Good morning, potholes!
I confess I used to try and ignore you.
Oh, I rationalized the new shock absorbers I had to install as simply normal wear-and-tear.
But, bump by jarring bump, I’ve had to accept the bitter truth. No other first-world city is as pockmarked as we are. Philadelphia is now the leader in potholes.
Please don’t make the mistake of blaming our elected officials. Like Mary Poppins herself, they are each practically perfect in every way. If anything, I’m certain it’s a moral failing on my part. If I was just a better person, if we were just better people, maybe the potholes would go away on their own.
The potholes on Pine Street remind me of the lunar surface. I’m now Neil Armstrong piloting the Eagle safely to its landing!
But wait, does it have to be bitter? Can’t we make potholes fun?
I can use my imagination along with those potholes to soar across the world! I imagine the potholes on 15th Street as foxholes in the Battle of Verdun. If you look closely, you can see Wonder Woman coming to the rescue! The potholes on Pine Street remind me of the lunar surface. I’m now Neil Armstrong piloting the Eagle safely to its landing!
Some kids down the street have turned theirs into a neighborhood pool. Just in time for summer vacation!
You see? Potholes can be fun. And good for business in the city. It’s not just the auto repair business. My dentist has seen a surge in visits, too.
Help is on the way. My Uber driver has memorized their locations and can often swerve to avoid the worst. They say that Google Maps and Waze will soon include the locations of Philadelphia’s potholes.
So I have now come full circle. Our potholes are now a source of pride. Just like the Rizzo statue. My neighbors and I have actually named our street’s potholes—the deeper the pothole, the longer the name. Meet Balthazar, and Zedediah, and Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenbergerdorff.
There are costs savings too. I hear Philadelphia has hired a consultant to create a new “brand” for our city. I say let’s save on the consulting fees! It’s time for us to embrace who we really are:
Welcome to Pothole City!
Philanthropist and former banker Richard Vague is the author of A Brief History of Doom: Two Hundred Years of Financial Crises.Photo via Flickr