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   Undertoad  Tuesday Jul 23 10:54 AM

7/23/2002: Potatoes on Tokyo highway



The driver must have failed to tie down the load properly, because he was fined - in an incident in which his truck accidentally dropped 2.5 tons of potatoes onto a Tokyo-area freeway, tying up traffic for three hours.

They said by the time they got to stopping traffic, about half of the potatoes had been MASHED.

No word on whether a milk tanker was also involved.

Full story



dave  Tuesday Jul 23 12:14 PM

You'd be surprised how the lamest shit can tie up major freeways for HOURS.

Last year I was on the way to work, on the inner loop of 495 going North. This was probably June or so, so before September 11, when people became suspicious of <b>everything</b>.

Well, traffic is hell this morning. Traffic normally isn't so bad at 9:30 AM - most of rush hour has died down. No matter - traffic is inching along.

Finally we get to the head of the pack and what do we see?

STYROFOAM ON THE GODDAMN ROAD.

Blowing around and being harmless. But this had caused a MAJOR slowdown. It was absolutely ridiculous. I have no idea why anyone would slow down so damn much for styrofoam. Of course, if just a a few select people do it, it affects everyone else.

Anyway. That's my stupid comment for the hour.



elSicomoro  Tuesday Jul 23 12:39 PM

The only time that damned highway is ever quiet is at 2 in the morning. Someone could have a bad thought, and that highway backs up 10 miles.



Tobiasly  Tuesday Jul 23 02:39 PM

Speaking of which, I believe there is a special place in hell reserved for rubberneckers. How many fucking accidents have you seen in your life people? Do you really need to slow down to 20 MPH on the goddamn freeway to see a two-car fender bender that has been moved off the shoulder and should have stopped affecting traffic about TWO HOURS AGO?? Or a truck that skidded off the road into a ditch and got stuck there?

OK, if there are people still on/near the road, slow down for them. But I'm talking about situations where they've already moved the shit into the median and TRAFFIC SHOULD RESUME TO NORMAL.

I get a small case of self-righteousness when I intentionally focus my vision forward and couldn't even say what color the cars were. Then I get right on the ass of the person in front of me who is still gawking like a fucking moron in the hopes of getting a glimpse of a dented door or maybe -- oooh! -- a broken headlight, hoping that maybe he'll realize he's driving 45 MPH below the speed limit, but that hasn't worked for me so far.




doc  Tuesday Jul 23 05:53 PM

<yoda>I sense much anger</yoda>

Wow! Philly traffic must really suck?

Can't be as bad as Seattle though :p



elSicomoro  Tuesday Jul 23 10:48 PM

Philadelphia traffic is a breeze compared to my days in Washington, DC. It used to take me less time to take Metro (the subway) to work than to drive. Capital Beltway--pure unadulterated evil. :p

Philadelphia can get bad...I-76 (the Schuylkill Expressway) is a mess, especially at US 202 in the western suburbs. I-95 in NE Philadelphia is bad now too (major construction work in both cases). If I were to drive to my job in Center City Philadelphia (20 miles away) via I-95, it would take me anywhere from 30-60 minutes.

By contrast, from my apartment next to NE DC to my job in Bethesda (12 miles)--over one hour if I used the Beltway. About 45 minutes if I took a ton of side streets.



Tobiasly  Tuesday Jul 23 10:55 PM

Re: <yoda>I sense much anger</yoda>

Quote:
Originally posted by doc
&lt;yoda>I sense much anger &lt;/yoda>
Wow! Philly traffic must really suck?

Can't be as bad as Seattle though :p
I don't live in Philly, but it doesn't matter. Traffic may suck more or less in one city or another, but people are pretty much stupid everywhere.

I wouldn't mind bad traffic as much if everyone was a good driver. You know, like me.


elSicomoro  Tuesday Jul 23 10:59 PM

Re: Re: <yoda>I sense much anger</yoda>

Quote:
Originally posted by Tobiasly
Traffic may suck more or less in one city or another, but people are pretty much stupid everywhere.
And you can't fix stupid.


Slithy_Tove  Wednesday Jul 24 12:41 AM

Tell me how you drive and I'll tell you what kind of an idiot you are. [Flash required]



NateXLH1000  Wednesday Jul 24 08:30 AM

Cost of taters

Anyone else ever visit Tokyo?

Produce prices are a sick joke there.
I bet that was 120000000000003 worth of tubers.



jaguar  Wednesday Jul 24 08:41 AM

Nate - when were you there and for how long/under what conditions? I'm lookign at going enxt year, i'm trying to get an idea of living cost etc in real terms vs availaible work.



tjennings  Wednesday Jul 24 10:40 AM

More pleasant spills

The town I live in has a large packing plant. They take away the inedible materials (mostly guts it seems) in large open trucks. If one of these trucks has to change speed or direction too fast the contents must reach some sort of critical mass or something (like an avalance or ketchup) because a large wave of that stuff can slosh over the side and into the road.

