Monday, May 12, 2008

Rewound Prank

Digital media have mostly replaced analogue but there are still boxes of cassette tapes tucked into basements, back closets and attics. Boys will be boys and their eager hands are made for mischief. Parents cannot keep their attention focused on their little rapscallions all the time. As long as the transgressions are minor, there is little need for parental intervention no matter the litter left afterward.

Mothers’ Rest is the most poetically named park in all of Boston. It is just north of Codman Square, on Washington Street in Dorchester. It occupies a bluff that overlooks Dorchester Bay and the rainbow painted gas tank on the bay’s shore. It seems a band of boys got their hands on a cache of antiquated cassette tapes stashed off Codman Square.

Sometime between 6:00 and 8:00 yesterday evening, someone unraveled what appears to be ten or twelve old cassettes and wove the tape quite loosely in the fence work at Mothers’ Rest. The wind picked up overnight and completed the job, tying the shiny, brown tape strands between the bars, around tree branches and bench feet. Mothers’’ Rest was rustling and unfurling with quarter inch thick tape. What sounds were originally recorded are unknown.

A public works crew was dispatched to the park armed with trash bags and pocket knives to cut the stray tapes off the objects around which the wind had wrapped them. The perpetrators had tossed the tapes willy-nilly and the gusts off the Bay finished the work, creating tangles more complicated than the biggest granny knot. No one suspects girls have committed this act of minor vandalism. One mother, witnessing the clean up, commented, “Boys will be boys.”

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