Monday, November 24, 2008

Why I Eat Hamburgers

A survey of Tallinn's city center and Old Town has revealed that the only business anywhere in the city to clean the snow from its walk is--you guessed it--McDonald's. All others, as of 11 a.m., had chosen to allow potential consumers to fall on their backs right outside the door. A few minor points for a half-hearted effort go to the Tallinn City Government which cleaned directly in front of their doors but absolutely nowhere else. I guess those are the places where Edgar's car would pull up.

An American Embassy official, speaking on the condition of anonymity*, told me that they've had to hire several firms to clean their walks each time it snows. He said it takes two companies to get the snow removed properly, and a third to knock away the ice. "Somehow in their culture there is no concept of ice removal. So we keep paying to have the job done over and over until they get it right." Someone could get a grant to study that.

Update, 25 Nov.: Glass House Snowball Fight
The City of Tallinn's Municipal Police announced yesterday morning that after lunch police would begin fining property owners for not having cleaned their walks. City Council member and Reform Party chair Remo Holsmeri suggested the cops could "...instead of threatening people pick up a shovel and help out."

(*Not really, but I've always wanted to write that.)