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Roundabouts save lives

After explaining loop quantum gravity last week, a new sense of bravery has overtaken me, and this week, despite the probable widespread confusion that will ensue, we will examine another phenomenon. Warning: This topic will arouse new and as yet undiscovered personal feelings. This is America, where by now if you haven't become accustomed to new daily assaults on your personal feelings, then you're well overdue. (What! You thought I was going to add to the mountainous pile of poo our president has accumulated? Nope. That's large enough already. We're ready for a new topic, aren't we.)

This new topic is sweeping the nation: Roundabouts. All over the USA, people are turning into them, trying their best, and becoming totally bamboozled by these things. Well. I'm going to explain them. Read it here. There are after all 40 of them in Minnesota, and soon enough, you will find one.

First, a roundabout is a device whereby traffic can change directions without stopping. You will drive your automobile into one, going to the right, because in America we drive on the right. Why do we drive on the right? It's simply because we're Americans, and if there's one thing we lead the world in, it's thinking we're always right.

Now, you have entered The Roundabout, which gives you certain choices, and takes certain choices away from you. (Very un-American.) First, other people are going to want to enter. In America, other people in their cars are all cretins, and you are the only sane one, so you must have both your front windows rolled down so you can holler and gesture and shout disparaging epithets out your window.

Now, there are also pedestrians who have taken their foolish lives in their hands and are trying to make a dash to the safety of the center island. Foolish, because they think they have some legal right to be on foot in a country where everyone drives. Your window is down. Holler at them, while waving wildly out the window at people in their cars who are trying to join you in this circular trip to nowhere.

Oh. Maybe you thought you were going to make the equivalent of a U-turn? You thought you wanted to go back the way you came? What's wrong with you! The Roundabout has many features, but if you take a chance on going all the way around, you'll be lucky to leave at all. And if it's rush hour (which it always is in a Roundabout, what with the haste that terror brings with it) you will want to have a friend or relative who as a pedestrian will take their lives in their hands and make it to the Center Circle of Hell, or the middle island, so they can throw a sandwich in your open window now and then as you go round and round to keep your energy levels up.

But let's say you're in a two-lane Roundabout, and a 30-foot wide combine with a corn head on it enters because he has to get to a field somewhere, well, your day is shot, let me tell you. After the combine sucks up two hapless pedestrians and a bicyclist , and the cops and ambulances come, it's over. You're stuck.

Or you get behind someone with a bumper sticker that says "Go ahead. Keep honking. I'm reloading," oh boy. You're going to have a long day.

According to DOTs everywhere, roundabouts save lives. Of course they do, because while you're in there circling aimlessly, you're not out on a highway where you or the other cretins could do some real damage.

According to DOTs everywhere, roundabouts save lives. According to psychiatrists everywhere, they're good for business.