Secretary Of Transportation Flips Out On Pothole In Baltimore
May 17, 2012 |
LaHood loudly berates the pothole for its “deeply irresponsible” behavior.
BALTIMORE—Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood went off on a
22-centimeter-wide, 8-centimeter-deep pothole Wednesday, calling it a
"goddamn disgrace" and a "real piece of work that's out to make [him]
look like a fool."
According to onlookers, an incensed LaHood lit into the pothole
located on Baltimore's West Pratt Street for more than 45 minutes,
screaming himself hoarse and repeatedly telling the concrete depression
that it was "un-fucking-acceptable" for it to have any sort of pavement
erosion at all, let alone enough to a cause bumpy driving experience or a
potential flat tire.
Sources later confirmed that at one point during the tirade, LaHood
got down on both knees and flipped off every crack, crevice, and piece
of displaced asphalt in and around the pothole.
"The secretary was not pleased when he was informed of the
pothole," Transportation Department chief of staff Joan DeBoer said of
LaHood, who reportedly began his diatribe by walking directly up to the
fatigued road surface and asking it straight up who the hell it thought
it was, and whether or not it even wanted to be a part of the nation's
road system anymore. "We told him we would take care of it, but he was
so angry he got into his car and drove right to Baltimore. He said he
wanted to ream out the pothole in person."
"I would not want to be that pothole right now," DeBoer added.
While the ticked-off LaHood railed against the 3-inch-deep fissure
for what he called a complete lack of respect for the country's
commuters, roads, and, by extension, LaHood himself, he also referred to
the pothole by a range of derogatory names, including cocksucker,
dipshit, shitface, wheel whore, and stupid asshole.
Accusing the pothole of undermining everything he had been trying to
accomplish since his appointment in 2009, the transportation secretary
said that it was in "huge fucking trouble," and that if it was looking
to gain his attention, "Mission accomplished." Though he acknowledged
some pavement deterioration was bound to occur on his watch, LaHood did
not let the Baltimore pothole off the hook, blasting the miniature chasm
both for having the nerve to form on a "rinky-dink" side street, and
for being a little bitch that can't even handle 760,000 pounds of
traffic per day.
LaHood, who at one point had to be held back by an aide when it
looked as if he was going to "haul off and punch" the pothole, added
that if the surface abrasion thought for one second it was going to grow
larger due to increased moisture in the spring air or greater wheel
loads, it "had another fucking thing coming."
"He said that maybe the pothole should have to fill its own goddamn
self, and that maybe that would teach it a lesson," said Baltimore
resident Dan Jacobs, adding that LaHood then started walking away from
the pothole but soon sprinted back and told it that it was completely
nuts if it thought it was going to get off that easy. "He really gave
that pothole a piece of his mind."
Sources confirmed that toward the end of his rant, LaHood began to
calm down, and, in an attempt to level with the pockmarked roadbed,
explained that he wasn't so much angry as he was disappointed.
LaHood also admitted there was a chance the stress of his job could
have contributed to his outburst, which he noted was not very fair to
"You can't be doing this, you know?" an exhausted LaHood was
reportedly overheard to say while sitting next to the
pothole. "Especially now when we've got so much going on—increased
safety standards, carbon monoxide emissions. Do you know how many more
cars are on the road now as opposed to just five years ago? Let's just
put it this way: too many. I'm sorry for chewing you out like that in
front of everyone, but we all have a part to play, and this
transportation system is only as strong as its weakest component. If you
help me out, I'll help you out. How's that sound?"
"All right," he added before dusting of his pants, getting in his car, and driving back to Washington, D.C.
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