Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Bridge, An Earthquake, And A Cast Of Thousands

I like to mix things up in multiples of three, and the ingredients must come from different sources. "Eye of newt and toe of frog..." doesn't work so well, unless one is working through the To-Do list for a quest saga.

For those who like to write the alien romance version of "Towering Inferno" or any other disaster movie, how about the current situation of deteriorating infrastructure as seen this month with the closing of the Sherman-Minton bridge between Indiana and Kentucky, which has turned a fifteen minute commute into a twice daily, two-hour exercise in frustration?

Who would you put on the other, still-sound but congested bridge? 
President Obama? 
An elderly prima in labor?
A politician rather fond of enlivening traffic jams by sexting at the wheel?
A fugitive of some sort? 
A couple of truckers... maybe one big rig ought to be the mobile, broadcasting home of an Assange of the airwaves, or a rushed conservative broadcaster.
A school bus....

I wonder, would a motorcade get through? Are there any circumstances under which a Presidential motorcade cannot take priority over traffic on a bridge? I suppose, if traffic is already log-jammed and the motorcade wasn't expected.

Now to up the ante. The October issue of DISCOVER has an article by Amy Barth about projections that there could be a killer quake in the Central United States. Apparently, in 2006 FEMA commissioned a study of what would happen if there were a 7.7 magnitude quake in the Mississipi Valley around the New Madrid seismic zone. The study was cut short in 2009 owing to new funding priorities under a new FEMA administration.

So, yes, one definitely must have someone from --or dear to-- the current administration on the bridge, if only for the thusness of it all.

It is not inconceivable that an earthquake between Little Rock, Arkansas, and Evansville, Indiana, could shock Louisville, Kentucky. It looks as if the same river (Ohio) runs through, marking the Indiana/Kentucky border. So, there is already disruption and congestion because everyone is on two bridges, instead of three. The projection is that 15 major bridges would fail, if there were a major earthquake, over 7 million people would be displaced.

The third element would have to be alien. Should one put a shy and reticent merman in the mighty river? Or a Troll! Why shouldn't there be Bridge Trolls in Kentucky? Possibly, it would be more credible if the Assange-type were a Time Lord (in a really big Tardis)?

On that note, I will sign off.


  1. I read that article in Discover. I also remember reading a local report in the newspaper some time ago, listing all of the bridges which were deemed potentially unsafe or degraded. perhaps the Trolls would be interested in repairing the bridges for us? It would, after all, be in their best interests :-)

    You mentioned 3s, and so I'd like to invite you to the Rule Of Three writing project/blogfest if you haven't already joined.
    Rule Of Three Blogfest

  2. Thank you. I am now following you.