Beyond the hills of Jemez, down to the heights of the Sandia valleys, just south of Bernalillo, New Mexico, United States of America, lies the famed Village that Time Forgot. Here is the vortex which stops and reverses time, depriving all others of their ability to achieve progress, the pinnacle of Farcical Astrophysics. And out of this vortex shoots only one substance of importance for the people of Spaceship Earth, namely: Speeding tickets.
Corrales: The land that time forgot. Hey, I didn't say it was all bad.
Here, time stands still. While many cities have such things as running water, sewer systems, a working electrical system, stoplights, and rainy days when the air is not filled with the smell of horse manure, the people of Corrales have elected for a town atmosphere that can be most succinctly described as “colonial Spanish village, with Internet access.” Many residents in this tiny region still live on dirt roads, by their own choice, because they want to ride horses while simultaneously allowing their cars to jiggle over rocks like Jell-O in an earthquake. Here is the city which was told that traffic would be so bad on its main road that it would need a traffic light at a certain intersection, but refused to build it because it said a traffic light would make the intersection more dangerous. However, they did remove stop signs at another of their busiest intersections because they wanted people to use it more than the main road, and as such experienced a rash of traffic accidents; and refused to take down a stop sign at another point on the same road they wanted people to use because they were afraid it would create more school bus accidents, and because, of course, the Mayor lived on that street, and you can’t have the Exalted, Mighty Leader of the Village of Corrales, Established Nineteen Seventy-Something, having to watch out for plebians racing past at thirty miles an hour in their Toyota Corollas, unless they opposed the thirty-mile-per-hour speed limit when it was enacted, in which case they will be driving past at twenty-miles an hour for the entire stretch of the road, less if you’re in a hurry to get to work on time, just because they wish to watch you squirm.
To the extent of my knowledge, Corrales has also added fences to keep people from coming in from other cities next door, and has had its government reject skate parks, a Krispy Kreme donut shop, and various other things. Apparently, Krispy Kreme didn’t want to build in a town that didn’t have a water or sewage system, and Corrales didn’t want a place that used newfangled electronics technology like lightbulbs and telephones to distract from its “special flavor.” Corrales people, it should be mentioned, call themselves “Corraleños”, pronounced “COH-Rahl-Yehnyohs”, like you would talk if you were a drunken Spanish person who was inventing Spanish words as part of a surreal bar bet (“Hey, Lopez, let’s come up with a word to describe retarded people!”).
As you might have guessed by now, Corrales is one of those snoot-ass pretentious little flowers where everybody lives right next to a major metropolitan area but wants to pretend like they live in colonial Massachusetts or whatever the hell they think New Mexico is.
These towns are always right next to a Whole Foods market or a similar hippie-food supermarket, because the vast majority of the towns’ citizens are hippies or “flower children” who require special nutrition, such as tofu, which most people would not use for dog food. In Corrales’ case, the supermarket is named “Sunflower Market”. However, because Sunflower Market is the only place in Albuquerque that still offers custard-filled Long John donuts, which I should not have to state is awesome, Sunflower Market gets a free pass.
Regardless of “special flavor”, I don’t understand why my hometown has to act like this. For one thing, these people seem to be against making Corrales feel big and modern, as if somehow things like stoplights and buses would make Corrales a major metropolis overnight. I don’t get it. Forgive me if I’m wrong, but I’ve never seen stoplights and paved roads as what makes living in cities terrible. Y’know, I always kinda thought it had more to do with the fact that cities are festering hellholes of corruption and crime and violence that are overpopulated and beset with pollution and noise. And, ironically enough, the one thing that has kept Corrales from becoming overpopulated–its lack of a water and sewer system, which means that each house must have at least one acre surrounding it–is under attack from the same merchants and shopkeepers that want to keep Corrales rural. Apparently, stoplights make a city modern, but sewers and a municipal water system do not.
