2013-08-30 / Columnists

Boyleing Points

In Parks We Rust
By Kevin Boyle

Ok, the Department of Design and Construction must have found out that science and math were Greek to me. After I wrote the story about the rusty pencil sharpeners they call lifeguard stations they sent a team down to check it out. They used real Clorox wipes and scrubbed away the brown stuff I called rust. They even videotaped it and sent me the evidence. See? It’s dirt, they said. Since I was science-challenged they must’ve figured I’d take their word for it. The thing is, I had already done a wipe test myself. Yeah, I looked pretty silly wiping the lifeguard shacks with my bare fingers – even sillier SMELLING the stuff that came off but when duty calls….

Now that’s the kind of effort I rarely put into work but it was a beautiful day and a good excuse to go to the beach. In fact, it was so nice I went to the concession for a pina collada but was told “no liquor allowed.” Oh yeah, I forgot about that no-fun rule Parks threw in this year. But I digress….

Anyway, I never got to take a metallurgy class but I’ve had a bicycle chain with rust. I’ve gotten rust on my fingers. So my scientific conclusion was based on experience and my own senses. It looked like rust and it smelled like rust. I said rust. They said dirt.

But they didn’t just say dirt. They said it was likely dirt that got adhered to the units when they were wrapped and shipped here. Huh? So, I asked, why is the dirt only on the ocean side? Oh, maybe it’s not dirt. It’s probably airborne sand !

My response: if that is sand then we have a bigger problem with our sand than lack of it.

End of conversation. Too bad. I was hoping we could get into a discussion about whether that was duct tape holding together the lifeguard stations or if was shipping tape.

And I know, when they finally say, yeah well, it’s rust but it’s decorative rust. Like the Barclay Center in Brooklyn. C’mon, you Rockaway dopes. Rust is hip, what are you complaining about?

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