So here we are in the middle of winter, and we all knows what happens other than snow, ice and rain. That's right; it's Pothole Season! You know those annoying craters, in the road, which can damage your vehicle faster than letting a hooker in the front seat of your car.
We all know how potholes are born.It's water seeping into the roadway through the tiniest of cracks, freezing and expanding. Then the roadway explodes outward, pushing the pavement away, leaving ten inches for your right front wheel to drop.
During the day, it's not too bad if you can manage to keep your eyes not only on the maniac drivers around you, but also on the roadway immediately in front of you. Your eyes constantly have to move from the side mirrors to the rear mirror to the front, praying you don't hit anyone, anything or a pothole.
When you take the same route every day, you learn where all the horrible potholes are located. I refer to those as craters, since some of them are so big they could swallow your car, hook, live and everything but the payments.
A number of years ago, a friend of mine hit a big pothole and had over $600 worth of damage to his car. He reported it to the county and it took months to receive reimbursement. These days, if you don’t report a pothole before you lodge a claim, the claim goes unattended. That makes no sense, other than it is politics.
Most people will see a pothole, go around it and forget it about until next time. They're not going to get to work and call the highway department and report that, or any other pothole.
I'm guilty of that offense. I just grazed a pothole the other day on my way to work, and promptly forgot about it as soon as I got out of the car. If I see again, I will report it. I promise.
What do you do when you see that crater coming up and you're driving so fast that you have to pray that nothing happens? Do you serve do avoid and hope that you don't hit any in another lane? Do you quickly slow down and hope that the guy behind you won't hit you?
If you just graze the side of that pothole, that's lucky. If you're going 55 mph, the speed will carry you over it with barely a bump, if it's not huge. Gawd help you, however, if that crater is two feet across and goes down to the center of the earth. Say good-bye to your tire, wheel and suspension. Something will break, and that huge repair bill will soon follow.
Last year, the politicians resurfaced one of our major parkways, the Meadowbrook, from the Northern Parkway to Hempstead Turnpike; now, driving south is a pleasure. The dangerous drive is north, since that section is falling apart, and the potholes and craters are getting worse every day, with all the snow, ice and rain we've had so far this winter.
As I drive, I can see the seams between the lanes coming apart and water pooling inside. That only means it's going to get worse. Patching now is an exercise in futility.
There’s one road hazard worse than a pothole qua crater, that’s a sinkhole, the Godzilla of road holes. A few years ago, a friend that shall nameless because she widely known, was at a red light in Los Angeles. As she thought the light was about to change to green, the roadway beneath her car gave way, dropping roughly eight feet.
She climbed out of her A-list German car, through the moon roof. Then she somehow climbed to the street. The police arrived, roughly twenty minutes later, and asked, “What happened.”
All I can say is drive slow on the pothole-infested roads. Keep your eyes open and your hands ready to dodge. The car you save will be your own.
Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.
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