What part of "Highway" did You not Understand?

Someone who lives a few miles away made the news this morning. Her husband and she bought the pumpkin farm when the previous owners decided to retire from the pumpkin farming business. Being a pumpkin farm, it is right in the middle of all the other farms (e.g., berry, hazelnut, onion) in the area. Because it is a rural area, most of the roads have no posted speed limit, which means that the speed limit is the default: whatever speed is safe but no faster than 55 miles per hour. Her house sits on a small stretch that is actually posted 45 miles per hour. But, because farm people are no more observant of speed limits than anyone else and there are few Officers Friendly in rural areas, I have never seen anyone slow down for that stretch.

She sustained injuries in a wreck when her car was rear-ended turning into her driveway. I feel sorry for her injuries but, since I know nothing about the wreck, I have no idea who is culpable. Because it is a rural area, there are often tractors on the road and most people are pretty good at noticing slower traffic and not slamming into it. Surely not all, but most, at least as many as properly use their turn signals.

This woman was on the news, clamoring for Something To Be Done. Up to this point, we were a pretty sympathetic audience. Then she started in about “this is a neighborhood”. A neighborhood? The nearest house is at least two hundred yards away. The adjacent property is someone's shop on one side and the telephone exchange on the other. How is that a neighborhood?

Now we had begun to suspect that she had left rationality behind for hyperbole. But what really sent us over the edge was when she mustered her outrage and declared, “People drive like this is a highway!”

Well, actually, it is. The part where your street address says “Highway 219”? That makes it a highway.


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