Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Scraping the barrel bottom, part 2

More from the dusty binder of mediocrity

The second of three never-before-seen columns comes from the same time frame as the first one (indeed, it was probably written back-to-back with it, sometime in late 1998). This one reminds me of my original intent: I wanted to be a columnist for The Verm in any way that I could. I suppose that, in this early stage, I was trying to develop and demonstrate my versatility just so that I could have options. Sometime in 2000 and/or 2001, after failing twice to obtain the liberal-columnist position, I tried out for both food critic and Internet columnist. Zero for four. Lucky thing for me that The Verm didn't have any applicants for the liberal column in 2002 (I was asked to do it at a party I attended on impulse); I mean, you try to earn a competitive position with stuff like this!

Untitled naive, myopic, self-indulgent driving column

Riddle: Where can you get a driver's license without knowing how to drive?

Answer: Louisiana! [Crossed out] Um, figure it out or "Where Can't You?"

First, let me say that I am a lifelong resident of Louisiana, I love everything about it, and never intend to leave for more than a week at a time. [Whoa!!!] That said, the traffic sucks. Bad.

People love to trash Lafayette for its awful accident record. But you can't blame (at least totally) the drivers, the people in charge, or the lack of complete public transportation.

Blame the roads. Yes, the roads! Look at a map of Lafayette. There is, maybe, one straight street. I think the architects (or insults to the profession) who designed the pattern of Lafayette streets were looking at a busted screen door (or my busted screen door).

Lafayette, however, is only the tip of the one-way street. Go East, young one, to Baton Rouge and New Orleans, and you shall meet a unique breed, kamikaze drivers! And on top of all that, the powers that be raised the state speed limit to 70. Ooh! They've always done 70! Now the average kamikaze will be doing 90. With any luck, that particular motor mercenary will wreak his havoc on I-10 rather than Hebrard Boulevard. A flickering hope, yes, but hope all the same.

Movin' on up to Shreveport, the situation is a little bit better, but with all the gang activity up there you might not exactly still have your car to even compete on the road. As for Monroe? I've never been there. Sorry. I have been to Alexandria, but not since I've been able to drive.

That's a big reason I love USL. It's got a quality communications program, kickbutt sports--and frankly, I don't have to drive to walk here!

(For a much, ahem, different column on driving, see Adventures in Acceleration)

Tomorrow: something that absolutely defies rational explanation.


Flamingo Jones said...

NO ONE has commented on your pledge to "never leave Louisiana for more than a week because you love everything about it" yet? What the hell...

Ian McGibboney said...

Flamingo, I have a theory about that: 1) you're my biggest fan; 2) my other fans aren't as willing to read crap like this; 3) my rhetorical opponents are tapped out and/or have given up.

Or it could be simply that the Louisiana remark is too prudent to merit a response.

Nick said...

Louisiana is great, at least south Louisiana. North LA blows big chunks. However, south LA is the best place in the world to live. Now, I have never been overseas, or any farther north than North Carolina, but I still say south Louisiana kicks everyone's ass. Icon, you would be a fool to move far away from your home. I know, I moved. But, I'm not that far away, hell, I'm not going to get a TX driver's liscence untill my LA one expires in '08. That way, I can still get my LA fishing liscence for 35/yr. rather than over 100/yr.

Ian McGibboney said...

Nick, I agree that south Louisiana is a great place to live. It is indeed far better than South Arkansas (aka north Louisiana). But for someone like me, who wants to work in large-scale media, Lafayette is not the place to do it. Like you, I want to go to where the job is and where I might want to live at the same time.

My Louisiana license expires in 2007. That's about how much time I'm willing to give myself here. I don't want to spend the rest of my life here until I've at least had the opportunity to see other things.