Approaching grumpy old man status

Some of you may find this obsession with vandalism bizarre, but it has become a miniature crusade/hobby for me. Some people derive their life’s meaning by following their dreams, or making a difference in the world. I derive my life’s meaning by making mountains out of molehills.

Late Saturday night the utility box in front of my house was tagged again. It seems to be a good target because of its high visibility as you drive down the street. I assume it was part of a pre-spring-break spree of exhuberance since I noticed the box in front of Zilker Elementary was spray-painted as well. I have noticed that this seems to happen in spurts in our neighborhood. Someone will go around and tag all the utility boxes up and down the streets in one night and then eventually they will be painted over and the cycle will repeat itself.

This time the tag was different. It was not the mark of the infamous “Mendez”, but some newcomer with the lame cryptonym of “Radar”. I have a newfound respect for my anonymous nemesis, Mendez, because while Mendez may be a petty criminal, he is a professional when it comes to his art. He practices more restraint with his tags making them bold, tight, and difficult to read, which is the whole point. He always uses a chisel-tipped paint marker rather than spray paint, which is messy and awkward. Mendez has also never made enough noise for me to take notice of him, unlike this new guy who I heard peeling out. In short, Radar is no Mendez. (I like saying “Mendez”.)

This is the ninth time this box has been tagged over the past year, and yes, I am insane for caring about this. When I got back from 7-11 with my ice cream I grabbed the spray paint from under the kitchen sink and painted over the graffitti. I get a perverse pleasure from doing this as quickly as I can.

Here are some photos. From the side. From the front.

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