in which i steal Bruce McCullough’s idea and relate it to road repair

recently, our hero janklow was attempting to drive to work in the morning when he came into contact with some road repair being performed by the illustrious members of the Maryland State Highway Administration. it… did not go well. the major problem, however, was that i’m not exactly sure who i should be blaming for some of the specifics of this situation, causing our hero to fume with impotent rage… and i think we all know what THAT means.

and now, janklow with an open letter to the Maryland State Highway Administration.

Maryland State Highway Administration
fuck you, man(s), fuck you

well, why did you do it? are you some sort of jerks or something? do you not understand what various times of day mean and are called? or the very concept of detouring traffic around obstructions? or is there some kind of “blah blah blah lazy government workers blah blah blah” commentary i should be getting into here? alright, alright, point made; let me break this down.

the initial road that janklow drives to work has the misfortune of having only one lane in either direction, but a respectable amount of traffic nevertheless; some would probably say too much traffic, although those people tend to be either a) older folks or b) janklow. Maryland’s State Highway Administration has been telling us for some time that there would be impending road closures at night due to, you guessed it, nighttime repairs. the morning in question, however, has led me to believe that the State Highway Administration has some sincere problems.

problem one: apparently no one at the SHA knows what “night” means

as in, it’s eight in the morning… so why are the roads closed? why are we still doing repairs? now i SUPPOSE there’s some legitimate reason to explain all this, like delays or something… but let me just say this: if i can’t even SEE any work being done, it’s hard for me to believe that there are CURRENT repairs going on this morning. it’s fair to say that i am not America’s most trusting soul.

problem two: apparently no one at the SHA knows how a detour works

i initially followed a detour that went on… and on… and on… before being forced to abrupt stop in a massive backup that led me to believe the initial plan by the SHA was something along the lines of “eh, direct everyone down into the swamp region of this county indefinitely and hope everything works out.” i admit this is an optimistic portrayal of their thought process –i suppose it’s equally likely people were just high– but i submit it bespeaks poor planning.

so our hero then decided to follow some available back roads, which a) found him being a school bus, b) led to the discovery of surprise detour signs, and c) ultimately deposited us back at the original detour. i really, really want to believe that this was done on purpose rather than accident, because then at least there’s some halfway-intelligent pranksters at work behind it all as opposed to some horrible, empty-headed entropy at work making all things more difficult for no rhyme or reason.

problem three: apparently someone at the SHA knows how a detour works ALL TOO WELL

after backtracking some ways to a traffic circle, our hero THEN discovered the following detour sign, which i shall now represent in cartoon map form:

the world's most awesome map!

…where the “joke detour” is where i found myself trapped in a cruel loop, and the “hidden detour” is a detour sign in the circle ONLY visible when you’re facing it. so i think we see how helpful THAT is.

then began a long, long meandering route that had randomly-located detour signs that seemed to point nowhere in particular AND sometimes directly in contradiction to the previously-seen detour sign. and i’ll just say this: i don’t have anywhere NEAR the world’s best direction sense, but i know this area a little… and i am pretty sure i left the state twice and saw one of those arching “here there be monsters” sea serpents during the course of following this detour.

ultimately, i HAVE to assume this was intentional, because it was too complicated to be solely the work of idiots. so, okay, Maryland State Highway Administration, you got me. i had to drive to Virginia and back and sit behind a school bus. YOU WIN THIS ROUND. KUDOS. and anyway, eventually i got to work and everything worked out okay…

…except for the part where i passed off all this off as a legitimate update. so the joke’s actually on you, loyal reader! AHAHAHAHAHA! wait… that’s probably not very conducive to repeat viewing. i’m sorry, loyal reader, you know i love you. i just get so FRUSTRATED sometimes.

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