Don’t ignore warning signs.

 

Why do people so often ignore blatant warning signs, either metaphorical ones or real ones?

Consider, for example, the Dexter Underpass:

Image Source: Historic Bridges

“The bridge over Dexter-Pinckney Road was designed in 1890 by Frederick Blackburn Pelham, the first African American to graduate from the University of Michigan in engineering. But it might never have been built if Warner’s cow hadn’t calved on Sunday morning, March 20, 1887.

When Warner didn’t show up for church, his parents, Dennis and Martha Warner, became concerned. That afternoon they walked from their house in the village toward Charles’s farm, which he had taken over from them years before. As they began to cross the tracks, the Michigan Central’s Limited Express roared around the curve at forty-five miles per hour. Dennis Warner made it across, but his wife did not. “Mrs. Warner evidently became slightly confused, hesitated an instant, and just as she stepped from the track was struck by the pilot of the locomotive, throwing her head against the cylinder, crushing her skull and killing her instantly,” reported the Dexter Leader […]

The accident cast a “pall of gloom over the entire community,” reported the Leader. After the funeral, held at the Congregational church on Fifth Street, townsfolk began petitioning the railroad to build a bridge at the crossing. At the time the Michigan Central was making improvements all along the line, and the railroad assigned Pelham, a young civil engineer whose specialty was bridge building, to design new bridges over the road and over Mill Creek. Both elegant stone structures are still there, the latter behind the fire station at the end of Warrior Park.

[…]The Dexter underpass was the most unusual of the twenty bridges that Pelham designed in Michigan because of its skew arch, a design used when bridges are not perpendicular to crossings. Before putting in the stone arch, the workers dug under the rail bed and put in a temporary wooden frame…Stone bridges were the best available at the time for durability, strength, and easy maintenance, but only wealthier railroads could afford them.”

As you drive toward the bridge from either side, about a mile out you see a sign warning you that there is a low bridge ahead. Then, half a mile out you see another sign warning you about the low bridge ahead. Then, as you approach the bridge…well, here is the picture I took from my minivan earlier this evening:

Dexter Bridge

Image source: The Sunshine Thiry Blog, 03-06-15

 

 

That’s right, there’s a third warning sign, and the height of the bridge is prominently displayed on the underpass as well. Nevertheless, driving home from a church event last Saturday, we came upon this:

image

Image source: The Sunshine Thiry Blog, 02-28-2015

 

That’s a semi truck wedged under the bridge, with an enormous tow truck backing up to it. The fire department was out there, too; my youngest daughter wanted to know why the firemen couldn’t spray soapy water on it or spread peanut butter around it like you do when you get gum stuck in your long hair.

Lest you think this is a one-off occurrence, here are pictures of a few other recent similar events at the Dexter Underpass:

2012.  Image source: The Ann Arbor News

 

 

2014. Image source: MLive

Warning signs are there to help you avoid catastrophe, not to be a wet blanket on your super fun life.  But it’s like people just refuse to listen to warning signs on principle now.

“I’m offended you’d even suggest that I might want to take another route around that low bridge! Low bridges are a constraint on my freedom! I shall plow right through, mind over matter! I just gotta be free to be me and do what I do, and I’m a high-overpass kind of a person!”

It never ends well; man-(or woman)-versus-reality contests usually don’t.

He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

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9 thoughts on “Don’t ignore warning signs.

  1. I like your youngest daughter’s imagination. The peanut butter concept may wellserve to attract bears and, if you can get them all to push in the same direction, we may see trucks get unstuck. In a similar vein, be careful where you park in Russia.

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  2. It pleases me very much to read and hear that my husband now believes in God as the revelation. He speaks a lot about the arrogance of a group or a generation having the knowledge to establish its own moral code. Mark will be sixty this summer. He believes it is folly to toss aside the established wisdom. He wants the word of God so ingrained in my daughter that she never knows so much as a tempting thought.

    My feeling is the commandments aren’t suggestions. Those “warnings” keep one from unbelievable harm and pan. Break one and suffer the consequences. I’ll be getting up in a bit to make the half hour drive at 8:30 on Saturday morning to take my daughter to her Catholic bible study (the only one available when I have custody of her on the weekends). In my own way, I hope this shows God my devotion. I have some essays by Bertonneau and Charlton to read that Mark “assigned” me while I wait for her. Heigh ho! Heigh ho!

    Nice post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Truck driving used to be a respected trade. You had to be resourceful, hard-working, resilient and been blessed with more than the average share of common sense. Now that they’ve built trucks anyone can drive, companies think anyone can drive them.

    This is the entirely predictable result.

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  4. “I’m offended you’d even suggest that I might want to take another route around that low bridge! Low bridges are a constraint on my freedom! I shall plow right through, mind over matter! I just gotta be free to be me and do what I do, and I’m a high-overpass kind of a person!”

    Not only do they suffer for it, but they make problems for everyone around them.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Really, firemen? Do you not recognize that women can and DO fight fires daily? Way to raise your daughters to have no self-respect. Firefighters, you stupid housewife. I bet you changed your last name for a man. And serve him meals and wash his clothes. You do nothing to help women or society.

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  6. you stupid housewife.

    I work full-time outside the home.

    Really, firemen? Do you not recognize that women can and DO fight fires daily?

    A cursory glance at the pictures from the events reveals the presence of no females. Hence “firemen” is an accurate description of reality.

    And serve him meals and wash his clothes. You do nothing to help women or society.

    Society doesn’t exist without families, and families don’t exist without food and clean clothing.

    Someone help me remember – what has Dalrock been saying about feminists being miserly with love and care?

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  7. Sunshine ,
    It’;s hard to believe that level of vitriol for a first comment. It’s not onlty a matter of being miserly with love and care, there’s undiluted hate fueled by anger for who knows what.

    Nightskyradio,
    As always, superb video choice.

    Like

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