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John Boston | Our New Reality: City Speed Bumps Just Everywhere!

John Boston
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COLUMNIST NOTE: This pains me to add the clarification of “SATIRE” prior to this alleged prose. It’s like adding the disclaimer of, “LOOK OUT! WITCHES!!” before staging “MacBeth.” To be clear, our beloved city is NOT planning to install speed bumps every few dozen picas NOR are baristas about to be paid $60 an hour for pouring hot water over Maxwell House Instant Coffee for everyone’s morning commute. It’s like someone, in immense fatigue and after a hard day’s work confessing, “Cripes, my feet are killing me …” and an easily confused person, upon overhearing, panics and spreads the rumor that a legion of smelly size 12’s are, on their own, strangling our loyal and noble citizenry. So. The following, like Popeye’s nemesis, Bluto, Yosemite Sam and Peace In Our Time, is not actually real. Hope all get a good-natured and inappropriate snicker from the following … 

There seems to be much hysteria and panic over the newly proposed City Council plans to expand speed bumps throughout Santa Clarita, city thereof. First, the ordinance will not create a new speed bump every 14 feet. It’s only 11.  

The company getting the $117.4 billion contract to install the speed bumps is SClaritaBumps, owned by City Dog Catcher Robert Bumps. Bob is also the highest-paid city employee, raking in $747,000 yearly, most on commission. 

“Actually, the SClaritaBumps is a marvel of engineering, and, a boon to all local Santa Clarita dentists,” apologized councilchick Marsha McLean.  

“The traffic mitigators are 8 feet tall. Motorists, every 11 feet, will pull up to one and insert $8.75, in quarters, to a toll-taking kiosk manned by a forever sulking and ill-humored put-upon demographic. The SClaritaBump will then lower to 9 inches so motorists can safely advance to the next speed bump, just 11 feet away, where they will repeat the process all over again,” McLean explained, “and again, and again, etc., etc.” 

Of course, some older car and truck models whose horsepower is on the wane will have to back up a quarter-mile and take a running start to clear the speed barriers. This will necessitate a special dispensation by allowing a 105-mph speed limit and construction of a special underground motorcycle ramp a la Evel Knievel that rises when necessary. To ensure neighborhood safety, special giant flashing lights and tugboat horns will alert people within a 5-mile radius that the old car launch ramps are being activated and to get women and children safely ushered to bomb shelters.” 

Besides dentists, chiropractors and Santa Clarita’s influential Undercarriage Repair & Curiously Expensive Shock Absorber Replacement Grease Monkeys Coalition filled much of the audience at Tuesday’s council meeting, cheering, stomping and carrying placards like, “Hump the Bump!” and “Kiss Your Coccyx Good-Bye!” On the down side, city experts note this will add 14 hours to morning and evening commutes. This new ordinance will also destroy the morning coffee and doughnut business, already crippled by a new $65 minimum wage because doughnut shop workers rightly point out they had to get up earlier than the lazy-asterisks $20 minimum burger monkeys. 

City Dog Catcher Bob Bumps attempted to minimize the public intrusion.  

“In some neighborhoods, like retirement communities such as Friendly Valley,” said the chief canine officer, “the barriers will actually be made of low-elevation ice cream cones. You drive over them once. They make a most satisfying sound not unlike popping bubble wrap, only crunchy and, voila. They’re flatter than Harrison Ford’s wife and dissolve to dust. It’ll take maybe three years to get a city work crew to replace them and, alas and sadly, most of that original community won’t even remember or be with us.” 

Councilwoman Laurene Weste was under a gag order not to comment as she’s under FBI investigation of commandeering hundreds of the rubberized ramps to build feed troughs for her personal use. Well. For her disfigured farm animals’ personal use. 

“There is a ray of sunshine over this controversial subject,” said Mayor Pro Tem Bill “Read ’Em Your Rights!” Miranda. “Special traffic-slowing barriers will be installed around all the valley’s elementary and middle schools. A special PA system will be incorporated so that when a car limps over a speed bump, it makes a loud, intestinal flatulence relief sound. I know I laughed when I heard it.” 

In another attempt to mitigate the discomfort residents will feel, the city noted it will be installing large-screen TVs at all the long, black, progress-mitigating upside-down pot holes. Sadly, the only programming offered will be local cable Channel 20 so that motorists can be double bored to death. 

City Councilman Jason Gibbs, who once sang with the Bee Gees, broke solidarity with the other four Santa Clarita council members. Gibbs announced he would be forming a secret, guerilla warfare organization called, DETOUR! DETOUR! It will urge residents to trade in their emasculating puny subcompacts for powerful, giant, kwa-dwoppida kwa-dwoppida four-wheel-drive trucks and ride up on the sidewalks and onto people’s skimpy lawns while doing doughnuts to avoid the speed discourager mounds. To reiterate his commitment to driving on the sidewalks, Gibbs made a headband out of his tie. Then, he grabbed a microphone and started singing Sammy Hagar’s 1984 rock hit, “I Can’t Drive 55!” 

After confiscating six emotional support animals at the meeting, Bumps later returned to the podium to issue a brief statement, offering hope.  

“This is the dawning of a beautiful New America,” said SClaritaBumps owner Bob Bumps. “We, your government, strongly urge you to not go any place. And, don’t own dogs, to which, by the way, I am allergic. I know. Sad, and, ironic.” 

Alas, it seems Bumps and our City Council won’t just stop with slowing down our cars. 

On next week’s agenda, there’s a motion to make all the city’s hiking trails — uphill

Be at City Hall in force to protest. (Without your dogs.) Leave early. With all the new speed bumps, it’s going to take longer than you remember to get there … 

John Boston is a local community disorganizer and columnist. Visit his johnbostonbooks.com.  

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