Friday, May 06, 2005

Keeping Austin Weird

One of the things I love about Austin is that it is one place where you can march to the beat of your own drummer and nobody thinks twice about it. You get used to seeing the out of ordinary. But this week I did a doubletake when I saw something too weird for even Austin.

I was on my way to work, crusing down Highway 71, when a Ford F150 pickup passed me. The tailgate was down, which caught my attention. In the back of the truck was a long white box that ran the entire length of the truck bed and onto the tailgate. Roughly 6 feet by 3 feet, looking much like an ordinary packing box, except that across the end of the box were stamped the words "Human Remains". My reaction was an immediate "gross!".

Okay, you have to wonder here. Who drives around town with a pickup load of human remains? Was the hearse in the shop? And would it have been asking too much to cover the box with a tarp? I'm a fairly level-headed person and it bugged me. Sure hope no fragile little old lady was behind him when he pulled up to a stoplight.

Granted it's spring time in Texas, but we're already having days that are topping 80 degrees. Is it a good idea to be transporting cargo like that under a hot Texas sun? And where the heck was he headed anyway?

He took the left fork in the road and I took the right, so I didn't have long to observe anyone else's reaction. But I found myself wondering...if a cop pulls up behind something like that, what does he do? Accept that there's a good reason for someone to be hauling down the highway with a box stamped "Human Remains" and go on by? Stop him and ask to see his manifest? What if he was some psycho murderer that was headed to the dump and had the gall to slap a semi-official looking label on his victim? Eeewww.

Don't guess I'll ever know. Probably never see anything like it again. Quite frankly, I would much rather see Leslie in his thong and bikini top standing on 6th and Congress instead.

Yep, Austin's weird. No doubt about it.


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