Missouri Never Disappoints

August 22, 2005 at 11:32 PM | KCMO, Random, Site/Personal, Work | 1 Comment

Something that I have noticed about Missouri highways since I moved up here (other than the piss-poor quality of their streets in general) is the fact that there are often times numerous cars left along the sides of their highways. I’m talking about the cars that are left unattended on highway shoulders and median that have the bright neon-orange, neon-yellow, or neon-green sticker on them. Now, I’ve never seen one of these neon whatever stickers up close before, but I’m not certain what they are. Is it a ticket? A warning of some kind? Is there a fine for abandoning your vehicle on the highway? I mean, what if your car breaks down and you have no choice but to leave it behind? Should you be punished for that? I have no idea. I’ve never had that kind of experience, so I couldn’t tell you.

So yeah, I think I must spot on average 2 or 3 of these abandoned vehicles every day on my way to work. So Sam and I decided to make a game out of it, since we were discussing both this and my thing on gambling with gas prices recently. I guess he doesn’t gamble with gas prices anymore; he just fills up when he’s low on gas. Sure, that sounds like a logical, reasonable thing to do. But don’t you want to beat the system?? While I am mentioning it, I’d like to report that I failed miserably in my prediction of gas prices when it was $2.45. I finally had to get gas on Sunday and it was like $2.50-something. I’m guessing that it’ll be about the same for a while so I just went ahead and filled up. Luckily, I’m not gambling with stocks or anything, cuz I’d be broke right now. Maybe worse, maybe I’d be standing on the ledge of a building.

Anyways, the game is a simple bet of how many cars we can spot on the side of the road. Final counts are declared before getting on the highway and anything en route to work is fair game. The first day we did it, we came all the way down 169 (otherwise known as “breakdown alley”) without seeing a single car! I was shocked. Had I been mistaken? Maybe there really aren’t that many of these cars on the side of the road. You know how it goes… it’s hard to quantify something until you really start looking at it closely and realize that some of your assumptions were skewed or slightly exaggerated.

But then we merged onto the next highway. That’s when we saw 2 cars down that last stretch of highway. Missouri did not disappoint after all! After work that day, we even saw a car pulling off into the median with hazard lights flashing n shit. Sam called it from a distance. He was like “oh shit, that cars gonna break down.” And he was right. If the guarantee that cars were broken down alongside a Missouri road were some kind of quantifiable unit of time, you could set your watch to that shit. I mean, cars be breaking down like it’s clockwork around here! Later, I was like “wouldn’t it be ironic if while we were laughing and playing this game, that this very vehicle broke down?” As soon as I finished voicing my thought aloud, I wished that I hadn’t said it. There was no wood to knock. But thank God we got all the way home without a problem.

Oh yeah, and there was this other car that was pulled over to the side of the road, but there was someone sitting in the driver’s seat. For the sake of the bet, I needed that car to count as part of the total. But I guess the bet was not really on cars on the side of the road but rather abandoned cars. Because I suppose that guy could’ve been pulled over to the side for any number of reasons… he could’ve been looking at a map, or getting ready to get something from the trunk, talking on the cell phone… I dunno, there could’ve been a lot of reasons. Whatever.

OK, so then for a while, there really wasn’t any cars on the way to work anymore. But then, after making a drive down to Wal-Mart one day, I realized that the new popular spot for abandoning one’s vehicles is all along 152. In a short 5 minute’s worth of driving, I saw no less than three cars left along the side of the highway. I was like “aha” because for a second there, I was starting to think that Missouri had cleaned up its act. I should’ve known better.

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  1. I believe the orange stickers say “A police offer stopped at this vehicle to provide aid.” or something to that effect.

    Comment by Zack — September 6, 2005 #

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