Every day, my hard-working staff takes calls from constituents around the First District. Most of the time callers want to know how to get a tree trimmed on their street, cut down on speeding in their neighborhood, or register a complaint about noise violations. My staff is happy to share their question or concern with the appropriate city department, and follow up afterwards to be sure the constituent’s needs are met.

But sometimes, we get calls that you’d swear were made up by a Howard Stern fan or columnist Dave Barry. To be fair, some of these callers are confused or just lonely and in need of human contact, and many are in the vein of wanting to improve their community. But still…

Here are some of the highlights, which I swear I did not make up:

  • A woman who called to complain that a local charity event wasn’t making enough money to compensate for her inconvenience. Apparently $50,000 wasn’t enough to make up for the two hours she wasn’t able to drive into La Jolla.
  • A resident who insisted that our office force Time Warner to give her HBO back, but not make her pay for it.

Many of our calls revolve around animals:

  • A vacationer who swore never to return to San Diego unless the city fixed the “fly problem.”
  • A resident who wants the City to ban all dogs in La Jolla.
  • A report about dangerous squirrels at La Jolla Cove. A lifeguard asked the resident to stop feeding the squirrels, which led to a peanut assault against the lifeguard, curse words, an attempt to flee and an arrest.
  • A resident from outside the district who had this to say, “We have a big problem. And the problem is this: crows! Crows are predators and they are ruining people’s lives! They fly around and eat birds and eggs. You know, the crows came from Kansas. If you give me a bb gun I’ll shoot them all or better yet – we could place nets on tops of trees and catch them by their feet.”
  • A woman so concerned about bird droppings on her street, she felt the city needed to rid itself of all birds.

Sadly, many of our most, um, interesting calls are far too foul to be printed here. Profanity really is one of the most creative outlets of the English language.

Let me use this post to publicly thank my dedicated staff who never fails to answer the phone with a smile and, “how can I help you?” And they truly mean it.

Coming up: Poop power extends the life of the Miramar landfill, and my thoughts on what it’s like to be “handled.”

SCOTT PETERS

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