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Know the West

'Bureaucrabloat' and other occupational hazards

  Dear HCN,

Regarding Randolph F. Edwards' brutal attack on my "dumb poorly drawn cartoon" of park rangers with deformed heads, Mr. Edwards must realize that I doodle from experience. I was a park ranger at Arches National Park for 10 years and the consensus among field rangers (the ones who actually work in the park, and not in an air conditioned office) has always been that the NPS Smokey hat is one of the most poorly designed, inefficient and uncomfortable forms of headgear ever designed by civilized society. And they're just great in the wind - we used to call them our straw frisbees, when the slightest breeze sent them sailing.

I am convinced that over that decade, as I was forced to sacrifice principles and logic in order to enforce and support the brain-dead policies of an agency no less corrupt or wasteful than any other government-run bureaucracy, my head actually did start to change its shape. It's called Bureaucrabloat. But I finally quit the government, and now draw dumb cartoons and rant and rave about the government for a living.

The swelling has gone down and I'm feeling much better now. Thank you.

Jim Stiles

Moab, Utah