Hi-Jinks Tiddlywinks Highway Expose'
Highway Etiquette - or its absence
The politics of the road. Stupid driving habits of people in a hurry.
Road construction and traffic jams. Texting while driving or just applying make-up when the light turns green. High beam Harry blinding everyone. The sports car soprano. Toad in the middle of the road and slow Pocahontas. Then there's Tourista Joe and Rubber Neck Rhonda taking their good ole time driving down the road and checking out the scenery, or suddenly stopping in the middle of the busy highway to look at a deer in the field. Dizzy Dean slams on the brakes to snap a photo of a pregnant rodent in a tree alongside of the road.
Driving the PA Turnpike
I may be late for work this morning?
You don't want to get behind these guys
Habits of dazed drivers
Here we go with speed set and cruising down the road. Minding our own business and trying to just drive peaceful and easy when we catch up to the car up ahead. So we hit the turn signal and pass and when we get next to him he suddenly speeds up, not enough for us to pull behind him, just enough so we can't pass. Doesn't it always seem to go this way. It's like now they see you pass and they can't have that. So they match your speed until you jump on the gas and pass because if you put on the brake and pull behind them they will soon space out again and do the same thing. The road rascal just wants to be in your way. Don't you just love it?
Then there's the sports car soprano who thinks he's at the Indy 500. It's snowing and foggy and road conditions couldn't be worse, but this guy needs to go 90 miles an hour. And so he weaves from lane to lane cutting off everyone and almost killing that poor little old lady who is trying her best to drive safely. Then as he weaves in front of you he see's a cop and slams on his brake to go the speed limit, causing you to slide into the other lane and get stopped by the policeman. Soon as you are pulled over he is back on his way weaving lane to lane at 90 miles an hour.
Your running late for work and catching all the red lights. The light turns green and the car in front of your just sits there. You peer through their back window to see the lady driving the car is busy applying her make up and didn't notice the light change. Or, the old guy at the light in front of you fell asleep and is happily snoring away to beat the band. Pulling your hair out by the roots you beep your horn and they turn and give you the finger while shouting obscenities you cannot hear. All you know is you are not moving and the guy behind you is blasting his horn at you and the boss will soon be screaming when you show up late.
Or the Dump Truck Deva who bounces down the road, stones flying from his truck and cracks your windshield, as he continues bouncing and spilling stones down the road. Or, you are driving down the road with your speed set and at the last minute he pulls his truck out in front of you going 10 miles an hour with no empty lanes to pass. You slam on your brakes to barely miss him while he throws his cigarette out bouncing it off your windshield. Don't you just love those guys?
Then night falls and your eyes are getting tired from driving for the last 10 hours and here comes High Beam Harry blinding everyone in his path. His car sits just high enough that his headlights shine in your eyes from the rear view mirror. So you speed up to get some distance and he matches your speed. Then you figure I'll fix him and slow down, doesn't the dirty rat slow down and won't pass determined to blind you.
You just made a hotel reservation and need to drive an hour to get to your hotel and your beat from driving all day. Just your luck you come to road construction.
Don't run over my lunch!
Round and round we go
Road construction fun
The sign up ahead says right lane closed in one mile, so doesn't everyone try to shoot down the right lane to gyp everyone else and causes a huge delay that would not happen if they all just patiently waited their turn. Two hours later you finally make it the mile to the actual construction and what do you find. Two miles of cones on the road and not a construction worker in sight. So you inch down the path for the next two hours until you come to ten feet of construction. There are 12 guys holding up their shovels and one guy with a white hat watching them all drink their coffee and talking. There is one poor guy down in the ditch doing all the work while the 13 others just stand on the edge watching him. This brings me to my next question. How many construction workers does it take to dig a 5 foot ditch? Looks like about 14 and three trucks for them to take turns sitting in, listening to country music on the radio.
You finally make it to your hotel that you booked online with your phone. It's 1 am and the computer illiterate hotel clerk can barely speak English and cannot find your reservation. You notice that you are now in a seedy broken down part of town with no hotel room and a gang of street thugs eyeing you with a sneer, as though you are their next meal. So you turn to walk the other way and three crazy hookers proposition you and your frightened wife. You run back to the car and quickly lock it tight. Bleary eyed you head for the next town 50 miles down the road, in hopes of finding another hotel. Another fine example of Hi-Jinks Tiddlywinks of the highway.
Yellow boot brigade
The perfect shovel leaning posture.
Grandma drives too
Road construction university
Here we will discuss the requirements needed to work in the road repair industry. This report comes direct from a classified government study that we had access to while serving in the military.
Shovel Leaning 101 consists of two courses worth 4 credits each and takes one year to complete. Shovel leaning is an exact science and much practice is needed to learn the proper methods and stance of the accomplished shovel leaner. The most proficient shovel leaner's are schooled in the military. Traveling abroad to master the finer points of the art. The proper position must be used to not cause back injury or weaken the intricate balance of the shovel.
Cone Metrics geometry is a three part course consisting of 3 credits each and takes 9 months to complete. The proper placement of the cone is paramount to the art of safety cones. Also one must learn the cone color codes, what the yellow cones represent as compared to the bright orange cones. We must inform you that the storage of these cones is a classified secret. I know everyone has been wondering and many ask where do these cones reside. Unfortunately you must have a G7 Eye's Only National Security clearance to know this. This is of the utmost importance to the US government and should someone disclose this location they will be brought up on charges of treason. We understand the question of this illusive location has been on everyone's mind as of late, please don't worry. Just think of this as another example of the fine work your government is doing to keep your highway secure. Rest assured your representatives in Washington are hard at work keeping your safety a National priority.
Psst ... I can tell you that the secret location of the cones has been kept a secret with mis-information. By making people think the government is secretly housing aliens and alien space ships in these high security bases, people would never suspect that the true secret is that our highway cones are stored there. Area 51 is really a secret warehouse for highway cones. Aliens are just the cover story, pretty clever, eh? Those guys in Washington are amazing, at least they have always amazed me.
Placement of the Straw that covers and protects the new grass seed. This too is an exact science because the straw must be laid out so it will always blow into the yards of the people living near the highway, while blocking the highway. As you can imagine this is a high mathematical formula that can take years to master. To become a straw master takes three years of intense training. This is a two part course with each course consisting of 6 credits. To apply for this course one must have completed both Shovel Leaning and Cone Metrics.
Sleeping in the Truck is the final 12 credit course and the golden achievement of the professional road construction worker. This is a detail oriented course of study with a grueling curriculum. Learning to sleep in the truck while its running for hours while appearing to be hard at work. With the proper placement of the cones and the correct number of shovel leaner's the irate motorists won't notice you sleeping in your truck.
Until these courses are completed and mastered there are a few on the job training positions, but for these you must wear a white hard hat and stand near the shovel leaner's. When wearing the white hat you must appear to know what is going on, at least to passing motorists and not distract the shovel leaner's concentration.
By the way, I used to work on a road crew and also worked for the FAA as a civilian on several military air bases, so I am poking fun at myself too. I mean no disrespect, as these people do work hard. This hub is all just in the spirit of fun.
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© 2015 Randy Hirneisen
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