Or at least that’s my understanding. Since we got excluded from a vote to decide what we would do with our own road, my family has kept out of Corrales politics. My neighborhood road was a dirt road, with houses on only the south side of the street. A developer wanted to build new houses on the opposite side of the street.
Here’s the thing; each person on our street owns the portion of the road directly in front of their house. This meant that the incoming neighbors would share our road. The developer offered to pave the road for free in exchange for our giving up the portion of our property we used for a road, as well as creating a neighborhood association with the new neighbors.
People on our side of the road–everybody on our side of the road, except my family and a couple of hardy holdouts who supported the developer because they didn’t want to live on a dirt road for the rest of their lives–disliked this plan. They had several reasons:
- They wanted to ride their horses up and down the road, and paved roads hurt horses’ feet.
- The developer was an asshole.
- The new people coming in would be snooty Damn Rich White People–a sensible concern for anybody, as they might be driving Subaru Bajas, Toyota Prii, or those little ugly “Smart” cars that look like a Mini Cooper got in a fight with a can-crushing machine and lost.
- They would have to give up something.
- NEENER NEENER NEENER YOU DING-DONGS
When it came time to meet to decide what was to be done with our road, those who supported letting the developer pave the road were not informed, and thus the road would remain unpaved.
The developer, at this point apparently figuring that the residents of our road were beyond reasoning, wisely decided to give up, and build a paved road right next to the dirt one. However, as I already said, he was an asshole, and thus whenever people on our side of the road began using the new, paved road, he installed fences so that nobody on our side of the street could use the road.
Thus, in my neighborhood, we have two roads; one, made of dirt, which the Village of Corrales will not pave because it assigns the task of paving roads to housing developers; and another, right next to the dirt one, which is fenced off with barbed wire so that the people who own the land on the dirt road can’t use it either. If we were to pave our road, at a tremendous cost, they would have a four-lane road, made of two two-lane roads, both paved, one paved at the expense of its residents, with a brick wall in between so neither side of our street can use the road the other side made. Our side–I swear I am not making any of this up–now wants to turn our dirt road into a road for riding horses on. They are trying to get an injunction by the Village of Corrales to force our new neighbors into sharing their paved road with us, which the new neighbors helped pay for by buying the new houses their developer built the new road for.
I have no hatred of Corrales. I want to make this quite clear. It is nice to live in a place where you generally do not have to worry about meth labs, noise, violent criminals, or inept police officers, except for when our neighbor next door operated a meth lab out of his house and operated semi trucks at three in the morning and invited crack addicts to his house and shot off guns in the middle of the night and the police refused to intervene because Corrales is a rural community. Corrales also has a large population of coyotes, which kill off annoying dogs who would otherwise yap loudly into the night; and a large population of rabbits, which my dog used to eat and get tapeworms from.
Nevermind. Truly, I don’t hate Corrales. For all its problems, it’s no different than any other city. But, then, that’s exactly my point. The reason I wrote this article is to illustrate that every person’s community in the United States of America is, ahem, unique*. If you live in a major city, you can be certain that your community is unique*. And if you live in a small village, well, it’s probably like Corrales and that means that your community is unique* in its own special way, too. And if you live in a normal town, well, that splits the difference between what makes a village and a city unique*, so your town is unique* too. And my community is unique*, and my cousin’s town recently got hit by a hurricane, and my other cousin’s town is a festering hellhole of violence and crime and stupidity. Don’t worry, your community is as unique* as mine is, and so is your neighbor’s, your brother’s, your cousin’s, and my cousin’s. Isn’t that what makes America great? United we are unique*, divided we are unique*, but united we are unique* together. And I can think of no greater thing on earth than that.
And so, as I finish writing this, I think to myself about one truth, separated from all the other truths I have discussed with you, and, as I mull over the merits and the truthiness of this truth, I come to but one conclusion: Hey, all that money that went into building a new paved road for the rich white kids going to the new private school north of here could easily have covered paving my road! And then some! And I think that truth describes Corrales most succinctly.
*Stupid approaching mildly retarded.