Sunday, April 20, 2008

Driving In New Jersey

Being an entertainer for all of my life, I have been driving for many years all over this great country and I have noticed that drivers of certain states have definite traits of their own that is individualistic to themselves. For example, everyone knows that in Florida the people drive extremely slow. That is their very own characteristic while New Yorkers drive like they are in a race. Everything is a competition on the roads there. They might not always drive fast but if you try to pass them they speed up. It becomes a game. Pennsylvania drivers absolutely drive me nuts. I love the people there dearly but they can’t drive a lick. They move slowly and they don’t move over. If you have three lanes, they spread out and all drive the same speed, thus bringing traffic to a slow crawl. Thank God I don’t have a gun in the van, that’s all I can say.
But let me write about what this article is really about…Driving In New Jersey! Oh my God, where do I start? New Jersey has the most roadways and the most cars on those roadways per square mile than any other state in the union. I love this state, especially the Jersey Shore, and the people here are fun-loving terrific citizens but whoever built the roads here should be drawn and quartered, tarred and feathered… how about just shot. What a truly screwed up system of roadways. The Garden State Parkway is one of the most beautiful roads in the country but if you are driving north there may be an exit for a major road and if you are driving south there may not be an exit for the same road. This means you either have to make an illegal turn on the Parkway or drive to the next exit and turn around and come back. That might take you about an extra half hour out of your way. Nice planning guys!
The people of this fine state also love to rubberneck. What that means, in case you don't know the term, is that mototists will slow down or even stop to look at something happening on the side of the road. This could be an accident, someone changing a tire, someone fishing off a bridge, people talking on the shoulder, deer feeding or just someone peeing in the bushes. It doesn't matter what the reason is. Suffice it to say that everyone is so nosey.
By the way, if you are in North Jersey don't count on the road signs. They are either missing completely or have been turned in the wrong direction by kids, just to make your trip a little more enjoyable!
Now let me just state that I really respect and like the older generation and I truly appreciate what they have done for our country and what they have sacrificed to give us our freedoms but when it comes to driving most of them should not be anywhere near the road. I live down in Toms River and there are a lot of older people who are on the highways that shouldn’t be. You never know what they are going to do out there and neither do they. They can be in the far left lane and suddenly decide to make a right hand turn into a strip mall. I guess at least they keep the rest of us on our toes but it is already an obstacle course out there and we don’t need any more confusion. I think after a certain age everyone should be made to take a driving test again to see if they qualify. After all, we are dealing with people’s lives here and cars are potential weapons, especially in the wrong hands.
How about those fantastic jughandles? Who invented these brilliant abominations? You can’t make a left turn in this state. If you want to go to a certain business on the other side of a road you are on you have to go to the light and go around the jughandle and then wait for the light. Then you cross over the highway and go around another jughandle and come to another light. You now are on the right side of the road of the business you originally wanted to get to but by the time you get there, it just might be closed. Sometimes it takes you about three or four lights just to get through them because the traffic gets so jammed up going around these things that you might as well pack a lunch if you intend on making this journey.
Now comes the best of the best of total screwups as far as planning Jersey Roads…The Traffic Circles. What were they thinking when they came up with these gems? I have seen so many people panic when they come in to these merry-go-rounds. No one seems to know who has the right of way in these things either. Is it the people on the right coming into them or the people already driving in them? The funny part is watching people trying to get out of these perpetual motion roundabouts! It is a virtual ‘Pin the Tail On the Donkey’ for motorists. People get spun around in these circles and then come out the other end dizzy and disoriented. In Massachusetts they call them a Rotary but they cause the same chaos. Whatever the name, they really should be called by what they are, 'HOW THE HELL DO I GET OUT OF THIS?'. I think if I had a concession stand on the side of the road I could charge money for this sort of entertainment. It might just be my next venture.
Anyway, driving around the country can be fun and very scenic but be aware of the pitfalls you may encounter. Remember, if you are in New York be ready for a contest, if you are in Florida or Pennsylvania I hope you are not in a rush because they won’t be and if you are in New Jersey be ready for the ride of your lives. Oh yes, and if you are in Connecticut be ready for construction delays. That states’ roadways have been under construction for over 30 years now and the end doesn’t seem to be anywhere in sight. Whatever company has that contract has got job security to the max.
Good luck in your travels, excursions and frustrations on America’s roadways, especially in New Jersey, and as always, thanks for reading from, THE COMEDY TORNADO!!

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