Okay, it’s been a bad winter. We’ve all established it’s been a sucky, long, hard-as-hell winter. We all know winters like this one lead to springs full of banged-up front ends and bad tires from the disrepair on the highways. We know it’s still winter, and you can’t start actual road repair until after the ground thaws, we all know it, and we still have to take our chances with there suddenly being no ground where there once was ground, because we have no choice. A bad highway doesn’t make Pennsylvania need toilet paper from Georgia any less. These are all valid reasons to suck it up, but seriously, Pennsylvania, fuel tax is outrageous here and the roads are crap.
I feel fortunate the truck has a stretched frame, as I am certain we would have been completely enveloped in the cave-in they call highway 81 around Wilkes-Barre. Holy crap. The view is stunning, if your head hasn’t been jarred loose by the constant undulation of wavy or missing chunks of roadway.
The air-ride seats started bucking uncontrollably as we crossed the Susquehanna River in Harrisburg. They got into a groove with the bumpity-bump of the buckled pavement across the bridge. I was on the verge of brain hemorrhage when I looked over to tell George I loved him before I died and found him having the time of his life.
“Yeee-haa!! Grooves, baby!”
“Really? This gets a yee-ha? I’m having parietal lobe issues and you’re yee-ha-ing?”
“Nothing you can do about it, may as well enjoy it!”
“Well, I think we’ve finally discovered a fundamental difference between us, as I have never enjoyed brain dam — OH MY FREAKING LORD DON’T HIT THAT POTHOLE!”
“Wooh! That’s a big one. I gotta call Bob and tell him about that one…”
He tells his headset to dial Bob while I have a swift, small coronary episode.
“That’s seriously the biggest pothole I’ve ever seen. I’m pretty sure there were trolls mining diamonds in the bottom of that thing.”
“Ha! That’s a good one babe, I’m going to tell Bob that…”
“If he asks how deep it is, tell him ‘magma’.”
And he and Bob are off and talking about a well-known pothole on 81, near the Susquehanna, that will rip your front end off. And I’m recovering from arrhythmia while thinking, If George and Bob know about this famous pothole, why doesn’t the state know? Surely to God if a bunch of people have disappeared into a cavern in the highway, they’d put a sign up or something.
“Warning: Decrease speed or receive a bone-jarring shake that will change your life, mostly because you’ll bite your own tongue off.”
I should totally be in charge of all the highway warning signs. Totally.
Trucker James Peterson of Wisconsin was on a run from New Jersey bound for La ...