Roanoke, VA:  According to a frequent traveler of a busy intersection at Orange Avenue and Gainsboro, a traffic light outage in the wake of a recent flood spanning a terrifying one-and-a-half days nearly resulted in the deaths of hundreds of motorists.

Severe flooding blamed for traffic signal malfunction and ensuing chaos.
Severe flooding blamed for traffic signal malfunction and ensuing chaos.

“It was like something out of a nightmare,” the traveler reports.  “What do you do when a traffic light is out?  You stop, right?!  Normal 4-way-stop rules apply, right?!!  WRONG.  These motherfuckers are crazy.”

Reporters on the scene observed that the complete and utter bafflement on the faces of many motorists was superseded only by the incomprehensible fury of the majority, who could not bear to stop long enough to consider whether it was their turn to go.

“Why is it always the guy making a left-hand turn that thinks he gets to go?” a commuter laments.  “I mean, he’s the LAST guy who gets to go – but there he goes!  Nevermind that there are people already driving straight across.”

“OH, SHUT UP!” the commuter yells at the motorist beeping their horn behind her.  “I can’t fucking go right now!  How do you not see that it is impossible for me to go right now?!”

“It’s not my turn, ” she explains, “The person in the other lane stopped first.  Unreal.”

Or very real.  According to psychologists, cognitive impairment is common in times of crises, and the ability to reason is the first thing to go in the event of catastrophes of this magnitude.  Survival instinct, including but not limited to the irrepressible need for immediate purchase and consumption of MTO sandwiches and sundries at the newly renovated Sheetz at the corner of Orange and Williamson, trumps logic.  Experts agree that only the most disciplined minds can maintain the ability to determine whose turn it is to go during traffic light malfunctions.

“Ain’t nobody tryna commit no vehicular manslaughter,” an extremely frustrated motorist is heard screaming into her cellphone, “But why they ain’t let me go?  Ima go!” she exclaims, stomping the gas and causing the near-death of the driver who actually had the right of way.

“Oh, it was definitely my turn,” the driver with the right of way responded, “but it didn’t matter.  Because Ford Expedition didn’t understand that it wasn’t her turn.  So she just stops in the middle of the intersection and starts waving her hands around like a crazy person.  Well, one hand.  She had her cellphone in the other hand yelling something about vehicular manslaughter.”

“Maybe it just looked crazier because her fingernails were like 4 inches long and curved like talons.  How did she dial her phone?  I’m just saying, I let her go.  The people behind me were going off, but hey — better to be late than carved up with one of those talons.  Those things could snag you on the drive-by.”

Sometime during the 5:00 rush hour, local police, in response to reports of unprecedented near-fatalities, dispatched a uniformed officer to direct the traffic at this busy intersection.

“It mighta helped some,” a motorist reports.  “I mean, I guessI tried I mean, I think somebody mighta tried to run his ass over.  ‘Cause it was my they turn to go.  I mean, why he didn’t know?  But, hey, that’s the chance they take, you know what I mean?  You gotta pay the cost to be the boss.  I’m just sayin’.  Occupational hazards and shit.”

Apparently too hazardous to repeat, reporters noted, considering the city replaced the uniformed officer with makeshift stop signs the following day, which clearly created more confusion than having no one or nothing there at all.  It is unknown whether the officer fell victim to motorist confusion/rage, or if he had, like, other/more important things to do than prevent thousands of near-fatalities at this treacherous intersection.

“The second day was worse than the first,” a motorist reports, “I would say the percentage increase in the number of near-deaths was directly proportionate to the percentage increase in placement of makeshift stop signs.  One time I was heading toward Vinton and saw a Sheetz employee with a can of spraypaint turning the “T” into an “H” and adding “at Sheetz” with an arrow pointing toward the store.  Then another time when I was going toward Melrose, I observed another person shoot a sign on their way to Sheetz.  That sorta stuff definitely drives up the near-death stats.”

Department of Transportation technicians had the signal repaired by noon on the second day.

“We apologize for the thousands of near-deaths that occurred over the course of the past one-and-a-half days,” a local highway official stated.  Our technicians have been working around the clock to repair outages created by recent flooding.  We saved this one for last, since we fully expected to nearly-die here, and we need every tech to combat the outages predicted to occur in the wake of the next storm.”

Sheetz officials could not be reached for comment.








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