11 April 2006

An open letter to His Grace, Edward Rendell, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Your Grace,

I spent the good portion of this morning stuck in traffic on Route 322. Apparently, an Amish buggy had jack-knifed and was then hit by a team of Mennonite Clydesdales hauling a cargo of highly flammable corn-cobs for the out-house industry. The scene must have been horrific, what with the Clydesdales whinnying as they burst into flames and subsequently exploded.

Oh the equinity!

Ironically, this all occurred in the shadow of your latest, grandest, public works project; the gleaming white superhighway known as I-99. It is a wondrous road; rising ribbon-like from the valley below to the loft peak of Sky-Top and beyond. It was a thing of beauty when it was almost completed three years ago.

Today it is just as beautiful and just as almost completed.

You see, for the last three years, we have been forced to drive on Route 322 (the cattle trail alongside I-99). We have been faced with a daily crawl up Sky Top, stuck behind teams of oxen and plodding mules, whilst being taunted by Road Construction signs and barrels. "Warning! Construction Zone!" They tell us. "You are going too fast!"

And yet, these signs have not witnessed a Penn DOT worker in the same period. There can, after all, be no construction zone without construction workers, n’est-ca pas?

Yes, I have heard you state that your construction workers are busy elsewhere. We have all seen the road signs: “Welcome to Pennsylvania! (Road construction next 500 miles)

By the way, this is a much better slogan than the older “Pennsylvania! America starts here!” which was an unnecessary pronouncement if there ever was one, as we were all well aware that Italy stops at our New Jersey border.

Be that as it may, it seems that you could take three actions vis-à-vis the I-99 debacle. You could take the bold approach and have Penn DOT finish the freeway (I know; that would be risky. A politician that actually gets things accomplished? People would talk!). The upside to this is that I could get to work on the same day that I leave home.

You could order the fallacious “Construction” signs removed; returning the speed limit on Route 322 to its fin de ciècle value. This action would allow me to make the twelve mile journey to and from work in less than a fortnight.

Or, you could simply declare the road a triumph of post-modernist art from the realist school.

“See?” you could say, “ It looks just like a freeway, and yet, it isn’t!

Voters might get a tad miffed at the $240 million price tag for a 35 mile long post-modern sculpture, but then again, politicians have traditionally shown themselves to be uncompromising supporters of the Arts, what with their firm commitment to exotic dance and the like. The downside to this option, is that I would have to give up my highly paid (and taxed) engineering job and revert to a low-income, simple existence of worm ranching and animal husbandry; the later of which probably being illegal under the "Defense of Marriage" act.

Please reply with your decision at your earliest convenience. I eagerly await your response with the greatest interest.

I remain, Sir, your Obt. Servt.

Dr. E. Scientist, PhD.

And that's the way I likes it.