Q. How can you hit an a--hole in the ear?
A. Aim at his Bluetooth.
I came up with that the other day while standing in line at the grocery store behind some yahoo who was loudly explaining to some poor victim on the other end of the line how to pick out the perfect pineapple. All I could think of is whether he'd like his pineapple in suppository form.
It was the day after we passed the Regional Transportation Authority plan, the one that will allow Pima County to get to work on road projects that should have been completed a decade ago. I was feeling pretty good about it, not just because the work will finally get done, but also because my Pima County homies showed the maturity to swallow hard and raise their own taxes, just as a responsible society should.
Of course, I wasn't thrilled with every aspect of the plan, but most of the parts were fine. I'm especially pleased with the secret projects that, by agreement, weren't publicized. You haven't heard about them? Well, it's like that old Steve Martin stand-up bit where he talks about how our home planet was destroyed, and we all came here on the giant space ark. But they didn't tell the really stupid people because ... well, never mind.
Tucked quietly inside the $2.1 billion package are several items designed to help make getting around in Pima County safer, quicker and more enjoyable. Among them:
· $18 million dollars to install a trap door on that little stretch of westbound Grant Road between the underpass under the railroad tracks and the underpass under Interstate 10. You know that spot. You're facing east in the left-turn lane, waiting for the arrow so you can get onto westbound I-10. But the eastbound traffic just keeps coming and coming until the lanes begin to fill up under the freeway.
After they're all the way full, other drivers should wait behind the restraining line, leaving the intersection open for cars getting off the freeway and those in the aforementioned left-turn lane. Any good driver would do that. Any decent driver would do that. Heck, any driver who wasn't the illegitimate love child of Charles Manson and Courtney Love would do that.
But they keep coming. Some aren't watching and have to slam on their brakes. Others actually see what's going on and creep into the intersection. Still others do the right thing and stop back where they're supposed to and then creep on out, anyway. Pretty soon, the entire intersection is clogged, and no one can move until these selfish pustules get a green light.
You ever try to make eye contact with these clods? Fat turds in pickup trucks tend to give you a "Yeah, and?" look, while women are more likely to shrug, as if to say, "I don't know how this happened, although I tend to do it every freakin' day."
Well, when the trap door is installed, it'll clean that mess up right quick. There will be sensors in the street and a lag time on the lights so the offenders can be dispatched. We're not sure yet where they'll go, but it sure won't be to the front of the line.
· There will be $13 million for UA researchers to develop a giant potato that we can shove in those giant muffler exhausts on small cars that make all that damn noise. WHY ARE THESE THINGS LEGAL?!! They serve no purpose other than to let everybody in the neighborhood know that Loser Boy is coming home at 2 a.m. after not having caught any female action.
Have you seen the people who drive these Civics and Sentras with the giant tailpipes (not too Freudian)? They're guys in their late teens and early 20s who either weigh less than 140 or more than 280--nothing in between. They either look like Bubba Sparxxx or something Bubba Sparxxx would have for lunch.
· $2.4 million dollars for stop-sign posts with elbow hinges and mounted cameras for drivers who have the tendency to roll right on through. If a car doesn't appear to be stopping, the camera will trigger a switch; the post will bend, and the sign (which will rotate 90 degrees clockwise) will come right down in front of the driver's face. If the jackass is driving too fast to stop, the sign could go right through the windshield. And with that camera, we could catch all kinds of facial expressions for our year-end party.
· $1 million dollars for a pilot program to hire students and others to stand on the medians of streets, looking for people who throw cigarette butts out of vehicles. These workers would retrieve the butts and toss them back into the cars from whence they came.
This probably wouldn't do a whole lot for the flow of traffic, but I'd love it.
· And finally, $60,000 for a special operation to remove the lead from the right foot of Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, who recently got another speeding ticket and had to go to traffic school.
Dude! Role model.