I Promise You Won't Learn A Thing From This Blog

The official blog for author Ashley Chappell. Check back every week for a few laughs at my expense or, if you know the love-hate process that is writing, commiseration.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Political Road Rage Crashes Economy

Chapman Mountain.

Road RageThere. I’ve said it. It may not mean a hill of beans to you, but if you’re in the Huntsville, AL area it’s the only curse you need during rush hour. Chapman Mountain rears its ugly head (ok, there’s actually a lovely view of the valley, but you get the sentiment) at the point where Hwy 72 meets I-565 leading into the city. Granted, this part of North Alabama is more foothill than mountain, but something about this particular one attracts wrecks like day old poo attracts flies. To make it even worse, some morbid city planner, in an apparent fit of colic rage, decided to spread his melancholy across the city by putting not one but TWO stoplights at the foot of the mountain.  Can you predict the outcome?

Gridlock. Slamming of the brakes. Honking of the horn. Flipping of the finger. Gnashing of the teeth. And, oh yes, much cursing.

At best, cars traveling up this mountain weaves a slow accordion path up the slope like an inchworm  – albeit a very angry inchworm full of road rage. When one of the frequent wrecks occur somewhere on one side of the slope or the other, traffic on both sides comes to an even angrier crawl while motorists limber up their rubbernecks (If you can’t tell, traversing this mountain twice daily is the bane of my work week). But now, on top of the commuting travesties already endured by drivers on Chapman Mountain, there is a new peril we must face.


Rubbernecking You heard me. As if all of the other hazards weren’t enough, the approaching Alabama Primary has attracted droves of would-be politicians standing in front of truck-mounted signs vying for the attention of passing motorists on high-traffic corridors. And, since those motorists not consumed with road rage are already busy texting or talking on the phone, eating, applying make-up, or shaving (yes, shaving), they have to work pretty darn hard to get that attention. In fact, this morning’s politician on Chapman Mountain was jumping up and down and waving madly. Annoying as it may be, his ruse worked! Car after car slowed down to stare at him, causing the inchworm lining up behind them to contract and slam brakes (cursing goes without saying). The car in front of me even rolled down his window to pass on a thumbs up, completely ignoring the fact that he shared responsibility for the progression of traffic and therefore the mental welfare of a large percentage of angry morning commuters. *Gnashing of teeth*

The additional angry commuters caused by the carelessness of that politician probably arrived to work this morning in a worse mood than they were to begin with and probably took it out on their coworkers all day. Therefore, that politician directly contributed to spreading despair and despondency across Huntsville’s business community.

Now do you see how politics is bad for our economy?


  1. Okay, now stop gnashing your teeth, Ashley. Politics makes stranger bedfellows, too, so it's no surprise that your fellow driver would give a hearty thumbs-up while you cursed him.
    Maybe if the politicians were standing in the middle of the intersection, where they could be picked off one-by-one, there'd be a little less confusion on the road (not that road rage would subside).

  2. I'm with you, Ashley. Politicians don't litter our streets as much as volunteers pitching for funds to help their organizations. Car washes or "just because you care" signs held in the air while traffic backs up to wait for these folks to get out of the street after they'd run up to car windows having dollar bills hung out, waving as donations.


"Feedback is the breakfast of champions." - Ken Blanchard