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Saturday, July 16, 2011

An open letter to INDOT

Dear Indiana Department of Transportation:

I just traveled halfway across the state via Interstate 70. For about 1/3 of the trip, I had to pee. It didn't help that road construction meant that it would take me one whole hour to go 8 miles. I seriously considered getting out of the car and relieving myself on the side of the road, but I was worried about headlights shining on my large, white posterior. So, I have a few suggestions to share with you.
  1. It would be great if you could let travelers know when they buy a large Diet Coke at McDonald's that there will be road construction in about 30 miles, so they can decide to a.) get out of the car and go potty right then, b.) order a smaller size or c.) hit the gas station across the street to pick up a pair of Pampers in case a bladder emergency arises.

  2. Put a sign in big blinking lights that says "last exit before you will be stuck in traffic for an hour," so that drivers have the option of getting off the highway at that point to follow a different route and find a bathroom, if necessary.

  3. Set up his and hers port-a-potties every 1/2 mile or so in the construction zone for the comfort of those who just sucked down a large Diet Coke to keep themselves awake during the nighttime drive.

  4. Offer entertainment. Road construction creates jobs, I know. Think of how many starving musicians could be employed if you hired them to play on the side of the highway in crawling construction zones. Besides, music takes people's minds off their troubles, like having an urgent need to go to the bathroom.

  5. Give away bags of popcorn. Again, job creation. Plus, how can people stopped in traffic be crabby when someone is handing them a free bag of popcorn. And the salt in the popcorn might buy some very critical minutes for people who might have had too much Diet Coke to drink before hitting the construction zone.

  6. Actually have people working in the construction sites. Nothing is more infuriating than sitting, sitting, sitting in traffic; doing the slow, painful lane merge; and driving past the construction site to see nothing (or even very little) construction happening. Especially when you have to pee.
 Thank you for your consideration.

The 4th Frog


Ellen aka Ellie said...

Once, right after a blizzard in a Chicago, a radio caller confessed she had peed in a wadded up beach towel while stuck for hours on Lake Shore Drive.

Did you have a towel?

Perhaps you should really send this to INDOT. (Your letter, not my comment!)

Anonymous said...

I love # 3 # 4 and # 5 and especially number 6 ! Entertainment on the side of the highway LOL

CWMartin said...

Dear Amy:

We here at INDOT are happy to address your concerns. However, certain restrictions prevent us fro m giving you the answers you might want to hear.

#1, #2- We at INDOT suggest you support local business by purchasing a local newspaper when you stop to purchase your soft drinks, etc. Peruse the road closing section and verify your route before proceeding. Forewarned IS forearmed.

#3- If you look closely, you will see port-a-pots at most construction zones. Sadly, insurance rules prevent INDOT from opening them to the public. We hope you understand.

#4- This is an idea that was considered; however, the entertainment proved to be disruptive to the work progress. We are certain that you would be willing to forego this amenity in order to complete work faster.

#5- See #4.

#6.We apologize for any apparent misconception you might have over the dedication of our workers. Union regulations strictly require epriods of work and break, but we assure you that we are working as hard as possible under the current collective bargaining agreement. Collective bargaining makes for a safer and more efficient workplace for all of us.

I hope this clears up any outstanding issues you have. Feel free to contact me at any time.

I. M. Fullvit
Director of public inqiry

Anonymous said...

I was once in a similar predicament. Finally, we hit an exit and I scurried into the gas station to take care of business. I discovered a line of about 12 women who had the same issues. There's definitely a sisterhood of women who have to pee.

We were in line bemoaning our full bladders when a miserable looking woman walked in, went to the front of the line, and asked if she might go in front, because she was suffering from diarrhea.

Cue a line of blinking, blank-faced women. What a conundrum. Letting her go in front would not only delay our relief considerably, it would undoubtedly stink up our sanctified spot. Would we be kind to her? Or kind to our bladders?

We suggested she use the men's room.

Unknown said...

One of my pet peeves....Traveling through road construction and not seeing anyone working...GRRRR....On the other hand, I'm glad you enjoyed your Diet Coke and arrived home safely so you could write this post!

Attila the Mom said...

Holy Cats, that was funny! LOL Not to laugh at your troubles, but I take diuretics for my heart and I contstantly have to plot out a route (with bathrooms) if I have to take a trip down into the city!!

I feel your pain!!

Amy said...

Ellie -- No towel, though I did consider the possibility of peeing in my now-empty McD's cup.

Anon -- Poor girl!

CW -- That might be the best comment I've ever received on this blog. Hands down.

Unknown said...

Too Funny~

Jennie and Kim said...

This made me laugh out loud...! ha!


Terri said...

I live in Indiana also and in the past couple months have had to take my Dad to the dr. up at University Hospital...I learned quickly the first trip to stop and pee before getting on 70! Lol!

Briana said...

I rarely see any real work going on at these construction areas. I think they just to do it to eff with us!