July 17, 2007

Pocket of Hate: The California Sweep

I've been complaining about "the California sweep" for so many years now I can't remember if I coined the term, or if I read it somewhere. But, regardless, for those unfamiliar with the term, here's the gist: First, what's most interesting is this type of sweep doesn't involve a broom. Instead, dirt, debris and whatnot are all blasted off a sidewalk or surface with a long, concentrated blast of hose water.

I come from a place where fresh water is much more abundant--the Pacific Northwest--yet in all of my years in Spokane, I have never seen anyone "sweep" with water. I've also lived in Boston and London, and have never seen this happen there, either. So, what's with this phenomenon existing in what's essentially a desert, drought-ridden state?

It is such an extreme waste of a precious resource. And, sweeping with a broom is also typically paired with a dust pan of some sort, which means the sweeper ends up collecting and disposing of the sweepified mess. The California Sweep, however, just blasts the crap onto the street or into a neighbor's yard.

When I used to commute to Santa Monica, I'd pass by the McDonald's on Glendale every morning around 6:30am--right when the Mickey D's sweeper was water-blasting the entire parking lot. I guess McDonalds considers parking-lot sanitation to be of higher import than water conservation?

I don't know, really. If any of my 3 daily blog visitors would like to comment and/or enlighten me on this topic, please do. Me no likey the California Sweep. Are any of you familiar with this concept? And, does it bother you as much as it bothers me? Also, apologies for the disjointed post, but I'm really tired and moody today.


Scrubby Nub and The Bothered Brigade said...

My landlord does this, and I find it offensive. But he is a cretin. Much more offensive to me are these pseudo-posh hot spots on Sunset, where a good bit of the clientele most certainly feigns interest conservancy in the aim of being hip. At any rate, I don't get it, and I can't offer anything enlightening because I'm as mind-boggled as you.

Visitor #7

Bryn-Ane MacKinnon said...

yo yo yo, it does royally suck. I remember seeing this happening in Paris the only time I was there, though. not entirely an L.A. thing. but it's definitely on par with planting a lawn, non-native species or things you can't eat in your yard, in my opinion. also, hi. how's it going? I am blog-trolling tonight and it feels gooooood.

Hugh said...

At my place, because the dog to human ratio is approaching 1 to 1, the California sweep is to get rid of something you can't put in a dustpan: urine.

Satisfied '75 said...

this practice is widely abundant in New Orleans french quarters. nashty.