A Mostly Fractured Take On Current Events

Five Ways To Improve Your Morning Commute

In Current Events on March 24, 2012 at 3:57 pm

Joe Biden is the reason I now hate the color orange. In June of 2009, the Vice President made a visit here to kick off federal highway improvements. Amazingly, only three people fell asleep during the ceremony. Every day since then, my commutes have been filled with that nasty and vile hue. Orange cones, orange blinkers, orange construction vests, and orange warning signs. Like a science experiment gone awry, my brain is now hard wired to believe this simple truth: The color orange = Loud, invasive, mind-numbing road construction.

And the construction is everywhere. Even the drive-thru lane at McDonald’s is getting a new entrance ramp. What’s that? You say you’ve got a secret short-cut that nobody knows about? Think again. Your route is now occupied by a surly man carrying a sign that says “Slow.” As citizens, we have two ways to process this: #1) “Hey, my tax dollars are being used for civic improvements!” or #2) “God-&%!?…these clowns are making me late for work again!” If someone tells you they’re in the former camp, they’re lying.

My plan to address this is simple: Never fix the roads. Ever. At this point, I’d happily take pot holes and crumbling concrete over jackhammers and new traffic patterns. Can you imagine the goodwill that would develop in a world without construction delays? Wars between nations would end!  My stance on roads will never get me elected mayor. But consider what else we could have spent that highway money on. Here are five ways to improve the roads in the absence of road repairs:

1) Idiocy Alerts– Those electronic warning signs on highways are nice because they alert me to accidents ahead. But they don’t go far enough. What I want to see is a system that calls out idiots at the wheel. For example, the guy who just cut me off will be immortalized in lights: “Loser in green BMW refuses to use turn signal; Be prepared to use middle finger for the next 5 miles.”

2) Texting-Only Lanes– If I’m to believe the news reports, texting while driving is now more dangerous than the Bubonic Plague. Let’s give these offenders their own dedicated lanes. If a guy can text his wife, eat a Big Mac, AND finish a New York Times crossword puzzle simultaneously while not crashing, he deserves to go faster than me just on talent alone.

3) Speed Limit Holidays– We spend 365 days a year trying to follow speed limits. Why can’t we have a day off? Under my plan, you can! If it’s your birthday, you may go any speed you wish without penalty. Drivers of Toyota Priuses earn lifetime immunity because, well, a Prius has never been found to go above 65 mph even with the wind at its back.

4) Free Oil Changes– Gridlock affects all of us. For me, the days when my car is passed by hot-air balloons are the most frustrating. When I’m stuck in this kind of traffic, I always feel like I’m wasting my time. I propose we allow teams of mechanics to change your oil while you’re at a standstill. Some highway jams in Los Angeles may offer a full transmission overhaul.

5) Bumper Sticker Requirements– I think we can all agree that some of the best American literature has emerged from those important little messages stuck on fenders. Let’s promote literacy through a law that forces everyone to have a bumper sticker. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “Honk If Your Horn Is Broken” stacks up better than anything written in “The Great Gatsby.”

© 2012 Pat Hester

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