Central Snark

Dear Crummy City by crummyjoel
Tuesday, 17 July 2007, 7:51am
Filed under: crummy letters

Dear Detroit;

Hi. You don’t know me, but I recently had the displeasure of driving through the southeastern section of your city on Highway #75 of Eisenhower’s Interstate System. I say “driving”, but what I of course mean is “dodging potholes, slaloming around orange barrells, and riding the random concrete moguls I found strewn about the highway.”

Look, I get it. I know the American auto industry isn’t performing very well right now. I get that “The Big 3” automakers are the heartbeat of your city. But I hardly think that organizing your highways to purposely destroy people’s cars is any way to improve your economy. People whose Japanese or Korean cars fall apart due to the incessant rattling and shaking that your interstate provides are only going to go out and buy other Japanese or Korean cars. So, you see, your plan is backfiring.

Perhaps you are trying to increase the value of automobile parts, by causing them to be in extreme high demand. I honestly have no idea how anyone in any other part of the country can ever purchase shocks or struts, as the demand for them in the Detroit area must be phenomenal. Or is the city perhaps purchasing stock in rubber, in the hopes of destroying enough tires to make it a rare and valuable commodity?

Here’s the error in that way of thinking: In order for people to want to spend money on car parts, their cars must be salvageable to begin with. I passed countless dazed citizens stumbling about southeastern Detroit, nothing but a steering wheel clutched in their still white-knuckled hand. Their automobile was undoubtedly shattered into millions of pieces at the bottom of some cavernous abyss that passed for a pothole. Those people aren’t going to purchase replacement parts. They will purchase a new car instead, and we’ve already covered how and why it won’t be a car from Detroit.

So, if you are determined to go about with this “interstate that could pass for a Cambodian minefield” plan (and given the fact that it has been like this for the last 16 years of me driving this stretch of highway, that’s a pretty strong assumption), allow me to offer an alternative way to bring Detroit’s economy back from the brink: You should re-train many of the automobile workers as dentists or chiropractors, then station them at rest stops and truck stops along the interstate. Anyone who dares traverse Detroit area highways will be in desperate need of their services, and the money spent there can help revive the struggling economy.

There’s no need to thank me. As a former resident of the land mass across the river from you (“Canada“), I only want what’s best for you.


PS: As an aside note, Humor-blogs.com suggests that you don’t call yourself “Hockeytown” if you can’t sell out an NHL playoff game.


13 Comments so far
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HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. i started chuckling at “dodging potholes, slaloming around orange barrels…” and didn’t stop until “…interstate that culd pass for a Cambodian minefield…” at which point, i burst out in gales of laughter. still laughing as i try to write a coherent comment.

i have to say, my step-dad (one of the world’s Great Men) has been selling American made cars in a small town in Central California since right after WWII. no cracks, for i believe with all my heart that he is, indeed, among the last of a dying breed (since that’s what he is to this day) — an HONEST salesman. yep, at 88, he’s still going strong, and he cannot tell a lie. but that’s beside the point. the point, which i’m close to running over with my own words, is that even HE sees the folly in much of what Detroit puts out these days. my husband and i have been driving Japanese and/or German made cars since we’ve been married, and my dad hasn’t disowned us, yet!

GREAT post, Not-So-Crummy Joel. and beyond HILARIOUS! πŸ™‚

Comment by One Hot Puppy

PS: i’d like to take a moment to give a BIRTHDAY shout-out to our dear friend, TEH PENGUIN, who has the dubious honor of turning… 30. *sniff sniff* they don’t stay puppies long.


Comment by One Hot Puppy

Hilarious! This is one of those posts I wish I would have written.

If I lived in Detroit I would vacation in Bagdad.

Comment by Micah J.L.

Great post! The streets where I currently live are pretty good but the ones where I used to live, Miami, well – that’s a different story. Words like dodging come to mind.
Until two weeks ago, I owned a Nissan 200sx and I traded it in with 171k miles. I think it probably would have gone on for another 200k but it was just too small! I had to use baby oil and a shoe horn to get all three kids in the back. (Nobody told me they would grow?!)
Now I have a Dodge Grand Caravan. Please tell me I did the right thing!

Comment by Pavel

Motor City Madness indeed!

I particularly like your plan for revitalizing the Detroit economy. Another funny crummy post, Joel.

Of course, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the dear PENGUIN! Hope you’re spending it anywhere but on the highways of Detroit! XOX

Comment by Lampsha

Thanks, everyone! Glad you enjoyed it. Happy B-day to Teh Penguin.

Comment by CrummyJoel

of course, didn’t they build that city on rock and roll? guessing that would help to explain the bad roads. πŸ™„

Comment by snuppy

You should re-train many of the automobile workers as dentists or chiropractors

Too funny–but I wouldn’t want to be one of their patients

Comment by pia

Hey I used to be one of those crummy engineers. We love the roads like that, saves us the bother of making special test tracks to test vehicles to the extreem. Notice too that everyone in Detroit was driving a car… no actually A TRUCK less than 3 years old?

Comment by Ryan

Nice try at sabotaging what was to be our newest Olympic sport. I was betting on Cleveland for the gold.

Comment by weirsdo

I can attest to the crumminess of the roads in Michigan in general. The roads in Michigan might just be worse than the roads in California, and that’s saying something.

I love the image of the white-knuckled drivers stumbling around, still clutching their steering wheels.

Happy b-day, Penguin!

Comment by Diesel

never been driving in teh US myself and now, I think I ain’t goin’ to!

Thank you for thos ebirthday wishes and Crummy…nice work! Some people just have a way with words when upset. You phrase them so nicely!

Comment by Penguin

I moved to Ann Arbor, MI, two years ago next month. I think I’ve figured out why the roads are so crummy: there’s no local transportation departments. I grew up in MO and IL, and every spring our county and city/village roadworks crews would get out the asphalt, oil, and rocks and do some good ol’ fashioned road fixin’. I haven’t seen anyone working on any road in MI who wasn’t in a state truck. So, I have concluded that it must take a bill from the state senate to get even the smallest pothole fixed, and therefore, since the senators can never agree on anything, the potholes don’t get fixed until it becomes nearly impossible for them to drive home from “work”.

Anyway, that’s my guess. I would certainly be happy if someone could tell me if there are local boards of works/transport/whatever that take care of local roads. It always seemed like a sensible plan to me: leave the state to take care of the state roads and have the local government take care of the others.

P.S. I was also shocked and dismayed to discover that there are DIRT ROADS in this state. Come on, even in the boonies of MO (where I grew up, partly) they’re gravel!

Comment by Ruth

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