George & Wendy Show

Wendy Parker

Geriatric infrastructure showing its age

| August 08, 2012

I had to drive down my least favorite road today. It’s an old country two-lane, paved and repaired, with a strip of fresh asphalt lapping over old. It’s a bitch and a half to navigate, if you have both tires on the new pavement, you’re whacking weeds on the side of the road. If you ride with one tire on the old road and one on the new, you’re a mosquito hair from crossing center. You have to keep the left tires on the center of the line where old meets new, and it’s crooked and wavy and throws the car around like a carnival ride. It’s crap and I’m gonna write a letter.

While I’m griping about roads I’ve just got to ask, ‘What the hell is up Oklahoma?’ You have GOT to do something with that rickety-ass turnpike. Seriously. A hundred eighteen bucks and you can’t clean the bathrooms? I nearly had an epileptic seizure bouncing around on that janky stretch of hell. I was trying to recover in the bathroom at a service plaza and had a heat stroke because the bathrooms weren’t air conditioned. Let me paint an ugly picture: hot ass, confined spaces + visible filth = a very bitchy person who feels completely salty about paying you (again) to use your busted up road and disease-laden bathroom.

(My husband is shitting his pants, hoping he never gets pulled over on the Oklahoma Turnpike. ‘You look familiar, son. Oh yeah, you’re wife is that funny woman, thinks it’s hilarious to say bad things about Oklahoma, ain’t she?’)

I’m not saying anything bad about Oklahoma. What I’ve seen of it is a very nice place. I’m saying that when you pay to use a road, over and above what you’re already shelling out in taxes, you feel entitled to a little bit better than filthy and bone-jarring.

I’m a little naïve, before going out I really didn’t know much about the highways. I-75 took us to every relative we visited on a regular basis when I was little. I never really thought about the infrastructure. It never occurred to me that most of the roads used to bring me all the stuff I need were built around the time my Grandad was a young man, and haven’t been touched a whole lot since then. There are bridges out there that scare the crap out of me. I know I’m on my soapbox and all, but something needs to be done. It’s dangerous enough out there, the last thing you need to worry about is plunging to your death because a bridge finally gives away.

And those are my happy thoughts for today. Everyone have a magical, fairy dust day. I have a scathing letter full of veiled threats and innuendo to write. Being righteous and indignant is exhausting.

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