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Where Does the Speed Limit Start and Other Inqueries

"Sir, I clocked you at 300 miles per hour." (flickr, kla4067)

My mind wanders…a lot. The arguement could be made that I have developed some form of A.D.D. over the years or that I’ve had it all my life undiagnosed. Squirrel! Anywho, I prefer to think of myself as more of the creative type whose mind cannot be contained by conventional labels, like Kurt Cobain or Carrot Top (???). I’m pretty sure that’s not the case either, but it helps me sleep at night.

See, he pretending to eat a picture of an apple! Genius, pure genius. (Ethan Miller, Getty Images)

Back on point, usually it’s the simplest things that generally go unnoticed that will trigger the aforementioned wandering. This was the case on my way home from my son’s basketball practice the other night. After driving through Chandler where the speed limit is somewhere between snail and dead turtle, I saw the speed limit sign ahead indicating that I was able to push the peddle down and travel at the more respectable rate of 60 mph. It’s always a welcome sight on my way home from Boonville (my in-laws live there). For starters, it means I can go faster and secondly it means I’m distancing myself from Boonville (kidding! sort of).

But here’s the thing I wonder about each time I pass this and nearly every other speed limit sign, where does that speed limit start? Is it as soon as I see it? Or does the new limit begin at the point the sign is placed? If the latter is the case, is it too much to ask for an additional sign underneath the number that says something like, “Right Here” or “Feel free to increase your travel speed to the number above at this point”. Perhaps an arrow pointing to the spot on the road where the new limit begins could be a part of it. If there’s anything I’ve learned in my 15 years in the radio business, it’s that you can’t assume that people know what you’re talking about. They need to have their hand held and be led the to the trough so to speak or they’ll starve. I know this because I am one of those people. You have to give me precise details, or else you’ll have a blog like this on your hands.

I realize I probably answered this question on the written test of my driving exam, but that was nearly 20 years ago (please note I said “nearly”). I can’t remember what happened yesterday. Hell, I’ve had to stop and re-read portions of this blog to remember what I was even talking about in the first place. If given too much time, my mind will just drift into random thoughts. Which reminds me…

It was during this same trip home that the all too familiar smell of skunk wafted it’s way through the air vents of my truck. Granted I was driving on a stretch of highway that separates two cornfields, so the fact that the odor entered into my nasal cavity wasn’t surprising. We live in Southern Indiana, it happens from time to time. What piqued my interest was something that’s happened thousands, if not millions of times before…my nostrils flared. As if to purposely welcome in more of the foul smell. This is a total design flaw in my opinion regardless of how you believe humans came into existence.

"Love me for who I am." (flickr, GregTheBusker)

Wouldn’t it make more sense if our noses had some sort of built in flap system that closes automatically when a less-pleasant-smell entered our vicinity? Sure, the visual that stirs up appears funny in our heads when we think about it, but if the flaps were there all along, it wouldn’t. They would be just a common as say your ears or your eyes. Think about it. The bigger question here is, “why does the body instinctively want more bad stuff, but the good stuff lasts for such a short period of time?” I’ll leave the definition of “good stuff” up to you.

The human body in general intrigues me, the way the mind controls what the rest of it does even while it drifts off into random thoughts like where the speed limit starts. I know that regardless of where it drifts off to, I’ll have something to share with you.

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