Sunday, July 24, 2005

Crack Must Now Be Legal

I warned all of you that there may be an occasional tirade about something other than food on this blog. Hopefully, there will not be many, but this is going to be the first.

As I had the whole weekend off, I decided that I would take up my friend Carrie's invitation to a cook out at her house in Indianapolis. So, Saturday morning around 8:30, I hop into the Monte Carlo and pretend I'm a mouse in a maze navigating through downtown Peoria and East Peoria to get to east-bound I-74. Once situated heading east, I arm the radar detector, pop in Indigenous' "Long Way Home" CD and set the cruise control at a speed that would make Dale Earnhart, Jr. envious in pit row. As soon as I get to Goodfield, there it is: road construction..down to one lane all the way to the Mackinaw River Bridge. I head up the hill by the rest area, and lo and behold, MORE road construction for seemingly endless miles. And if that isn't bad enough, whatever the semi in front of me was hauling smelled like it had been in Mexico last night eating refried beans and drinking tequila - WHEW!! I get to Bloomington and the same road construction that has been going on there since chariot times, is STILL going on. By then, my nerves are shattered. I have musician friends who live in Bloomington but frequent Peoria. You people must be saints driving through this all the time without impaling a flute through someone's head.

I would really like to know who is responsible for this. I mean what normal, common sense, non-bribed, unadulterated by any substance, legal or otherwise, person would approve three major road construction projects at the same time within a 45 mile stretch between two of the largest cities in downstate Illinois? Did this person actually think that motorist and commercial trafficers wouldn't notice? Did they think that we would enjoy slowing down to take in the spectacular scenery of corn plants withering in 100 degree heat? A sane person could not be responsible. At this point, I can only venture guesses to why someone would do this and this is what I came up with: 1. the people are responsible are actually outerspace aliens and don't rely on roads for transportation, thusly not understanding the inconvenience. 2. They live in Chicago and thought we'd enjoy some crappy driving conditions for awhile. 3. they are on mind and judgement altering substances. I'll venture into this one a bit. I know it's not alcohol, because I've been beyond intoxicated many times and even in this state I would never have approved this crap. I can't say that I've used enough illegal drugs to have a knowledgeable opinion of their effects, but at no time under their influence would I ever have committed this trifecta of heinous acts of roadwork debauchery. So, I haven't tried crack, heroin or crystal meth. I know they aren't on heroin, because if you look at Keith Richards, he is usually incapable of knowing which end of his guitar to strum, let alone sign his name, so heroin is out. Most of our legislators look too overweight and speak coherently enough (even though they really don't SAY anything) so that rules out meth. That leaves crack. Now as far as I know, crack is still illegal. But since our legislators, their appointees and other governmental fruitloops and flunkies would NEVER do ANYTHING illegal or unscrupulous to cause them shame if caught, my thought is that they have secretly made smoking crack legal and THAT explains why the idiot who thought making I-74 through Peoria all the way through Bloomington look like Iraq was a good idea: he was smoking legal crack. There is no other possible explanation.

In this heat, which causes more irribility than normal, I would be very cautious of this stretch of road due to increased chances of road rage. If you happen to fall victim, I'd sue IDOT.

While I'm at it, a few more observations and ridicules:

1. Giant pickup trucks pulling huge campers - south. Isn't it hot enough here that you feel the need to get 1 mile to the gallon to go somewhere HOTTER?

2. I've been driving for miles without any interaction with any other vehicles. I come up behind two semis following each other. What in the world, at the last second, possesses the rear semi to suddenly think he needs to pass the leading semi....uphill..blocking both lanes..going 55 mph for the next 7 miles. Think they need to go to AA...Assholes Annonymous. Also goes for those who tool around in the left, ie PASSING, lane at 64.5 miles per hour. GET IN THE RIGHT LANE!!!

3. "Hit a worker, $10,000 fine, 14 years in jail" signs. I really hope no one gets hurt building or maintaining our roads. But it irritates the hell out of me. Why do they get a sign and special treatment? Where was my grandfather's sign? I didn't see any "Dislocate farmer of 45 years, he has a stroke within a month of relocation and dies, get a $10,000 fine and 14 years in prison" signs anywhere. No $10,000 fines and 14 years in Pontiac Correctional Facility for killing farmers. Are construction workers more important than farmers? The unposted sign outside Jim Thompson's governor office read something like: "We government people responsible for getting I-155 built get a frikkin' Cristal party since we managed to build a nice shiny highway connecting those two major business and economical powerhouse cities of Morton and Lincoln at the expense of farmers". I'm sure the state is much better off. Yes, I'm still bitter.

4. I noticed that Indiana has a 70 mile per hour speed limit. So does Iowa. And Missouri. So Illinois is like a giant speed trap. Come' on Gov. B, gets some "big ones" & put some ink on some paper and at least lower the embarrasment level of Illinois roads by raising the speed limit; well at least on those 2 roads somewhere in the state that have no road construction going on.

See you stuck in traffic.....


jazzwriter said...

Yes! I am with you 110% (possibly more). It should also be noted that the crews started this construction in the early spring (March), tore stuff up, and let it sit for 2 months, not touching a dern thing. Now they work sporadically. At least the west-bound lanes between Carlock and Goodfield are now complete (minus lining).

BTW, I, too, blogged about this inconvenience on April 23 ( I see state rep. Dan Brady regularly at Chamber events...perhaps I should give him an earful?

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