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The Holy Grail Press is dedicated to promoting work that standard publishers... you know, those with standards, might be reluctant to publish, which pretty much leaves poetry.  And let's face it:  No one publishes poetry.  So in the end, we’re left with a lot of free time.

 

 

 

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Tagging

from A History of the Future, by Mandrake Chapman

It was on December 4th, 2022, that Seattle shop owner Felix MacGoogan, tired of the nightly “tagging” of his business’s outer walls by rival street gangs,  just left cans of spray paint outside for them to use.  Said MacGoogan, “What’s the point of even trying?  I paint over their graffiti in the morning so they can put graffiti over my paint at night.  Besides, what do I care what colour it’s painted?  Paint is paint.  And this way, I don’t have to do it anymore.”

Soon neighboring businesses joined MacGoogan and left paint out as well.  Shortly thereafter, the entire city stopped trying.  Seeing shop owners set out paint cans at closing became a common sight during the winter of 2023.  It wasn’t long, though, before the gangs couldn’t tell their graffiti from even their own.  Said one gang member, “It never really made much sense, anyway, but this is ridiculous.”  The only way they found to stake out their territory was to completely paint the businesses in solid colours with tasteful coordinating trim.  The practice quickly spread, and before long every gang in the city spent their evenings painting local businesses. 

Said a former shop owner, “You never knew what colour the shop was going to be each morning.  Sometimes it would be red, sometimes blue.  You never knew.  But they always cleaned up after themselves.”  Indeed, it became a sign of power to have the best looking blocks.  Soon roving bands of youth were brazenly planting shrubberies along the sidewalks.  The sound of a weed eater was common at night.

In the spring of 2024 officials from other cities began arriving, trying to recruit Seattle’s gangs to come to their towns and wreck all the havoc they wished.  Chicago and Indianapolis had limited success, but it never quite caught on. 

Then, just as suddenly as it began, it stopped.  Said one gang member, “Hell, that’s work.”  It wasn’t long afterwards that the city fell into disrepair.  Having gotten used to not having to do any maintenance on their property, nobody did.  Pleas were made to the city gangs, who had all moved to the suburbs and bought homes of their own.  Perhaps DJ Weeder, the head of the Toro gang summed it up best, “Man, nobody wants to hang out in the city.  That place is a dump.  Besides, who’s got time?  I’ve got a yard to mow.”

 

10:03 pm pdt 


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