Dear State of Maine DOT…Thanks for the Warning but Could You Be a Bit More Vague? And Do it More Quickly?
As I was driving to the China Dine-ah for trivia tonight, I got a call from out general sales manager, Julie Beaulieu. "Hey Jonny, did you see the sign by the fire station on route 32 (in South China)?" I had not. She continued, "the sign is warning about a oversize load that MAY be coming down the road on or about May 8th." She laughed, both amused and incredulous. She told me it deserved a story and, indeed, it does...
As I'm driving toward the sign, I can see it but I can't make out the words until I'm fairly close, which doesn't take long at 40 miles per hour. The first issue I have is.....IT'S A FOUR SCREEN MESSAGE!!! In order to fully understand what it's saying, you have to pull over, stop and have a sandwich whilst it scrolls through the entire message.
Problem number two is, the "oversize load" will come through "on or about May 8th." Way to nail it down! I guess I should just find a different route to take for the next week because we never know when this mysterious load may appear.
Finally, does an oversize load deserve this kind of attention? Usually you pass a truck that says "oversize load" and two seconds later, there's an oversize load! There, that was easy. That didn't take up to a week of prep. It just took me reacting to a warning by slowing down and moving over a few feet.
You know what the real danger is here? The drivers whizzing along route 32 trying to take in all four screens of that message as they careen into the other lane.
So anyway, DOT, here's yer sign!