To say that Massachusetts roads have potholes is akin to saying “Water is wet.” It is a part of everyday life in the Commonwealth and we have all mastered the art of adeptly maneuvering around them … or having a tire blown, axle snapped, or alignment ruined.
We complain about them as much as we complain about the weather in all seasons. We notify officials and often the pothole is filled in on Massachusetts time, but often it is ignored. Massachusetts time is different than time in other states. It highlights the mountain of red tape that bogs down every process from small to large in Massachusetts. Throw in that our politicians and officials are mostly feckless and ineffective, you are likely to see a particular pothole left as is for weeks, even months and in some cases, even longer.
While that is all a bit of hyperbole and creative license, there are so many potholes in the state there will never be a point that the city or state will have filled them in. They are like the proverbial whack-a-mole.
Having said that, there are some potholes that I have learned to dodge because they have been there for well over a year in spite of reporting it.
In cases like that, people throughout the country have learned to let go of their annoyance with potholes and waiting for officials to do something about them and alternatively decided to inject a bit of humor.
Here are 5 ways that people who have gotten fed up with potholes have done exactly that and by doing so got the city and/or state to take note and fix it almost immediately. Some of these are “do and walk away” there are ones whereby you don’t want to create a distraction for a driver so you simply take a quick photo and then either send it to the city or make it public on social media and hope it goes viral.
1. Go fishing
Some potholes are so large that they have turned into a small pond and they’ve been there for so long that surely life began to settle in. Can’t get to a pond, lake or ocean to do some fishing? Set up a chair and cast a line in hopes of catching the “big one”: an official’s attention. Snap a shot and send to local news outlets and post on social media and maybe something will get done about it!
2. Lego scene
We all have Legos kicking around the house somewhere. Create a scene from your favorite movie using one of the many kinds of Legos, perhaps Star Wars, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, etc.
3. Embarassing officials with a Penis
While a bit crude, this is one that would definitely get the city or states attention. Relax prudes and Puritans, it’s not actually a penis, it’s just a drawing. Officials will definitely get multiple calls and emails about this one.
4. Garden or flower bed
If the pothole is off to the side of the road, here is one that you could actually do and leave. Brighten up the ugly road canker with a something bright and cheery like. Be sure to visit it daily and give it a little water/ Maybe chat with it since they seem to like that.
5. Celebrate its birthday
Know a pothole that has been ignored for a long time? Celebrate its birthday with some cake, maybe have some friends join you and you can sing “Happy Birthday to you!” and put it on Facebook live.
5. Put a marijuana plant in it
This is one that takes the term “pothole” literally. While marijuana was legalized in the state some 2 years ago, it seems that New Bedford officials are like the aforementioned ones who need multiple inspections, permits, endless talking and pondering, and creating a mountain of red tape before they follow the will of the people. While no one would leave a pot plant in a pothole, it makes for a great photo op. The officials don’t need to know you didn’t actually leave it there.
Other ideas include a miniature tennis court, taking a bath in one, using CGI to make creative, often hilarious scenes, put some plaster in it and treating it like a handprint like stars do on Hollywood Boulevard, and too many others to mention.
Enjoy seeing creative ways of addressing potholes? One photographer used some models and in some cases CGI to bring attention to potholes. You can see his work here.
Have a good idea or something to share? Send us your essays, photos or videos at firstname.lastname@example.org.