Monday, January 08, 2007

Another Roadside Attraction

The side of the highway is always an interesting place for the collection of, well, things that don't belong on the side of the highway. I have seen a Don Jon, a burning mattress -- it didn't speak to me in Charlton Heston's voice, several of those stupid Calvary crucifixtion "monuments," an aquarium, and a few other odds an ends. And I once sat riveted in my car listening to a Radio Lab story about someone who found a box full of letters from hundreds of GI's all written to the same woman during WWII. They were found on Rte. 101 in Northern California after the guy pulled off to the side of the road to observe a goat standing on a cow's back. Seriously.

The reason this story comes to mind is because I saw something just a little bit odd -- although not nearly as awesome as a goat standing on the back of a cow -- on my drive in this morning. If you make the east-west commute from 66 to the inner of the outer counties (Fairfax and Loudoun), then you are familiar with the looping merge-way where 495, 66, and 123 all dump off onto the Toll Road. Tearing around that large bend this morning, in the dark, I happened to notice a Big Wheels bike/thing/whatever sort of capsized just off of the left lane. I almost rear-ended the car in front of me as I begin laughing hystericaly thinking about how this damn thing ended up there.

The likely scenario is that it flew out of the back of some pickup taking the turn a little too fast. Less likely is that some pissed off father pulled over his minivan, ripped the thing out of the back, and to make a point to his misbehaving child, hurled it off to the side of the road where it now lies. That's a little more interesting but to be honest, the first thing that came to my mind is that someone was riding the damn thing along 66, "exited" onto the Toll Road, was seriously hauling ass, and then wiped out into the ditch going around that big bend. Which is highly conceivable as those Big Wheels have a narrow wheel base and little to no traction. Plus they're probably only rated up to about 3.5 mph and this hypothetical rider must have been doing at least 20 times that speed.

Now I know that is in all likelihood not what happened, but honestly, it was the first scenario that crossed my mind. I need coffee.


At 1/08/2007 8:29 AM, Blogger Ryane said...

Haha. Jason, I would've thought the same exact thing. I once saw a sink--the entire thing: counters, pipes, sink, basin, and under cuboards, on the side of the road, sitting upright, almost like an al fresco rest stop. That was mildly amusing, but not on par w/a big wheel, or a cow with a goat on it's back.

At 1/08/2007 10:18 AM, Blogger Dara said...

When I'm driving on the highway, I usually only notice the mundane things. Like funny signs. And shoes.

I always wonder where the other shoe went. Sometimes, I make up stories in my head about the poor sad orphan shoe.

At 1/08/2007 1:30 PM, Blogger Momentary Academic said...

I loved my big wheel. And I hope that whoever owned it doesn't miss it.

At 1/08/2007 8:48 PM, Blogger Jason said...

That's not a sink, that's like half the kitchen. Wild. Here's the question, was it new or old?

You know Dara, I would bet that the same pair of shoes that I saw strung over the power lines along I-81 during every trip to and from Blacksburg for 4 years is still there. Now there's a story.

I hate an Incredible Hulk Big Wheel. So sweet...I was such a pimp in my youth.

At 1/09/2007 7:42 AM, Blogger Jason said...

"had" not "hate"

I suck at typing.

At 1/09/2007 8:03 AM, Blogger Ryane said...

Jason, I am not sure--good question!! But I have to say, that sink looked to be in pretty good shape. HAHA. Who knows..maybe the owner was riding their Big Wheel to go and pick it up and lost their motivation...;-)

At 1/09/2007 5:13 PM, Blogger DC Super Powers said...

The first thing I thought of was that some little fella had tried to run away from home and that was as far as he got before mom pulled up in her minivan and so excited at the reunion the big wheel was forgotten.

At 1/09/2007 8:45 PM, Blogger mysterygirl! said...

I bet that as the driver of that Big Wheel hit the curve, s/he decided to do that awesome maneuver where you cut the handlebars to one side as you slam on the brakes to skid out. (Did you ever do that on your Big Wheel when you were little? Because I totally did.)

I always get kind of sad when I see old toys, especially stuffed animals, on the side of the road. I feel bad for the kid who will be missing it later.

At 1/10/2007 9:55 AM, Blogger Jason said...

I got a better look at the thing this morning and it looks more like something a toddler would ride and push with his feet rather than a Big Wheel. Not nearly as cool.

And I used to skid out my Big Wheels all the time. The wheel would evcentually split so my dad would duct tape it which made it even more skiddable. Awesome. Someone should make an adult-sized Big Wheel.


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