When Negotiating Season and Flat-Tire Season Coincide
In a comment to my post about Tiverton school officials’ ambiguous admission of intimidation by the National Education Association, Cranstoner Donald Botts relates the following anecdote:
My take on their comments was that the union was attempting to use intimidation tactics against them, but they either were not intimidated or didn’t want to admit they were intimidated.
I spoke at a school committee meeting in Cranston recently. Magically, roofing nails appeared at the end of my driveway. I was not performing any home improvement projects at the time.
Each of my family’s vehicles has had a flat tire, recently. With my work van, it was a roofing nail; with my wife’s car (which I use when not working), it was two punctures, sans implement.
Of course, being a carpenter, I’m very slow to look elsewhere to explain such things. Moreover, amidst the daily inconveniences that arise from working full-time in a construction trade, having three children, owning a fifty-year-old home, living in Rhode Island, being politically active, and writing for this here blog, flat tires are things to be taken in stride. Heck, it’s been so long since I was above grade, what’s another shovelful out of the hole I’m digging?
It strikes me as a particularly foolish mechanism of intimidation, though, if there’s another explanation for flat tires than the terrible condition of our state’s roads: If they appear to be coincidental, the action will have no effect on behavior. On the other side of the spectrum, strongly suspecting a human agent behind a mere inconvenience will surely tend to increase one’s resolve.
Mr. Botts sends along a picture of the nails — of assorted sizes — collected from the driveway, sidewalk, and grass in front of his home, as if tossed from a car: