Things You Need To Know About Seattle, #435,872,906,710,451,076,516: The streets here are for shit. Seriously. They’re not built to handle anything like the amount of traffic they get, for one thing. And yeah, you can point your finger at those of us who moved here from California if you want to, I guess. If you do, though, don’t forget the folks originally from Montana and Idaho. Oh, but wait – that probably includes you, doesn’t it? My theory is that before 1985 there were only 100 people living in Seattle. Everybody else moved here and then immediately started bitching about all the other people who moved here after they did. It’s a tradition.
The other big problem is the potholes. Little ones that just barely give you enough of a bump to start wondering if your suspension is out of whack now; big ones large enough to hide an entire third grade class plus all their toys. Why is this so? I blame the fact that the city allows people to use studded tires from November 1 through March 31, even though an especially harsh winter gives us maybe two inches of snow that disappears a day later. Somewhere in the past I read a piece of fiction concerning a character who could only achieve an erection after he’d put the snow tires on his car for the winter. I think there may be a similar principle at work here – that’s the only way I can explain it.
Rather than banning the use of studs, or at least shortening the period in which their use is legal, the city has created a crack team of… wait for it… Pothole Rangers. Yep.
Lucy and I saw them just this morning, on our AM walk. I have no beef with the guys doing the work. They’re providing a desperately needed service, since the city can’t/won’t make the logical call on this issue. I was pretty amused at the cautionary sticker on the back of the hot box, though: Don’t touch hot asphalt used in patches. I dunno; that might be funny to me only because my father ran a paving crew before he retired. I’ve been around enough hot asphalt to know that touching it intentionally, especially freshly poured, is the last thing anyone with a brain larger than a red lentil would want to do. Hot + sticky = owie owie ow.
This mania for warning people against the obvious has gotten entirely out of hand. Yeah, I know, they’re trying to limit liability. What they’re doing is interfering with evolution. People stupid enough to stick their hands into hot petroleum products were meant to die before they could breed. It’s not just the law of the jungle; it’s a good idea. Besides, thinning the herd would solve that traffic/infrastructure nightmare in a jiffy.