Pothole of the day

Categories: potholes
Many years ago when I was a college student studying in Lagos, Nigeria, I attempted to take a cab back to the residence where I was staying. It was a miserable, stinking, brutally hot day--as are pretty much all days in Lagos. To make matters worse, I was sick with malaria and had a boil roughly the size of a golf ball protruding from my neck.


Weaving through the city's notorious go-slow traffic, the cabbie came upon an opening in the road. Calling this lack of pavement a pothole would be highly inadequate. It was more like a small mine shaft. The intrepid cab driver, rather than be dissuaded by this lack of navigable surface, plunged straight into the ravine. Unfortunately we did not emerge on the other side. The cab became hopelessly lodged in the abyss.

After roughly ten minutes of futilely gunning the engine, it became apparent that we weren't going anywhere. At this point the cab driver implored me to get out of the vehicle and push. For some reason I heeded his instructions. Luckily I was soon joined by several other men--no doubt amused by the sight of some little, sweaty white dude with a giant, grotesque boil on his neck attempting to push a vehicle out of a giant pothole. Eventually we were able to free the cab and I arrived safely back at my homestay family's compound. Unfortunately the boil stuck around for another month.

The Twin Cities, as far as I know, does not posses potholes of quite this awe-inspiring magnitude. But as anyone who's driven the streets in recent weeks knows, the roads are quite treacherous. Months of dumping corrosive materials on the roads, in order to keep them free of ice and snow, has left some huge holes in Twin Cities roads.

The street in front of the CP offices, N. 5th Ave., is a notoriously dodgy surface. In fact it was utilized in the 2005 film Factotum to display the bone rattling shocks on Lili Taylor's vehicle. Associate A List editor Ben Palosaari recently did nearly $900 of damage to the underside of his car while attempting to navigate the "road." Here's a photograph:

pothole.jpg

But we're looking for other marvels of inadequate roadway in the Twin Cities. Have you noticed a particularly large pothole in your neighborhood? A street conspicuously lacking in navigable paved surface? Post the locale in the comments section (or shoot me an email) and we'll consider it for the honor of pothole of the day.

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