Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Clarksville and Charlestown Are Really Losing It

HARBESON: This column is a lost cause

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — Have you been keeping up with the State Board of Accounts reports? If so, I’m sure you agree that some of our local governments are really losing it.

For example, after a windstorm hit in 2008, the city of Charlestown purchased 1,000 gift cards from JayC grocery, each worth $20, and doled them out to city residents. However, they only have records for 50 of those cards. They lost track of the other 950.

Officials sound quite puzzled and befuddled about the situation and just can’t understand what could have happened to the rest of the receipts proving they actually did what they said they did.

Yeah, they admit, we lost the papers, but there’s no need to make a big deal about it. They want taxpaying citizens to trust, to believe, to have faith that their government carried out this task correctly.

Besides, some offices were moved after this event so that’s probably why they can’t find the papers. Well, at least they didn’t say the police department’s K-9 dog ate it.

This is really hard to accept because as far as I’ve been able to tell, pushing papers seems to be the main function of all government entities. So you’d think having so much experience moving paper from one tray to another would mean that they’re pretty good at knowing where they put their stuff.

So I just don’t get it.

However, the town of Clarksville is a different story entirely because they lost a Crown Victoria car engine. Now that’s something I completely understand.

Car engines are tricky little buggers. They can easily slip through your hands and if the wind is blowing, who knows where one could end up. These things are constantly disappearing. Everyone’s lost a car engine or two. Come on admit it, you’ve lost one before. I’m sure I’ll hear from many local mechanics writing in to verify what I’m saying.

Even so, I don’t really think this engine was lost. I have a few other theories. Although there is some disagreement on the exact details, it appears that a radiator is also missing. So my first theory is that the engine and radiator simply ran off together, the product of a steamy relationship.

Hey, don’t look at me like that, if the dish can run away with the spoon, why not this?

Another theory I have is that this car engine simply knew too much. About what exactly, I have no idea and I would not even venture to guess. But I’m sure it must have overheard something while in overdrive.

I do think the prosecution got to it first, though. However, my sources tell me that once the engine found out that the witness protection program meant it would have to spend the rest of its life inside a Chevy Impala, where no one would ever look, the engine fired up and fled.

So, for the engine’s safety I hope no one ever finds it.

Yes, once again, all of this is pure speculation on my part. I really have no idea what happened to that car engine. All I know is that if we measure these government losses in pounds, Clarksville is definitely The Biggest Loser in Southern Indiana.

OK, truth be told I can sympathize with Clarksville and Charlestown. I’ve lost stuff before. As a matter of fact, I had a much better column draft this week. It was probably one of the best columns I have ever written — Pulitzer material for sure.

I can’t find it anywhere now though. I think I lost it when I moved some files around on my computer.

Sellersburg resident Debbie Harbeson says the only thing she’s really ever lost is her mind.

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