Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation Might Be Evil

Ok, let's just get the hard part out of the way right up front:

Opie was right.
And, yes, that's painful to say. Not because Opie is never right--he's frequently right. He's a smart guy and he makes good decisions (like marrying me!). However, when I have to specifically acknowledge that he was right about something, that usually means that I was wrong about something.

And I really, really hate to be wrong...almost as much as I hate to admit I was wrong.

Here's what happened:

As you may know, I'm a liberal.  Opie is not a liberal. He says that he's basically a Libertarian but the truth of the matter is that I’m pretty sure he's a government hating anarchist.

I base this on the fact that any time a political discussion comes up, he spends a long time ranting about government should keep out of peoples’ business and how politicians are thieves and idiots and all out to screw somebody else.

This is bad enough when it comes to health care, smoking bans, and seat belt laws—all of which are clear examples of nefarious government forces exerting their vicious control over the populace—but don’t even get him started on the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and the numerous toll roads across our fair state. 

Opie maintains of these toll roads are a total scam designed to screw the common man out of his money and line the pockets of politicians.

I, on the other hand, have always been a fan of toll roads, maintaining that the people who use the roads are the ones who pay for them and that's a great and fair thing.

And then I plug my ears as Opie screams things like, “Thieves! The government is full of thieves! Those toll roads were supposed to be paid for in  few years but they're STILL CHARGING TOLLS. Why? To improve all the roads in Oklahoma and have they? NO! All that’s happened is a bunch of rich people got richer and the roads stayed crappy because the government is full of THIEVES!”

I’m not going to lie, it’s a little frightening

But after last Thursday, I might be a bit more on his side.

I was using a toll road as I was driving to my night class in a small town north of Tulsa and as I pulled off I hit a pothole that was roughly the size of the Grand Canyon.

I would like to point out two things before continuing: One, my tires are almost brand-new; we got four new tires for my car less than a year ago.

Two, I was not going excessively fast because I never go excessively fast. I hate to drive and thus I tend to drive like a 90-year-old woman on Valium. I firmly maintain that 70 mph is the speed limit, the limit you understand, you certainly don't have to drive that fast.

And yet, that pothole flattened not ONE but TWO of my tires.

And of course I only had one spare

Which, to be fair, didn't really matter that much as I am almost as likely to disarm a nuclear weapon as I am to change my own tire.

Needless to say, I called Opie and dropped the problem hysterically yet squarely in his lap.

We called AAA,  they came to tow the car; however, because it's a small town in the middle of nowhere Oklahoma and it was after six, the local tire shop had already closed for the night.  So, we had it towed there but we had to leave it overnight and Opie had to drive out to get me.

When we went back to retrieve it the next day we realized that not only did I have two flat tires but one rim was damaged beyond repair and we had to order a new one in from California. Therefore, the shop could only put one new tire on it and we had to use the spare while waiting for the rim to come in.

The screaming and cursing that accompanied this revelation is far too horrifying to relate.

Now, you may be telling yourselves this is was really some bad luck but not proof that Opie is right about the pernicious devils in Oklahoma Department of Transportation.

But the thing is, I'm not done with my story.

We still had to get the car home. Which means that one of us had to drive 50 miles on the tiny and wobbly donut spare tire.

And I'm a strong powerful woman of the modern age (even if I can’t change my own tire) so I offered to do it.

“Give me the keys,” Opie said firmly.

So, once again, I was denied my God-given rights by a male-dominated misogynist society! I feel so oppressed.

In any case, Opie drove home on the horrible donut wheel, traveling on the highway at about 45 miles per hour, getting honked and screamed at and being the recipient of many obscene gestures.

And then when he was about 5 miles from home, he also hit a pothole on the Oklahoma toll road and got ANOTHER flat tire and damaged ANOTHER rim beyond repair.

So the long and short of it is that I am now convinced Opie was right. Because there is no way the Oklahoma Department of Transportation is spending all that toll road money on road maintenance.  The roads are obviously not fit for human transportation.

While I probably (hopefully) won’t start screaming about miscreants and thieves, if I hit another pothole I don’t know if I’ll be able to maintain my somewhat tenuous grip on sanity. 


  1. I found your blog on the A-Z challenge link up. Loving your blog so far. My best friend lives in the Tulsa area, and I have to drive all the way across Oklahoma from where I live now to visit my hometown, so I am plenty familiar with the toll roads. Thankfully not as familiar as you! Three flat tires!! I'm subscribing to your feed and look forward to reading more of your posts!

  2. Submit the bill to ODOT. If they refuse to pay, report your story to the local media.