Saturday, January 15, 2011

Taggers Are Pathetic Little Boys

There is an electrical box next to a gas station on the North West corner of McDowell Rd and 99th Avenue, that was a Mecca for these pathetic little taggers.   The taggers have figured out if they use a sharp glass cutter or carbide cutter, they can deface the pump screens at the Chevron gas stations that Dr Desert Flower and I most commonly use to replenish our vehicles' fossil fuel reservoirs.  These same taggers, also seem to find it necessary to tag electrical boxes, in futile attempts to broadcast "Look At Me! I Am Important!".  No little boys, really,  you're not.  Unfortunately, the tagged electrical box is in a "no man's land".  Phoenix says it is outside their borders  (page 89 of ), and that I should contact Avondale.  Avondale flatly said their border did not extend east of 99th avenue ( ) . That left the electrical box in the sad little town of Tolleson  (page 16 ).  Phoenix, Avondale, and Tolleson, all come together, like Munster, Hammond, and Highland do in North West Indiana.  I wrote to the assistant manager of the city of  Tolleson at their little web site (link here) and got no response, so after 2 days, I took the matter into my own hands this morning.  

Having no shortage of left-over house paint from the previous owners, I took the cheapest Chinese brush I have, a 5/6ths empty can of paint, a paint can opener, a few rags to wipe up any mess I made, and my digital camera out to McDowell and 99th.  20 minutes later, problem solved.  Yes, the sad little boys will probably take another 3 or 4 months to cover the box again with their spray painted urine to "reclaim it", but I've got alot of paint, and a paying day job, and a strong disdain for pathetic little boys who feel it's their obligation or right, to deface public property.  Yes, "OKIE", "FREMS", "KOZ", "Vaper", "JDG", get a real job, move out of your parents' houses, put your "art" up in a gallery somewhere, and stop defacing public property, and then maybe you'll get noticed and make something out of your life.

And as a post script, on my way home, I noticed a few utility poles on 91st Avenue, adjacent to the Maryvale DMZ covered with white tagger paint.  I pulled over, and covered those as well, and a lady in an SUV drove past, rolled her window down, and yelled "Thank You!" to me as I was painting over the tags.  That was a nice feeling.

We can sit back and be "victims" waiting for a nearly financially bankrupt city to come by and clean them up, or we can take action and reclaim the city, peacefully, fastidiously, determinedly, one block at a time.  I choose the latter.


  1. In Chicago, at least on our block, it was SOP to paint over, ASAP, anything tagged. Typically the alley-facing garages would get tagged, and we would just paint over them, except in the rare cases it was fresh enough just to clean off. Even the elderly German couple a few doors down seemed to take this in stride and just get on with it.

    The strange guy the next block over, who paraded around the neighborhood in camo attire, once caught a youngster tagging. In his own words, he grabbed the youth, "pulled down his pants and spray-painted his pecker." I don't recommend that particular corrective measure, but kudos on the proactive painting-over.

  2. Thanks. I agree, constant vigilance is important to squash this sort of thing before it grows into a malignant cyst. My friend (and occasional commenter here) Joe M did a similar thing on his block in San Francisco as your camo Chicago neighbor, and that tagger has not been seen again.

    In retrospect, after years in London, have you seen as much graffiti there as you did in Chicago residential neighborhoods? Paris (inside the old city) had little. Milano had a great deal of graffiti everywhere. Atlanta, depended on the neighborhood. Brooklyn, seemed to be covered in it, in the one mile hike I took from subway station to Rick's old place.

    Downtown Phoenix has gotten a good grasp on graffiti control, and does a adequate job of eradication. In some places, they've embraced the street art, and have had large citizen murals put up, and that's wonderful. It's these piss-ant prepubescents who think it's fine mark everything as their "right" who bug me. Oh no... Maybe I am turning into McCain?

  3. If the cities really wanted to get serious they'd pass legislation requiring the removal of one thumb per infraction. Guaranteed results on the first penal implementation. Hard to hold a spray can with only fingers. I figure word will spread fast, with not many thumbs sacrificed.

    I've been reporting graffiti for years now to Graffiti Busters and saw a good deal of results but now the PLBs have moved up the hill to my ally. These little jerks really get under my skin so I'm looking hard for new ideas.

  4. dalton, I like the idea... but it almost sounds like a Sharia solution, and in today's Islamo-phobic America that might not be well received.

    I try to not let the miscreants bother me or raise my blood pressure... it is better to just obliterate their "hard work" and re-gain control over the territory. It is an aggravating nuisance, regardless.


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