. All those trees getting turned into mulch was almost too much, and more than once I considered telling Nathan I couldn't do it anymore and walking off.
If you stop to think about what was here (as in "here" I mean where I currently am--Naperville--practically the definition of modern suburbia) before all the humans moved in it will [should] make you sick. On that one lot alone there were at least 75 trees, and now there is one house. In this one house there is probably a maximum of six people living in it, so essentially there is a 69 life difference between what was there and what is now. That probably never even crossed Nathan's mind--all that was going through his head was, and probably still is, when he thinks of that land is $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. I got $60 dollars for the four hours of work I did, but that was not enough considering how disgusted I felt with myself.
Well, I guess some people just has different priorities. Some care more about killing commies and terrorists, while other care about saving as many lives as possible, even if it is just the life of a tree.