Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Hit The Road Commissioner

My day was not pleasant. I left a bit late for work today, thereby putting myself in downtown Grand Rapids at rush hour. This is never a good idea. Not because we are a particularly large city, but because our road system seems to have been designed by a blind, and particularly lazy, sloth using a ruler that had previously been run over by priority freight.

Because I had left late, I decided to take the most direct route, since turning crowded corners at that crazy time of the morning can be highly entertaining. Imagine my surprise as I cleared a curve and discovered the road ahead of me to be closed. Entirely closed. Not just one lane, but the entire road. No previous warning of closure, no mention of it on the traffic report (to which I had listened attentively), no dancing albino billabong waving a sign reading, “Turn back, you fool, turn back!” Nothing. And so, I and dozens of other harried members of the local workforce, were thrown into momentary confusion.

Fortunately, the road crew had clearly indicated a detour and so we all piled into it and began creeping our way down scary side streets that looked as if they had been constructed shortly after the Big Bang. Or perhaps during it; they were just as orderly.

Sadly enough, it soon became apparent that the job of creating the detour had been assigned either to Mortimer Snerd or an escaped war criminal, because it directed the poor, unsuspecting motorists to a dead end and then left them there.

“Ha!” chortles Escaped War Criminal. “Let’s see them find their way out of that one!”

Actually, I think the road commissioner merely became bored and, looking at his wall map of the Grand Rapids road system, said to himself,

“Ya’ know, if I close off North Division and then create a detour just so, the resulting back-up will spell out the word ‘billabong.’ Cool!” This probably explains why there was no billabong available for construction duty, as he was over at the commissioner’s office telling him how to spell his name.

My day did not improve from that point, but the rest of the details aren’t nearly as entertaining as this, so I’ll save those for a slow Blog day. Cheerio! (Frosted Flakes.)


Anonymous said...

Where did you come up with billabong? Nice word. Hopefully today will be better, but this is Michigan and there is always a bajillion orange barrels in the way everywhere you turn.

Paul FooDaddy Brand said...

If you're as direction-impaired as I am, then you're pretty much stuck to your normal route. Anything that forces you from said route generally causes you to become lost and twitchy. This, of course, results in your wasting halves of hours barging around mystery streets and getting slowly closer to where you originally started from.

At least that's the way it works for me. I think I could make a whole post out of this! Stay tuned!

Anonymous said...

Strickly speakin', a billabong (in the language known as Strine) is a pool that only fills up in the rainy season, but it SHOULD be a small albino creature not too different from a pygmy marmoset, but larger.

Anonymous said...

foodaddy's foodaddy, I am impwessed. How do you know all this stuff about billabongs and such? You are so smart. I think I like you.

Jack W. Regan said...

Crap! FDFD, you're right. I should have remembered this, since I have aurally read Bryson's "In A Sunburned Country." I must have been thinking of a "bongo," because I had a four-legged, horned creature in mind when I wrote the flawed post. Drat it all, now I have to flog myself.

Stupid Woman Driver said...

from living in michigan i have come to learn that" 1) michigan has 5 seasons; spring, summer, fall, winter, and road construction and they are never in any recognizable order. 2) michigan is the only state that you can visit for a 1-week vacation and experience all 5 seasons. 3) if you dont like the weather just wait 5 mins. 4)Holland, michigan, is the center of the dutch mafia.

Anonymous said...

The Girlfriend, I've seen the photo of you on your blog. You're a lamprey, aren't you. Did Foo-D take that one?

Jack W. Regan said...

She's an animorph! The plot thickens. (I've always wanted to say that.)

Anonymous said...

Stupey-B, now that our long national nightmare is over, I hereby commission you to write a new blog entry: All The Things I've Always Wanted To Say.

Here's a few of the things I've always wanted to say:

"Let go of that, you fool! You'll kill us all!"

"Same to you, darling, with knobs on."

"Put down that pickle! You don't know where it's been!"

"Gould's the name. Glenn Gould. I play the piano. Put 'er there."

"And with its head he went galumphing back."

I'm sure you can come up with far better ones.

Jack W. Regan said...


"And with its head he went galumphing back."

Ah! Lewis Carroll! I highly enjoy reading his "Through the Looking Glass," which is presumably where you got this line. The "Glass" far exceeds "Wonderland," in my humble opinion.

This is a good idea. Perhaps I shall work on the list today while chaperoning your son (can I mention that?) and The Girlfriend. They need a lot of watching, let me tell you.

Jack W. Regan said...

Oh, and the Gould remark is especially fitting, because I can't imagine him saying, "Put 'er there" to anyone. Eccentric and brilliant, Mr. Johann Sebastian Gould.

Anonymous said...

Have fun at the Gilmore Museum (be careful, they've closed off the direct path to the Pierce Arrow barn and you have to detour through the Hudsons), watch those kids, get the DVD Extasis about G.Gould, and don't let the wallabies billabong yer Frosted Flykes, mate.

Jack W. Regan said...

I've done three of those. Will look for the Gould DVD.

Anonymous said...

Excellent. We now return you to The Adventures of Giggles the Helium-Filled Girlfriend, already in progress.