Thursday, July 03, 2008

Strictly Enforced

So yesterday, as I was barreling down the terrifyingly narrow lanes of I-44, Eastbound at Berry Rd in Webster Groves, I saw one of those flashing signs that gives people warnings about impending construction or lane shifts or whatever. You know the type. This particular one warned of stopping on the shoulder.

You see, for those of you who don't live in the StL, one of our major highways, Highway 40 (US 40, known to outsiders as I-64) is closed for a five mile stretch between I-270 and I-170. And Eastbound from there for five miles, from I-170 to Kingshighway, it is under construction (and that five mile stretch will close next year, all year). What this means is that the other two East/West Interstates in the area are overly congested, along with every concievable road I could normally take to go home from work (including the road on which my office sits). To compensate for this, the lanes on I-70 between 270 and 170 and the lanes on I-44 between 270 and downtown have been restriped narrower to accomodate for an extra lane in each direction. This hardly solves the problem, because now instead of just being jammed in traffic, we're jammed in traffic and it's easier to talk to each other because our cars are, no joke, mere inches apart. When traffic is moving along at the speed limit, it's harrowing when you are passing or getting passed, especially if there's a semi involved.

But I digress. I was talking about I-44 Eastbound at Berry Rd and the warning sign about stopping on the shoulder. My point was that due to the lane re-striping, the shoulder on each side of the road has virtually vanished. Nowhere to park if you have a flat tire, you just have to book it to the next exit and pray your wheel holds up.

But the warning sign made me cry. Why? Well, it had the message flash across it in two sections, the first being "NO STOPPING ON SHOULDER." No problem there. But the second part is what did it: "STRICKLY ENFORCED."

Wait wait wait wait..."STRICKLY?" What the hell does "Strickly" mean? Well, I Googled it and came up with a number of companies that have it as part of their name, but my favorite was the first link from the Urban Dictionary. The definition of strickly? "How morons spell strictly."

Yes, that is right, I just called Mo-Dot morons. First off, tell me why it takes Iowa, a tiny state without the tax base that Missouri has, five years to turn seventy miles of two-lane highway into a four-lane expressway complete with guideposts to let you know that you're still on it (I'm talking about the Avenue of the Saints here) when in the same time Missouri can only turn fifteen of its forty miles from two to four lanes. Tell me why. Because they're morons. Why is it that even though the I-64 construction project has been going on for two years now, the only visible progress I have seen is the completion of one seldom-used bridge, half of the Kingshighway bridge, worse commutes and five miles of closed highway? Because they're morons.

Lucky for them, today when I drove by the same sign, it had been corrected. Possibly some other enraged English Major with nothing better to do called in. But I'm glad it got fixed; people learn best from example, and from seeing. If Mo-Dot, a publicly funded government agency, can't spell correctly, then the general public will start to think spelling and grammar are optional. Well, just so you know, they're not.

One more thing; My Sister just recently blogged about her eyebrow. I, too, have only the one (unless I take measures against the creeping unibrow). Today, sitting on the exit ramp at I-44 and Laclede Station, I noticed a woman about my age in a Subaru station wagon (I know, this is hilarious because I drive a Jetta, we were both white, and the Stuff White People Like blog has mentioned how Jettas and Subaru Station Wagons were at one time the car of choice for trendy white people). She was applying a piece of hair-removing wax paper to her unibrow. I thought I should look away, but I understood that if she caught me looking, all I had to do was point out my own unkempt forehead moustache and she would be relieved of all embarassment. What makes this better is that this happened no more than a mile from my sister's house; see, Mo, you and I are not alone, not even in our own neighborhoods.

2 comments:

Becca said...

WAit... Are you saying you pluck your eyebrow??

Molly said...

Lord... she was waxing while driving!? There oughta be a law... that's just insane.

Perhaps we unibrows should unite and advocate for unibrow freedom. Let's bring the beauty of the unibrow to the public. Let's embrace our unibrows and wear them proudly! (oh wait... I can't... I had mine zapped with a laser...)