Every Saturday 

“What Aggravates Me!” by Comedian John Knight


            It’s the Fourth of July, the day we celebrate our countries independence. This means most people are probably too busy to read this column today. Instead they are getting themselves lubricated so they can properly handle explosive devises later.

A little known fact is that Benjamin Franklin was over an hour late that day in 1776. Apparently, Penn Dot had a major construction project going on between his house and Independence Hall. The Detour was backed up due to people headed to the Jersey Shore for the holiday and he wasn’t in the best of moods when he finally arrived.

I had to drive across Interstate 80 last week which I usually don’t mind. It’s a much better drive than the turnpike. I should tell you that when I enter the address of my destination in the GPS and it gives my estimated time of arrival, I like to play a little game called,

“I can shave an hour off of that.”

Everything was going smoothly for the first half hour or so and then I saw the flashing sign.

“Construction ahead, Expect Delays.”

It couldn’t have been more than a minute or two later when I came to a complete stop. The flashing sign was telling me there would be a single lane a mile ahead which meant that both lanes had to merge into one. It also once again said,

“Expect Delays”

I wasn’t moving at all so how could I be any more delayed?

Twenty five minutes later I finally arrived at the merge point. This construction was wreaking havoc with my little game not to mention my patience. The flashing sign was now telling me there would be a single lane for the next nine miles and once again,

“Expect Delays”

Who came up with that phrase, “Expect Delays?” It almost sounds tolerable doesn’t it?

“We’re expecting a delay!”

“We’re expecting our first child!”

“I’m expecting a check in the mail!”

“I’m expecting to grow old and die before I get through this traffic.”

Why don’t they just tell us the truth?

“Hell lies ahead.”

“You’re screwed!”

“No way are you shaving an hour off your time today, John Knight.”

As I crawled along for mile after agonizing mile I began to notice something. Nobody was working. There wasn’t any equipment to indicate they would be working anytime soon. Just a long line of frustrated drivers wondering why we had ever left home.

Who else does business like this? You start a project and then walk away from it for a while with no concern about how much it inconveniences others. What would happen if doctors operated this way? What if they started a hernia surgery, opened the guy up and then just left? Now you’ve got a long line of gurney’s backed up outside the operating room while some poor jackass is lying on the table with an orange cone on his groin.

The single lane was to end at mile marker 68. At mile marker 67 there was another flashing sign that said there would be more construction at mile marker 71. Why stop for those three miles? Why give us that false sense of hope? None of us felt independence that day my friend. We felt like Penn Dot had total control of our lives.

Anyway, I didn’t shave an hour off my time and in fact arrived fifteen minutes later than my GPS had estimated. Yeah, I know, let’s just say I made up some lost time once I got out of that mess.

Another little known fact about July fourth 1776. As they finished the business of the day, our founding fathers decided to celebrate with some libations. Unfortunately, it being a holiday, the state run liquor stores were closed. Benjamin Franklin told them he was working to eliminate Pennsylvania’s archaic liquor laws. He promised that by the end of the year the people of this state would have the convenience of buying wine and spirits at the market place.

“Expect Delays”


Follow John on Twitter @jknight841

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