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Highway 63: You Killed My Irony

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People reading this who know me are probably already aware that I am a man who loves irony. I love it so much, in fact, that I go into any situation with a neutral attitude and then base my experience entirely on how ironic it was. To put it short - I find irony hilarious.


For instance: it is extremely ironic when people who smoke regularly and are slightly chubby tell fit, non-smokers that they are not eating healthily enough and that running is bad for their knees. This means I find it funny.

I also find it tear-jerkingly hilarious when people who wear nothing but Ed Hardy t-shirts and pants with bedazzled buttocks on them comment on my skinny jeans - they say that I look “gay.” Right. All this from a guy who thinks dressing formally means wearing a baseball cap with a picture of a shirt and tie on the front. Word of advice, men: there is no such thing as a pair of dress sneakers, so the next time you pick up a copy of GQ, I suggest you read more than the adverts with an attractive girl on them. H&M anyone? I digress.

As I was saying, I love irony; it was because of this, however, that I found myself extremely confused - and frightened - while on the way home from Calgary a couple of weeks ago. To my mind I had encountered the most ironic situation ever in the history of humanity, but I did not, at all, find it funny. Not in the slightest.

The drive was all very normal. I was being a normal driver, travelling at a normal 115 km/hr, enjoying the normal sight of trees to the left, trees to the right, and the arse end of a tanker truck in the middle. There were other normal things happening as well: my wife is pregnant so she was complaining about having to pee again, and that she was hungry. All was well. But then, in a matter of seconds, everything changed.

As we were heading up a hill, an idiot - because that is the only word for someone like this - pulled out on a double solid line and proceeded to pass us. Then, to add to this already seething cauldron of stupidity, he continued passing the tanker ahead of me as another one was coming down the hill. In the same lane. And for some reason beyond natural human comprehension, he kept his foot straight to the floor. At this point, I assume that a man this empty-headed could only have been raised by animals, and most likely the dumbest animal in the world. Probably an animal so dumb that the people who discovered it immediately died of embarrassment. Again, I digress.

Obviously by now I have distanced myself from the tanker in front of me in anticipation of an accident. But luckily the truck driver coming the other way knew what he was doing and pulled off onto the shoulder/into the ditch to let the deranged motorist past. I honestly thought that my family and I were dead. I thought that I would see my great-grandmother sooner than expected, all the while flying through the Pearly Gates backwards. In a fireball. And do you want to know the irony of it all? The obviously suicidal man had a “Twin 63” sticker on his back bumper; a sticker that, by image alone, is determined to inform the world that stupidity while driving on that beautiful highway costs lives. This on the vehicle of a man that almost killed six people because he couldn’t wait the two kilometres until a passing lane, is the definition of irony. I’m still not laughing.

A few days after returning home I went on the website for the Coalition for a Safe 63 and 881, and what I saw there shocked me to the core. The site said that between 2006 and 2010 there were 3,339 accidents, 93 of which involved fatalities.

That’s a lot. Actually, it is appalling, but I might have a solution: if a person is ever caught driving senselessly, the police should be allowed to strip them of their vehicle and replace it with a Geo Metro. Or a Smart Car. This way, eventually, all of the mad drivers will be in little tiny baby cars that cannot reach speeds high enough for passing and us normal drivers would be able to drive along behind a tanker truck, completely enjoying the scenery. And laughing, obviously.