Sidewalk Bullets

Hey Matt:

Who has been shooting bullets into our sidewalks? Everywhere I go downtown I see these round metal things embedded in the sidewalk that look like bullet casings. What are they?

-- Matt Too, the net

We sent the elves out on their hands and knees looking for sidewalk bullets and petrified gum shaped like any contemporary celebrity. The judges picked a fetching little blob that did look remarkably like Angelina Jolie's baby. But to the matter at hand. The sidewalk bullets. They're usually at street corners and they're called monuments. Surveyors monuments. They mark a surveyed point on a property line or intersection or some other significant geographical spot. The bottom end of the surveyor's measuring-thingy-on-a-stick fits right into the circular depression in the monument so any subsequent measurements are made from exactly the same point. Sometimes I'd much rather leave Aliceland to your own speculations about the wonders around us. An urban gunslinger is much more interesting than the truth.

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