I quit. Don’t try talking me out of it, for my mind is as made up as the curriculum vitae I submitted to the local IGA during year 11 in the hope of securing casual work after school. (I never heard back. Perhaps they were unconvinced by my claim that I invented ‘Wite-Out’.) I am not for turning. So much so that if you tied me to a carousel right now, I’d slowly spin against the flow to ensure I remained in a consistent position. That’s how committed I am. After many months of thinking it over I have decided this – I am never leaving home.
You’d think that after all we’ve endured over the past two years I’d be itching to run through the front door, regardless of whether it had been opened or not. That getting up from the couch and seeing a silhouette of what appears to be moss growing on the couch cushions would be enough to inspire me to take action, but no. I am over leaving the house, not because I am desperate to stay indoors but because I am keen to avoid that which is waiting for me. I speak, of course, of the traffic.
Traffic is back. I hadn’t missed it. After two years of having the streets pretty much to myself if, indeed, I was permitted to set foot outside the house, I can’t help but notice that things have, if not returned to normal, then slowed down to a pace that roughly resembles the normal we all used to know. But as much as I’m not enjoying the gridlock caused by a greater number of cars, it has been exacerbated by one thing – road works.
There are road works in plague proportions. On balance, I liked it better when roads didn’t work and simply lazed about all day, letting automobiles drive over them. It was simple and everyone knew how it worked. But this summer has been different. Roads everywhere have been getting a spruce up, meaning that some of them are closed and those that aren’t closed have detours in place that, invariably, send you to Geelong, even if you live in Mentone.
I was trying to get to Williamstown at the time. Little did I know that all the roads in and out were subject to road works. The turn off was closed entirely. Granted, there was the option of arriving by sea, but my boat is currently in dry dock and I have a heightened fear of pirates. All the remaining roads were detours. Even the detours had detours. There were arrows pointed every which way. In fact, there were more arrows than an archery competition.
Every conceivable type of road works were represented. There was ‘road closure with no viable alternative’. There was a healthy selection of ‘four lanes down to one’, to say nothing of ‘reduced speed limit but, ultimately, no evidence of actual road works at all.’ Impressively, instead of this activity being somehow coordinated to reduce inconvenience, it had been deliberately designed to generate the greatest level of disturbance imaginable. Some might see this chronic lack of coordination and chalk it up to poor management. I, however, believe it to be an act of evil genius.
The main road in to the suburb has now reopened, but then closes again, every night at 9pm. It’s like having Cinderella’s carriage turn into a pumpkin daily instead of only on special occasions. I am unsure, at this point, whether this situation is temporary. Better still, they don’t tell you that the road is closed until it’s too late to do anything about it. It’s entrapment. Before you know it, you’ve been detoured and are on your way to Geelong. Possibly forever.
It’s my own fault, I guess. I traded in my last car and was considering getting a helicopter, but ended up settling for a Volkswagen. It’s a choice I’ve come to regret. It was a compromise I made only after learning that the ‘Whopper Copter’ can’t actually fly. My faith in humanity as well as fast food restaurant playgrounds totally shattered, I now spend each day being sent to Geelong and wishing that I owned my own helicopter.
Enough is enough. Eventually I cracked and decided the best way to deal with road works was to avoid them entirely by not leaving the house. The first few days were fine until, this morning, I was diverted whilst travelling through the kitchen on my way to the bathroom before being forced to wait for fifteen minutes for a truck to unload. I won’t be surprised if, next time I step outside the door, I find myself in down town Geelong.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Presumably, traffic slowed to about forty kilometers an hour as the paving took place. I am now directing all my energies to making my own teleporting machine using an empty ice cream container, a can of WD-40 and some French mustard. The results, to date, are mixed. But as I maintain my efforts to travel through space using common household objects, I look forward to the day when I can travel from A to B without visiting the rest of the alphabet. To say nothing of Geelong.roadwork