Sunday, August 20, 2006

What Were They Thinking?

My city has only recently decided to move out of the Stone Age and construct a parkway that would quickly shunt travelers from one end of town to another. The construction on this monstrosity began, if I recall correctly, back in 1990 or thereabouts. It was supposed to be finished by 1996, but that deadline is 10 years past and counting.

JF and I have long joked that it should be called the "partway" because it is only partially completed, and looks to stay that way indefinitely. Construction on the phase near our neck of the woods was completed about a year ago, and using it makes travelling to outlying areas much easier for us. We take the partway often when we head out to my parents' house at the beach, since we bypass all of that pesky stop-go traffic in town.

The on-ramp where we begin such journeys is marked by a large retention pond. As the workers constructed the overpass so the new road would not impede traffic on the current road, a small pit was created, and this became the retention pond. This particular on-ramp is only yards away from a city park that features, among other amenities, a lake. Due to the profusion of ducks that inhabit the city lake, we've always called this park the Duckie Park, from when Offspring was small and liked to go watch the commando ducks. (These ducks bum-rush you for bread as soon as you get out of your car. It's akin to what I imagine a mugging in a rough part of New York looks like, only with ducks.) So, the Duckie Park is *right across the street.* It has a lake, complete with fish and sailboats and even a small dock. I wouldn't actually *eat* the fish you caught there, as they'd probably be of the three-eyed variety like on the Simpsons, but they're there if you're the adventurous type.

We have often marveled, mouths agape, at the many idiots who while away a hot summer's day with fishing poles, trying to catch something in the retention pond. We often yell at them as we speed by on our way to El Diablo WalMarto or to the beach. If they have yet to figure out that they're never going to catch anything there, who am I to burst their bubble of optimistic gastronomy?

We thought we'd seen everything, what with the retention pond fishers. We'd even ceased to be amazed at the fact that catching nothing for days on end hadn't dimmed their childlike hope. If they'd actually *caught* something, it would probably be a lead story on the evening news, because that would mean that fish have evolved legs and migrated from the Duckie Park across the street, and I'm pretty sure that would be news-worthy. I can see the headlines now: "Small Southern Hamlet Home to Walking Fish! Flying Spaghetti Monster, Eat Your Heart Out!"

Just imagine, dear readers, if you will, the looks of utter astonishment we had on our faces today as we pass by the retention pond to see four young-ish looking men with a yellow inflatable dinghy, going down the path to the water. I can only pray it was a fraternity initiation of some sort. That scenario at least gives me some hope that the men were not really going to take a pleasure cruise around the 15-foot-square deep puddle with a rubber raft.

8 comments:

Karyn said...

Sounds like you have your own southern-fried version of our Big Dig. With a wading pool.


Has news of our construction debacle reached the deep south? I think it was on the Today show, but I just can't remember... it seemed to be the only thing on television for a couple weeks when a portion of the tunnel collapsed, killing a traveler back in July.

So... yeah. Anyway. Good luck with that.

KLee said...

Well, it's nowhere NEAR the scope of the Big Dig, but we did have some furor because construction was halted for a long while due to the discovery of endangered birds nesting in one particular area.

I've long known about the Big Dig because I not only have Bostonian friends, but also I keep tabs on it through my interest in archaeology. I like seeing artifacts that have been dug up from the dig sites. As an armchair archaeologist, I hate the destruction of the sites that the Big Dig is demolishing, yet at the same time, I relish it because it brings all these artifacts to light. What a toss-up!

JugglingFreak said...

To add to KLee's comment the "partway" had a projected completion date of "1996". That's not a joke.. It still has two more sections before it's finished..

The "Duckie Park" ducks (to take this sort of off-topic) are living examples of why you should always obey the "Don't feed the animals" signs. They are not just insistant, but outright vicious. I am less frightened of wild dogs...

molly said...

Great post. There was a partway up in Westchester when I lived there and it remained that way for years. The road just ended. It was an engineering marvel. Here where I live, we have a park called Steppingstone, where the Geese have landed. and landed. and never left. They're scary, and goose droppings are no joke either. Great park on the water that you can't walk into because everywhere you step there's goosec..p, what a pity

molly said...

hey, thanks for listing my blog! I wish I knew how to do that!

Bridget said...

nutso.

KLee said...

Molly -- No problem! I can give you some tips if you want to learn how to list blogs as links. You can paste into the template that you already have, or you can use an oustide source like BlogRolling. Just let me know if you want some hints.

Old Lady said...

Aww, I like Duckie pond!! And the birdies, turtles and the flagondrys. Some of the jogging dudes are a bit much in my opinion.