The Mayor Of Aquaville

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
Asphalt? We don’t need no stinking asphalt.

Submitted: August 21, 2015

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Submitted: August 21, 2015

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People told us we were crazy for building a city completely on top of a manmade lake.  I am crazy.  But the engineering behind Aquaville is solid.  We knew what we were doing.

I’m not really the Mayor of Aquaville.  The city doesn’t have a mayor, it is run by a council.  At any rate, I had a falling out with the rest of the folks that built the city.  Now I am an outsider.  But they let me keep my office, because I know all how all the parts fit together.  My phone still rings occasionally.  Most of the time I just play guitar in the park.  The park is three feet above the waterline, like everything else.  I play a Mayor guitar, thus the nickname.

Aquaville is a very quiet place.  Fossil fuel engines are not allowed.  Electric motors power the boats that are constantly slipping over the surface of Lake Aquaville.  The city owns the boats, people use them as they wish and leave them at their destination.  You can activate a phone app and a boat will autonomously motor to your location if one is not already there.

The solar panels on the roofs provide all the electricity we need.  We need much less than other cities.  Heating and cooling are the biggest energy consumers.  Lake Aquaville takes care of most of that.  The pipes that run from the buildings down to the bottom of the lake carry a liquid that can absorb and release heat efficiently.  We are big on geothermal in Aquaville.

Every 15 minutes a city owned barge goes down each of the commercial waterways.  That is how the stores are resupplied.  Retailers had a conniption fit when we told them their delivery vehicles would not be allowed in the city.  They relaxed when they found out how much money they saved by delivering their goods to the multi-modal transportation center outside of town.  We take care of the rest.

The hardest part wasn’t the engineering.  It was the legal stuff.  We started with privately owned land, but we wanted to make sure no one could ever force a sale.  We wanted Aquaville to last forever.  We created a city charter our attorneys claim is unbreakable.  Aquaville legally owns itself.  It cannot be sold.  As an original member, I am guaranteed an apartment for life.  So I spend my days, in virtual exile, in the city I helped build.  A city that lived in my dreams and absorbed every waking moment for years as we created and constructed it.

People often ask how we do repairs or maintenance on the submerged equipment.  That was an easy problem to solve.  A caisson is a big, heavily reinforced four sided metal box.  The crane system we built on the underside of the buildings can deliver the four pieces of a caisson to any location in the lake.  We place the sections at the desired location, bolt them together, and a pump vacates the water in a couple of hours.

The bed of Lake Aquaville is made of concrete, but it is not smooth like your garage floor.  The most notable feature is the three foot high wall grid that runs throughout the lake.  Each square of the grid is the same size as a caisson.  The top of the wall creates a flush surface that allows the caisson to make a watertight seal.

That way all of the natural stuff going on in the rest of the lake is not disturbed.  I didn’t believe the biologists when they predicted how quickly the bottom would begin to look like a natural lakebed.  They were right.  It is a gunky mess and all sorts of things are living down there.  That is the kind of place engineers prefer to stay away from.

One of the most difficult challenges we had to solve with the caissons was how to get the fish out after we had dropped one into place.  Our fisherpersons would not be happy if they saw us pureeing their prey with our pumps.  We developed a proprietary technique for that.  The lawyers won’t let me discuss the details.  Once we work out a few manufacturing details, the fishnet industry will never be the same.  SmartNet® technology will never trap a dolphin or a turtle.

The thing that got me kicked out of the club was tourism.  Most Aquavillians welcome it.  The print shop spends a ridiculous amount of time making souvenir tee shirts and coffee mugs.  I want to erect a slice-wire topped fence around Lake Aquaville and have it patrolled by German Shepherds.  I am not a people person.

After being shouted down numerous times at Council meetings, I tried the civil disobedience route.  I streaked through the nightly party they throw for the tourists.  As I ran naked past gawking visitors, there was excellent food on the buffet and free stuff being shot out of tee shirt cannons.  I hate those things.

I’m not sure how they knew it was me.  I wore a mask.  Maybe the shredded abs gave me away.  At any rate, I had barely got back to the apartment when four people burst in and grabbed me.  I briefly considered using the voice activated emergency system.  But my assailants were the president of the city council, the police chief, the judge, and my golf coach.  Resistance was futile.

I didn’t mind so much that they drug me back to the party and chained my ankle to the leg of the grand piano.  Then put a guitar in my hand and told me to start playing.  I had to put in four hours of serious rock and roll as punishment for violating the city obscenity code.  It was the way they dressed me that pissed me off.

The rest of the clothes were fine.  It was the number 23 crimson red Alabama jersey they put on me that was the last straw.  That was Duffy Donaldson’s number when he carried the ball for Bear Bryant.  Most people remember him for the two national championships and the controversial second place finish in the Heisman balloting his senior year.  I remember him for the time I tried to tackle him and he drug me across the goal line in the state high school championship game.  Like I was a rag doll.  Like Bo Jackson and Brian Bosworth on Monday Night Football.

When I got back to my apartment I put that jersey in the fabric recycler and started thinking of other things I could do to cause trouble.

So far no one has complained about the business cards I give to out of towners who stop and listen when I play guitar in the park.  The ones that say:

Welcome to Aquaville.  Tuck Fourists.


© Copyright 2017 Serge Wlodarski. All rights reserved.

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