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Summit Up

Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column that loves slaves of bureaucracy.

You show us anybody that can’t think for themselves, we’ll give ’em a hug. Show us somebody who can’t take verbal requests, but has to have forms filled out – in triplicate – we’ll swoon. Don’t even get us started on any sort of operation (including our own, dammit) where there are no longer people who answer the phones.

We had two experiences in less than an hour Friday that reassured us that Summit Up Land is quickly becoming the kind of place we came here to escape in the first place. Fortunately, this is still the kind of town where you’re known only by first name or nickname, where the barter economy is alive and well and people don’t define themselves by their job or other such trivia. But there are these moments … mmmmph.

In our first episode, we went to take a picture at a business. First they ask us for some ID. No problem; we handed over our state-issued press credential. We understand – there are some sensitive things in the world. Then they asked us for our driver’s license, just to make sure the press pass wasn’t fake. Then they had to go ask the vice president if it was OK. Then they tried to tell us that someone had already been there to take a picture (even though it was a different newspaper).

At that point, we were just thinking it was weird and somewhat inconvenient. No big deal. Then we went to the post office.

As good readers are aware, there’s been a little hugger-mugger over recycling at the post office. The higher-ups decided recycling was, we don’t know, too good an idea or something, so they took the bins out of our post offices. Well, our congressman got into the act, and then the boss of the boss who made the decision overturned the policy, and the recycling bins were to be delivered back Friday afternoon. Well, we had our eyes in the field at one of the post offices to check on the progress: He reports that, despite the recycling guys showing the post office staff the letter from the congressman’s office, the post office guy wouldn’t let them put the recycling bins back. He doesn’t work for the congressman, he appropriately pointed out. Don’t get him wrong, he said, he loves recycling; he’ll welcome it back. But not until his boss says so and he’s clear of any repercussions for taking any of his own initiative.

And don’t get us started on the conversations we had this week with the guy who retired from the Forest Service.

Gosh, how can we sign up for a life in the Machine?

***

A big Happy Anniversary! to Jerry and Irene, from the Redtail Court Social Club. Jerry and Irene tied the knot back in 1968, and we hope they have another great 25 years.

***

We hope Saturday finds you happy and healthy and, hey, maybe today’ll be the day you find that briefcase of money. If you do, let us know at

summitup@summitdaily.com, fax at (970) 668-0755 or just listen to our catalogue of offshore bank accounts on the voicemail at (970) 668-3998, ext. 237, and we’ll help you figure out how to spend it.

We’re out cutting through the red tape …


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