Warning: Rubberneckers Next 97 Miles

Fake News written by Martha Throebeck on Thursday, June 3, 2004

from the be-prepared-to-stop-and-stop-and-stop dept.

BLOOMFIELD, MO -- After fielding dozens of complaints from irate drivers, the Missouri Department of Transportation announced that warning signs will be posted in conjunction with next year's Memorial Day Hundred Mile Yard Sale along Highway 25.

"When you've got thousands of yard sale gawkers that don't know how to use turn signals, you're going to have traffic jams and accidents," explained a MoDOT spokesperson. "Hopefully we can avoid some of that next season by erecting warning signs and marking detour routes so that motorists will be able to travel from Cape to Dexter in less than five hours."

Under the plan, MoDOT will post signs such as "Yard Sale Chaos Ahead, Seek Alternate Route" and "Rubberneckers Next 97 Miles" along the highway. Detours will be prominently marked with giant "Yard Sale Escape Route" signs.

Reaction to the announcement has been positive. "Too many people engage in drive-by yard sale shopping," said one local delivery driver. "If they see a sale, they slam on their brakes and hog the road while surveying the junk from their vehicle. It's a miracle that we didn't have a 100 car pileup this year..."

"I've never seen a traffic jam this bad," said one person from Los Angeles currently visiting family in Missouri. "People complain about the gridlock on L.A. freeways, but the gridlock this weekend on 25 was astounding. I'm looking forward to driving in California again..."

One yard sale groupie admitted that she does have a tendency to get excited and forget basic traffic regulations. "When the adrenaline is flowing and you think you might pick up a $50 item for 50 cents, little things like turn signals don't mean much in the heat of the moment. Unfortunately, this year I only bought one $5 bargain while wasting $20 worth of gasoline in the process. But the thrill of the hunt is its own reward."

The mayor of Bloomfield, which saw its population temporarily explode by 5,000 percent over the holiday weekend, was unavailable for comment at press time.