Meet the Rogers. They live in that tiny little house. One of the first families to move into my burgeoning metropolis of Windfall Islands, they are stalwarts of the city, having stayed in the same spot, in the same house, for what feels like an eternity.
Or, at least, I think they’re the Rogers.
Not everybody that lives in the house — and the number of inhabitants varies day-to-day — is actually called Rogers. There’s a wide assortment of ages, genders and race coming and going every day, so maybe they’re adopted siblings living together. Maybe it’s a group house. I don’t know.
Not all of them have jobs. Understandable, since the Rogers were dirt poor when they moved into their lot, and have remained so, Windfall Island’s land values sadly ignorant of the fact their block not only sits on the water, but also enjoys fantastic transportation approaches and has vast green fields for a backyard.
I’ve heard they cast envious glances at the single residential tower nestled in the middle of my pollution-choked industrial quarter, but the single BBQ pit across the street has propelled land values there so high they’ll never be able to afford it. Shame. Those ocean views and fresh, clean air will have to suffice, for now.
Like all families, they have their problems with the city. They often complain that there’s no shopping. There’s an entire shopping district right over the bridge, and a bus stop outside their home to take them there, but that’s not important.
What’s important is that the Rogers have perceived problems.
Which are worse than any real ones, because for the Rogers, there is no escape from the bubble of discontent they find themselves in.
They’re uneducated, even though public schooling is only a few blocks away. They’re often unwell, despite the presence nearby of a brand new, cutting-edge clinic. Yet their biggest concern, the one that literally hangs over their home, is that they lack the space to expand their abode, when really, all they have is space.
I could get angry at the Rogers. At least frustrated. My performance as their Mayor is based not on the actual solutions to their concerns that I’ve supplied in full, but on how they believe I’m solving them. Or, in their case, not solving them. But as absurd and illogical as their issues are, I don’t blame them. It’s not their fault they’re so, for want of a better word, stupid.
Instead, I feel a little sorry for them. I often wonder how they feel, getting up every morning and walking out the door of their “modest” little home, when the first thing they see are the glistening steel towers of Windfall’s commercial and administrative heart. Do they yearn for a higher standard of living? A more meaningful place of employment? That might explain why they can’t seem to hold the same job down for longer than a single day.
I’ve heard the city has made sweeping changes in the past few weeks aimed at helping people like the Rogers. Help them find better jobs, lead happier lives, turn right at intersections. Like all promises from big government, though, it seems to have had little trickle-down effect. Every day, like clockwork, I still see them walk to the end of their street, stop, turn around and walk back, over and over, until the sun goes down. Either they’re spies, drug dealers or hamsters.
They’re a simple folk, the Rogers. They have needs, just like the rest of us. Only they need problems addressed when their problems are already addressed, which might explain why they’re never happy. And why you, like me, think they’re so crazy it’s not worth the hassle.