Apr 9, 2011

Signs of Spring

The freaks are out of their cages!

In my rarely humble opinion, that is the first sign of spring in Minnesota. As soon as the temperature rises above 40F, all bets are off on what you'll see on the public roads. Friday started off weird and decayed into something Terry Gilliam would have had trouble putting on screen. First thing, as I'm getting on to the freeway ramp I see a ramshackle Honda Accord stopped just past the on-ramp with all four fenders dangling from scraps of metal and duct tape. Seriously. The Honda has been pulled over by one of Minnesota's Finest, or largest, since the HP walking toward the collapsing piece of Japanese junk has to weigh 400 pounds, minimum. He is so fat that his legs bow outward because his huge thighs are forcing his feet to splay. Calling his gait a "waddle" would be complimentary. The state must install truck springs on the left side to offset the patrolman's mass.

On the road, it appears that every evidence of common sense has left the majority of the driving public. "Crazy" would be a compliment if you were describing the highway tactics of the tailgaters, wannabe road racers, and distracted idiots with cell phone lobotomy devices. "Stupid" would be more accurate. From the air, I35E must have looked like a bumper car track. Maintaining space among this crowd of mental midgets is impossible, so I gave up and went to surface streets.

Unfortunately, the residential streets have been taken over by bicyclists. Now that the roads are clear and most of the icy obstacles are gone, the bicyclists have decided that the only place for them is the middle of the road. After toddling along behind two spandex-lined doofuses on bikes for a block, I split the "lane" between the road hogs and they practically disassembled themselves in shock. For characters who appear to believe they are invincible and entitled, they sure collapsed into insecurity when their road-hogging plan failed. They were still wobbling when they vanished in my rear view mirror.

Getting to work was worse than an episode of Jackass. But I swung by the parking garage gate and headed to my usual space. This time, I was followed by one of the garage's many non-English-speaking employees who wanted to present the annual "no motorcycles" argument. The garage is decorated with motorcycle parking spaces and their are motorcycles parked (mostly permanently) on every level. Usually, I put up with this yearly idiocy and try to politely explain to the resident Arab-in-charge that I have an annual pass and would be happy to take my business elsewhere if my money isn't good enough. This time, I left the earplugs in place and ignored the moron. My idiot-quotient has been exceeded and neither of us wants to see how I will deal with one-too-many-stupid-people before 9AM.

Work was work. Too long a story to tell in less than a million words.

The way home was detoured by a quick trip to Woodbury for a consulting gig. On the way out of St. Paul, I was trailing a really big dude on a fairly new KLR. It appeared to be his first ride of the year as he struggled to get into the right lane, to get the bike rolling after each light, and his entry into rush hour I94 traffic was a horror show. If I had been wearing my helmet camera, I'd have trailed him for a bit, but without cinematic motivation, I had no reason to stick around for the carnage. The trip to Woodbury was a carbon copy of my commute into work that morning. Stupid has been spending a lot of time reproducing over the winter and I suspect the country has more than enough brain damaged consumers to sustain corporate America for the residual years of the American Century.

The state is clearly giving out drivers' licenses in Cracker Jack boxes and too many people are eating Cracker Jacks.

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