This causes mutiple problems. First of all the smell. Just following one of these trucks is enough to bring tears to your eyes. That is only magnified by allowing them to bake in the middle of a road for a while. Second, the material is very greasy and slippery as wet ice (even after it is shoveled up). The cleanup itself causes the third problem: It is greatly entertaining to watch some poor schmuck try to throw this stuff into the back of a truck with a scoop shovel (rubbernecking anyone?).



joquarky  Wednesday Jul 24 11:43 AM

Quote:
I get a small case of self-righteousness when I intentionally focus my vision forward and couldn't even say what color the cars were. Then I get right on the ass of the person in front of me who is still gawking like a fucking moron in the hopes of getting a glimpse of a dented door or maybe -- oooh! -- a broken headlight, hoping that maybe he'll realize he's driving 45 MPH below the speed limit, but that hasn't worked for me so far.
<P>
A really really bad accident (offset head-on collision) happened in front of my house a few years ago. At the time, I lived in a rural area, and it was dark (very dark). My family came out to rescue and support four victims until the emergency units arrived. A young mother and her infant in one car, and two young men in the other. The mother's car was on fire, which we extinguished. My dad got the infant out, but the drivers of both cars were stuck. Both drivers died on the scene, the passengers survived. I stood there holding a floodlight for an hour as the emergency team tried to save her. I watched her die right there in front of me. The last thing I remember hearing from the mother was "Is my baby ok?".
<p>
[shudder] It haunts me to this day.
<p>
Rubberneckers make me furious. If they want to see this kind of thing, they should join/volunteer for the EMT, otherwise they should respect the privacy of the accident victims, and avoid slowing down to gawk.


BrianR  Wednesday Jul 24 02:40 PM

jaguar

I've been to Tokyo. Nice place to visit. Wouldn't want to live there.

That adequately describes it, yet doesn't do it justice. I've never seen so many people, in so little an area, moving so well. The overcrowding is unbelievable. Jobs: I didn't look into but from my experience there they'll be hard to come by in any meaningful way. You're a Round-eye and they are, pound-for-pound, the most prejudiced people on Earth.
If you speak Japanese well, you'll have a better time even though 90% of the poeple there speak English well enough to get by (see thread on Engrish), they do not expect you to speak their language at all and will openly make fun of you (they called me Monkey a lot). I managed to keep my legendary temper for the two weeks I was there but it was only by grace of God. I was happy to leave. I think the Japanese have engineered it that way.

Your mileage may vary.

Brian



Joe  Wednesday Jul 24 05:54 PM

Well heck

I can easily see how the driver managed to lose his cargo of spuds. If I suddenly encountered a bunch of cars on the <b>wrong side of the freeway</b> I might indeed lose a stray potato or two while I tried to dodge everyone.

Once near Sacramento I was driving under I-5 and some poor trucker had taken an offramp at a tad over the safe speed, dispersing an even coating of tomatoes on the rural highway I was using. I approached the flipped trailers, cop cars and huge red area on the road with great caution, slowing to almost a complete stop, until a CHP person waved me through the mess. I thought they had to be kidding, most of the 'maters weren't even broken yet, you want me to drive through them? They're four inches deep! Yep, they did, and I did, and while I didn't get the honor of "first tracks" I think I was about third or fourth through the disaster area. Squishorama, even at <10mph. All they need is a truckload of lettuce, I thought, and a tanker of ranch dressing and we would have had lunch for ten thousand.



NateXLH1000  Thursday Jul 25 07:43 AM

tokyo living

I was there visiting a highschool buddy. He was rich and I stayed at his house. As far as I could see, the living expenses were were inflated beyond all reason. I didn't have to pay for much but I can say that it cost me $28.00 to fill the 3 gallon tank of a motorcycle with premium.

A popular option there was to live in an employer dormatory. Now that is a lovely slice of HELL! No visitors allowed, and other random intrusive rules set down by your employer. It's really the only way to get an entry-level job there I guess.

The only advantages I could see in living there was that they had beer vending machines in the street. Mind you, not GOOD beer but asahi and other "flavor-free" types of rice beer.

And yes they openly made fun of me. My nickname:
"Udei" = ghost (I am 6'3" and white)



esuarks  Thursday Jul 25 07:59 AM

Tokyo

Jag,

I've lived in Tokyo for 10.5 years. It's a very different place. It's a very crowded place. Some find peace and understanding here. I have not, yet I still choose to live here. Different, strange, and tapped into things y'all just don't see there in the U.S.

Drop me a line if you want details.

Cheers.



jaguar  Thursday Jul 25 08:37 AM

You have mail =) (private msg)



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