Old Timer

We’re going to talk about one of the most controversial topics in all of Boerne. One that separates people, has led to gunfights, and has almost torn the entire town apart. Gateway Loop? Growth? $chultz’s beard? Nah.

We’re going to talk about the River Road Park and Old Timer’s demands for how to fix things up.

I see your silly photos on Facebook about how quaint and adorable it is that traffic snarles to a stop every time a line of ducks crosses the road. (That’s right, I’m on Facebook too). You all snap photos, smile at how cute they are, and carry on and on about it. Here’s the problem: they are evil, evil birds hell-bent on the complete invasion and ultimate conquering of our town. But they are but one reason that our River Road Park area is constantly requiring work, and as such, I have sat down…whiskey in hand…and am ready to remedy the issues of this area in the way that only I can do.

Here we go.

That’s it. They’re gone. They have to go. I know that you think they’re adorable, and taking the kids down there to feed them is just great fun, but let’s be honest, they are responsible for a ridiculous amount of destruction to the area. First of all, they shit on everything. EVERYTHING. You don’t see it too much because the City pays some guy to go down there multiple times per week and spray everything down to get it off the sidewalks and tables. But while you’re enjoying your Kelani Yogurt while sitting at the concrete picnic table, just know that they JUST blasted duck shit off your table. Secondly, somebody is going to get killed one of these days when one of those possessed birds goes hauling ass across River Road, causing a soccer mom in a Ranger Rover to hammer her brakes, causing some poor schlub on a motorcycle to plant his face in her back windshield. To die for a duck – can there be a worse way to go? I propose an annual head-count of the ducks. Anything over 20 ducks and they start blasting. Yes, you PETA folks will freak out, but you can assume how I feel about your feelings.

The good folks down at the Cibolo Nature Center do their thing, which is monitoring the river, and do so by checking the water frequently upside of the dam (which is River Park). Know what they typically find in high levels? E. Coli. Cool, huh? Know where it comes from? Read #1 above. Outside of the infectious nastiness of the river, the thought of ever getting near that water gives me chill bumps. I can only imagine the spaghetti mess of hooks and fishing lines that criss cross the whole of it. And the trash. The 10,000 turtles. YUCK. The River needs to be drained annually and cleaned. Haul off the shit that blows in from the road, clean up the fishing equipment, and whatever sort of madness they find in there. Some of you fellow Old Timers will remember that they drained the river in ’88 and found a VW bug in there. I’m serious. Then who can forget in ’11 when it was drained accidentally by the TxDot employee that was supposed to open the release valve to clear the water from under the bridge, but then fell asleep. Ah, good times. Each winter they should drain that sucker, clean it and ready it for spring rains to refill it. We know it only takes one good rain to return all the water. It would be ugly to look at while it’s empty, but I’d much rather know that it’s clean than “pretty”.

When we have Berges Fest (which SHOULD be at Town Square but that’s another topic) we should have canoe races or innertube races. Because we would have a clean river without a nasty overpopulation of ducks, it would be great fun to hoist a Dodging Duck beer and cheer on our friends while they did a race from the bridge to the dam in a canoe. Talk about “quaint” old-timey fun!! This is but one silly idea, but I’m sure that there are uses for the River that could be used to drive awareness to the River, put it to use, and get the community involved in its use in a fun way.

At last count (according to Old Timer and 2 beers while sitting at a picnic table) there are approximately 27,953 turtles in the 200 yards of the river that make up the park. Turtles, for those that were unaware, are evil, EVIL little demons that do little but eat your bait and eat the fish. They’re nasty little buggers. My gramps and I used to sit on the grass on the River back in the ‘40s with a BB gun and pop those little bastards when they’d come up for air. Would the City PLEASE give me a permit to go sit down there with a .22 and clean a little house? Better yet, make it another game for Berges Fest – “Who can shoot more turtles in an hour?!” – winner gets beers from the Duck and the City gets rid of those vile little monsters.

Because we now have a clean river, removed all the trash, killed the turtles, controlled the duck population and basically made the whole place less toxic, I propose a huge money maker for the City that would drive news stations from all over the place to come shine a spotlight on the City: Boerne’s Annual Skinny Dipping Day. For a $5 entry fee, we queue up all the freaks that wanna strip naked and jump in the river. Countless people would show up to gawk, lots of hippies would sign up, the Dodging Duck and Salvador would sell 20m bottles of beer, and everyone would have a laugh. Good idea? Probably not. Would it make me laugh? You better believe it. Sometimes this town needs to learn how to stop taking itself so damned seriously.


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