Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Misery Loves Company

Well, I spent the afternoon in Missouri. Driving back on I-270 I thought: “Been a dull trip, not a single funny sign, MODOT has really let me down.” As I approached the 270/70 interchange, I noticed the first of the ACCIDENT REDUCTION ZONE signs. I have whined and ranted about them in a previous post so no reason to question again “What the hell does that mean?” To someone it apparently meant “What would happen if I drove my car into that thing?” Yes, that’s right, someone hit one of the ACCIDENT REDUCTION ZONE signs. It’s still standing, barely, badly mangled, weaving a little in the wind. How would you like to explain that to your insurance company, to your co-workers, to your wife?
“I had a little accident on the way to work today.”
“My god, what happened?”
“I hit a road sign.”
“My god, what happened?”
“I was driving north on 270, being careful not to cross the parallel white lines, and I lost control and ran off the road.”
“Were you hurt?”
“No, but my car and the sign are a mess.”
“What kind of sign was it?”
“Well, ur, um, it was big and orange.”
“Big and orange, on 270, approaching 70, you didn’t hit one of those ACCIDENT REDUCTION ZONE signs did you?”
“Ur, um, yeh.”

I hope no one was hurt, but I did think that would be the highlight of the day. I was wrong. This next one you will just have to take my word on. It will sound like I am making it up, but so help , I’m not.

I was still on 270 heading east, still amusing myself about the kerplunked ACCIDENT REDUCTION ZONE sign, just past the new I-170 interchange when I noticed that a foot was sticking out the window of a car ahead of me. Personally, I have always thought that looked kind of low class, and it was not that hot today, so I immediately thought: “What kind of parent would let their kid stick his or her foot out of a car window on 270?” Actually, it was a large, white SUV, and the foot was sticking out on the driver’s side so I figured it was some really obnoxious rug-rat in the back seat. I was wrong. It was the driver. I told you this would be hard to believe. There being no know speed limit on 270, like the Autobahn, we were all cruising at about 75. I speeded up a little and sure enough this guy was doing about 80 on the freeway with his foot and part of his leg hanging out of the driver’s seat window. After I got past the “Why?” question, the “How?” question came to mind. Are you that limber that you could drive with your left foot sticking out the window? I tried it when I got home, parked and in the driveway, and it is possible but you quickly understand why he had to have his leg so far out. After I passed him, I thought about slowing down and trying to take a picture but decided I didn’t want to see this guy’s leg being chopped off by a semi. Considering what we could all see he was doing, there was also the scary possibility that something else might be going on.

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