Thursday, September 29, 2016

#AMWRITING #BLOGGING - THROWBACK THURSDAY - THE HISTORY OF ROAD CONSTRUCTION


GALLNNNN!
Heh. Made ya look!
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Note: This is a new addition I'm going to attempt to add on Thursdays. Facebook keeps barfing up old posts of mine from the dim, dark past of my homeless shelter days and a bit after. I've recently started to re-read some of the stuff I wrote back then, and apparently, I was in some drug-induced haze of inventiveness when I wrote this gem. This is also from around the time my brain took a va-cay and didn't invite my body along, so I think I can be forgiven, if I really don't quite remember writing this. Reading it though I do have to say this; it's my baby!

This was written about the time I started to show really overt signs of my essential tremor and no one had any clue what in the hell I was talking about. It also involves my eyesight, which is another swell thing to deal with.
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When you have something that is not necessarily so definitive, doctors like to sit on fences. All well and good for their malpractice rates, but hell for the patients. I’ve just had enough of the psychoses and all the other little treats that are not so slowly being unveiled. The fourth of October can’t get here fast enough. I’m sure I’ll have to play the kind of game you get to play when you go to the Optometrist.

You know the one where they put the combination Wheel-of-Fortune-Darth-Vader-helmet-minus-the-helm doo-dad in front of your eyes and start alternating lenses. Then ask, “Is number one better? Or…is number 2 better?” Frankly, every damned one of those things ever in my entire life was a smeared blur with a light in the distance. They could have painted butter on one lens, motor oil on another, and cheese cake on the rest for all the clarity I ever experienced. I would mumble some kind of response and half an hour later would walk out with a pair of glasses that would take residence under the front seat of my car for the next year, until I received my friendly reminder, telling me it was time for my next eye appointment. I’m so glad I had vision insurance, as well as car insurance.

Driving. Ah, yes, driving. At the beginning of a friend's post, she talks about all of the wonderful construction and how it puts our nation's highway system in some kind of stasis. Yes, it has, for centuries. It has been going on for eternity. Dinosaurs were originally used for Highway Stasis back when the earth was first cooling and it was then that the first roads were laid. These roads were pronounced good and have remained pretty much the same to this day. Oh, there may be talk of road expansion and a bit of hot patch thrown down now and again, but the original roads that brontosaurus and his cousins, backhoasaurus and goldbrickodactyl built are the foundations for all the roads traveled today.

As governments and empires rose and fell, it became necessary to justify huge expenditures of money that had been wrested from the peasantry. The wealthy oligarchs couldn’t continually have festivals and high holy holidays with all their conspicuous consumption, so they came up with public works. If they weren’t building giant eyesores in the name of Whobius Frippus, they were busy paving and re-paving and re-re-paving roads, some of which actually went places. Cue the dawn of an era. One Roman Emperor, Flambius Corpeum Dirge in a confused attempt to meld form and function tried to pave the Apian Way using an entire Circus. This failed miserably when the elephants trampled the midgets and dancing poodles. The only up side was that an idea was born, and the putative Emperor tossed aside the midgets and elephants and had the road paved by the poodles. And people wondered why the Roman Empire died in 479 A.D.

The Dark Ages were really, really dark. I think roads were pretty much optional and were infested with outlaws anyway. You had to practically go to the Holy land or back down around Rome to get a decent road or at least a path during the Dark Ages so, we’ll skip ahead shall we?

Okay, here we are. It’s about 2003, so you know we’ve skipped. I’m still playing between Tampa, Orlando, Melbourne, all over Florida and the Southeast, the roads of which are ALL in some kind of state of construction. If it’s not the magical slowdown for 6 hours, it’s the driving on uneven lanes. There are cones, barrels, construction workers looming up at you, even at night; it's frightening. It’s a mess and it’s constant. It’s been like this since I’ve been touring in the early 90s.

Anyway, one night I’m between Tampa and the Mauseschwitz, driving home after a gig, tired, with so many cones, barrels, uneven lanes and so much odd shit going on. I’m following the cones, like the good driver I am. They keep veering right, veering right, veering right. The lanes are uneven. Then, clunk! I’m not on the road! I’m still following the cones, following the cones…WTF? I find myself with about 45 other bewildered drivers in the middle of some empty field, milling around, driving in confused circles, just milling in circles, kicking up dust, wondering how in the hell we'd all gotten there. It was the Bermuda Triangle on land. We somehow all managed to stagger our way back out of the field AND without benefit of an entrance ramp, nor a flagman, crawled back up onto I-4. WTF? Maybe we were in some kind of bastard Roman Games, in the midst of bear-baiting gladiatorial games and part of chariot races? Clambering back up onto I-4 unscathed with nary a battle-mace in my side-door, which car insurance wouldn't cover, but would look cool on the wall. Time Warp? WTF?  Who knows? This is Florida, after all.


Isn't this the 275 interchange to Nebraska Avenue? Wrong century, dewd.











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