An aggressive solution

Edward Leonard

It’s that time of year again — time to come back to good old Ames, home of Iowa State and all the wonders it holds. This is a time of great happiness for most people. I always love coming back to see my friends, catch up on summer stories and be pretty much free to do whatever I want, especially the first few days before classes start.

There’s a hidden danger for ISU students returning to Ames, however, especially those who live out of state: driving. Driving back to Ames, I realized just how much other people can piss me off.

There are some bad drivers out there, and you’re likely to see some of them on your drive into Ames. Every once in a while, a cop will pull one of them over and give a warning — or if they’re really mad, a ticket — but for the most part these monsters go unpunished.

The Federal Highway Administration estimates 4,000 to 6,000 people are killed in accidents on our interstate highway system alone. Some of these can probably be accounted for by bad road conditions, weather and other such circumstances, but a good chunk of them can be attributed to irresponsible driving. These people are a menace to society, and not enough is being done to stop them — they just keep doing what they were doing, putting us all in danger.

Years ago, a humor columnist named Dave Barry suggested a system wherein cars would shoot other cars with darts, color-coded to indicate various crimes against traffic and humanity. To Dave I say, “You, sir, are too soft.” A more aggressive approach is called for here; a simple dart to the bumper will no more stop a dangerous driver than making a snide comment from your car.

One of my pet peeves is people who pass in the right-hand lane of an interstate highway. There’s a pretty well-established system for passing, but some people just don’t get that if the left lane isn’t going 95 mph, maybe they should just slow down. I propose a solution: All cars should have standard side-mounted flamethrowers. That way, anyone coming in hot on the wrong side of the street will instantly realize his or her mistake and, with any luck, fix it.

“But Eddie,” you may say. “What about those pesky extreme speeders? And those people who go into the left lane and slow to block all the rest of us good citizens who pass where we should?”

I applaud your oddly specific forward thinking. I suggest for those who think any less than 90 mph is just too slow, heat-seeking missiles are sure to get an inescapably clear message across. And for those tortoises who believe that slow and steady wins the race, but they’re too important to be passed? A harpoon gun attached to  a heavy anchor should do the trick. They’ll go plenty slowly with their engine block shredded.

It shouldn’t stop here, though. Be creative. Come up with your own ideas for solutions to the highway’s little problems. Tailgater? Mines. Someone cut you off? Bumper saw. Pretty soon everyone’s car will be a death-dealing hammer of justice, ready to punish those who just can’t figure out how to play nicely with the rest of us.

Let’s all do our part to make the roads a little safer.