A funny speaker gets to travel a lot. And that’s annoying after a while. Particularly when you’re navigating road construction.
Most of my work as a funny speaker involves travel by plane, but lately I’ve spent more time than normal traveling by car. I’m glad this happened when fuel prices spiked. I have excellent timing. Got that goin’ for me.
I don’t know if it’s residual stimulus money or not, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much road construction. A lot of the work was way overdue, like the other day when I saw a pothole in a pothole, a recent inductee into the “Pothole Hall of Fame”. But some of the work I truly believe is optional, like those Round-Abouts. Those are all the craze in Europe, but they just make me dizzy. If I want to drive in a circle and turn left, I’ll enter a NASCAR event.
I’ve never seen so many construction signs and I think I could save the government some money. Just buy two road signs that say “No Road Construction Ahead” and put them the two places in the country where there isn’t any work going on. I haven’t seen those two places, but I’m sure they’ve got to exist.
As you might guess, I’m constantly looking for funny stuff as a funny speaker, and road signs are a bonanza for this. Like when there are several signs in a row and I’m faced with the dilemma: do I read them together as though they are a story instead of independent signs? Case in point: I see a sign that says “Flagman Ahead”, then a few hundred yards down the road a sign that says “No Shoulders”. Really? I’m glad they hired him, but how does he do it? And some of the signs make absolutely no sense. I actually saw this sign: “Lane Closed to Ease Congestion”. What? I’ve always thought that shutting down lanes helped traffic flow, didn’t you? The only thing I know about lane closure is that it’s just a game to see how many people can pass you on the right and squeeze in before they hit the construction barrels. This despite the fact that the “Right Lane Closed” sign was posted two miles back.
So here are my road construction truisms I assimilated after my last few thousand road construction miles.
1. Never get in the way of a car that needs extensive body work. This is self-explanatory. And you shouldn’t explain to someone that something is self-explanatory, unless you’re just wanting to imply they’re so stupid they might need an explanation. So just forget that I said this was self-explanatory.
2. Under no circumstances should you leave a safe distance between you and the car in front of you no matter how fast you’re going. If you do, that space will be filled in by someone else putting you in an even more dangerous situation.
3. The number of cones is inversely proportional to the amount of work being done. Two miles of cones will often mean one pothole is being filled. In these cases, it often takes more time to place the cones that to actually do the work.
So the next time you see more Orange Cones on the highway than you do Pine Cones in the forest, just remember you’re not really a tourist this summer, you’re a detourist.
Mark Mayfield…A Funny Speaker with a Serious Message