A month or two ago, I realized that my dear old sturdy Jackson-born-and-bred Harper water meter cover had been replaced by a cheap plastic classless top. I thought this was the end-stage of a $91 million water meter replacement contract the City of Jackson has with Siemens to . . . blah, blah, blah, I have no idea how many water meters $91 million should buy me or why we’re spending $91 million on water meters when it’s the pipes in the road that keep breaking. (The Northside Sun recently ran an informative article , October 23, about this project that indicates contractors are “about a third of the way through” replacing the estimated 65,000 water meters in the city. Siemens assures us that this project will be “revenue-neutral” because they say most of us were paying too little for our water due to inaccurate meters. I totally trust them and the City.)
Anyway, after trying hard to blend in, lo and behold, a few weeks later, the plastic version disappeared and in its place was an iron water meter cover, this time with a carbuncle attached that has something to do with putting meter readers out of work in favor of electronically transmitting the reading. I’m not sure if Siemens is actually re-using the covers they stole and cutting a hole for the carbuncle, or if they’re putting in new covers that look old and rusty, but what I do know, and the reason I’m grumpy, is that neither my meter nor my neighbor’s meter, both of which were original Harpers, are now Harpers. One is from Russell Pipe and Foundry, Alexandria, LA, and the other chooses to remain anonymous out of embarrassment for its rustiness.
If I were Siemens, I could see myself cooking up this project as a scheme to gather the world’s best Harper water meter cover collection, but I’m not sure Siemens is as nerdy as I am.
If you live in that other two-thirds of the City still blessed by your original Harper, it may be best if your water meter cover disappears into your garage under cover of darkness, since otherwise the City and Siemens will take it in the light of day and replace it with a Borg-like impostor.
Oh, Original Harper Water Meter Cover in My Very Own Yard! I was so confident in our relationship that I never even took a picture of you!