Sure, you think you know Ipswich potholes. But now we’ll find out just how much you know.
Truth or Myth?
1. The Essex County Cartographers’ Society is developing a map of Ipswich which differentiates between potholes, sinkholes, craters, cavities, caverns, caves, chasms, canyons, dips, depressions, basins, bowls, holes, hollows, indentations, ravines, rifts, gorges, gaps, gullies, and gulches. (This is a myth. Such a map could be created, but there is no Essex County Cartographers’ Society.)
2. A pothole officially becomes a sinkhole when something sinks into it. (Myth. To become a sinkhole, the pothole must swallow something worth $250 or more, and appear on YouTube.)
3. Potholes can be avoided by driving more slowly. (This is truth. However, many potholes are obscured by puddles, so you also have to avoid puddles. Also, if there are simply too many potholes and puddles for the wheels of your vehicle to avoid them all, go for the puddles, thereby decreasing your chances of injury to vehicle or vertebrae. After all, not every puddle hides a pothole. Thank heaven.)
4. Potholes are formed by water seeping through cracks in the asphalt, then expanding as it freezes, which enlarges the gaps and weakens the pavement. (This is truth elsewhere, but a myth in our town. Ipswich potholes are actually dug out in the middle of the night by people from Newbury who are desperately short of Plum Island landfill.)
5. The potholes in this town are a nefarious plot by chiropractors and car repair people, perhaps inspired by the nuns at the end of The Sound of Music sabotaging the Nazi vehicles. (Myth. We already know who digs our potholes. See #4.)
6. There’s a pothole on Linebrook Road you can see on Google Earth. (This is a myth. It’s on Randall.)
7. Our pothole guys, exhausted and despairing after this endless winter of thawing and refreezing, have given up and gone to Florida. (This is a myth. According to the Town website last week, the Department of Public Works “is currently in the process of performing pothole repairs throughout Town. We will be focusing our efforts on the main roads and working our way back to local roads.”)
(Bonus item: Our potholes are being left in place deliberately, because of a twisted public-policy decision. This is a myth. DPW Director Rick Clarke did not wake up one morning toward the end of autumn and say to himself, “Hey! Great idea! We could make Ipswich like Beverly!”)
8. You can report potholes to DPW through the Town website, or by emailing DPW Clerk Michele Young via firstname.lastname@example.org. (Truth.)
9. Michele Young’s inbox is full. (Myth.)
10. If two cars approach each other on Mile Lane where potholes on both sides leave only a single vehicle width available for driving, the car approaching from the north has the right of way. (This is a myth. The right of way belongs to whichever driver has more nerve, and/or better insurance.)
11. The pothole guys are working as fast as they can. (This is the truth. There are only so many pothole guys, and only so much pothole-repair equipment, because there is only so much money in the pothole-repair budget. If we had twice as many pothole guys deploying twice as much pothole-repair equipment, our potholes would be filled twice as fast. Of course this would require twice the budget. Perhaps an override? As John Adams or someone almost certainly said, “Let all complain about potholes except those who complain about taxes.”)
12. A nine-year-old in full Pee Wee football gear disappeared into a very large pothole on High Street. (Myth. It was a Volkswagen.)
Let me know how you did on the quiz!