This weekend, I experienced some mess that reminded me just how oh-so-very controlled we are in America. The loving hubby and the beautiful stepdaughters and I had a great, long weekend in the DC area, visiting with family and friends, hitting up BBQs and parks, and generally soaking up the sunlight while we could get it.

But our fun in the sun was cut short by our ridiculously extended ride back to NYC. This trip took not the usual four, but nearly seven freakin’ hours just to make it into the vicinity of the city!

Was there some awful accident accompanied by some awful rubbernecking? A bottleneck at an understaffed toll booth? Massive construction creating a merging nightmare? Nope. I’m convinced it was the signs that did it.

For those who’ve never had the pleasure of driving down the eastern coast of the U.S. on I-95, there are electronic signs that are supposedly meant to alert motorists to problems that lie ahead and control traffic to keep the roads safe. Yeah, they control traffic all right.

After the third time we got caught in a 30+ minute slowdown/standstill that suddenly cleared for no apparent reason, it dawned on me—folks were following the signs, which read: “Slow down. Congestion ahead.” The problem was, the congestion only came about when folks jammed on their brakes to avoid this prognosticated roadblock; it only takes a few dickheads slowing down to back up three lanes of traffic. Seriously. Once we were hip, the hubby and I watched for the brake lights to come on after we passed a sign—and they did, like clockwork the rest of the way home. And there was nothing we could do about it but go with the flow.

Word? You mean to tell me cats are so brainwashed that we let some signs turn a quick jaunt up the coast into a never-ending adventure? Think I’m crazy if you want to, but about a mile after the last sign, the road opened up the rest of the way home.

So why would the Department of Transportation, or the government, or the highway patrol, or whoever the hell controls the signs do that? Just because they can, I figure. Oh, and the longer you’re stopped, the more likely you are to pull into rest stops for bathroom and food breaks…

Where have you heard the baaaa-ing of mindless sheep lately?


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