There was a civilized ruckus going on in Union Square Park when I popped out of the subway. A large and raucous crowd was protesting police violence in the wake of yet another person dying while in NYPD custody.
These fellas here were on duty, eyeing the demonstrators with an air of irritation, boredom and wariness, seemingly nonplussed and on edge all at the same time. Judging by the plastic handcuffs on the officer’s belt, they came ready for business.
Soon the crowd began to mobilize and head toward 14th Avenue. The cops scrambled into action, mounting a very loud loudspeaker on the back of an NYPD pickup, blaring a pre-recorded notice that anyone blocking vehicular or pedestrian traffic would be arrested. Duly warned, the protesters stepped off the curb and the moving phase of the protest began – the crowd leading, the cops following…
What got my brain churning was the Orwellian moniker of this particular team of policemen. Notice the patch on Officer Ortiz’s left breast – these guys weren’t the Riot Squad like the guys that patrolled the bleachers during Giants/Dodgers games at Candlestick Park. They were NYPD’s elite Disorder Control Unit.
Disorder Control. I can use some of that myself. Seems I’ve got plenty of disorder at home. Wouldn’t it be nice to have an elite unit that could step in and bring about some control of my disorder?
They can start in my garage. Old toys, sports gear I haven’t used in ten years but can’t seem to part with, things I’ve been meaning to sell, donate or recycle but just haven’t, the memorabilia that isn’t valuable or very memorable, junk we brought back from Japan in 1997, and several boxes from our last move that we don’t seem to use or need.
Then they can move on to my office. Letterhead and envelopes from long ago ventures, old electronics and musical gear, pictures left unhung and posters never posted. Then the bedroom closet and all the outdated and non-fitting clothes. On to the other closets and junk drawers with uncrafted crafts, gifts never given, and leftover parts from long ago home repairs.
I’ve solved for this before, recruiting friends to help me sort and decide what should be kept, sold, donated or thrown away. We’ve had garage sales too. The last one netted $700 cash. But what we really need is a regular process led by dedicated professionals.
So it’s settled then. From now on, whenever my clutter gets out of hand, I’ll call in the squad by yelling out the window at the top of my lungs, “Disorder Control!”