According to indisputable online sources, Albert Einstein once defined insanity as the act of doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
The man who developed the theory of relativity may have said this, or it could have been an auto mechanic named Albert Einstein for all we know. Regardless, the quote may go a long way to explaining why there's a term "road rage" and not, say, "whist rage."
Just consider the sheer insanity surrounding the annual Canadian rite of spring prompted by the receding of snow and ice that reveals the fury winter has wrought upon our roads.
Every winter, the elements team up to create potholes, cracks, fissures and chasms on our roads. Every spring, after subterranean rescue crews extricate cars and remove illegal squatters from potholes and cracks, our roads departments ritually fill them with hot asphalt.
The next winter, the asphalt cracks, the potholes reappear in spring, road crews show up with asphalt, winter comes again …
Shampoo, lather, rinse, repeat.
And boy, do they repeat. In Toronto alone, crews were filling more than 4,000 potholes a day this April. Judging by a recent tour, they may have missed a few.
In fact, many of these car-crunchers have become permanent features on the landscape, like the Rockies or Tim Hortons. There are cracks that have been on some roads so long they are listed on TripAdvisor ("visit the Queen Street Canyon").
This would all be more acceptable if patching made our roads smoother than Mike Duffy's head, even for only a few months. But the repairs simply add to the topography, creating a driving experience you'd expect in Haiti or on the far side of the moon.
As you drive over them, you can feel parts cracking, heaving and separating. And they're pretty hard on the car, too.
But why do we have to endure these assaults on our sacroiliacs and shock absorbers?
Because we are part of the insanity. Every year, we suffer in silence as our vehicles, spines and dental work take a beating.
Drivers have gone along with this far too long. It's time to take up pitchforks and torches, if not mangled shock absorbers and dented oil pans.
Let's rise up and march on legislatures across the land, demanding better roads. We did it when Family Guy was cancelled; surely we can do it for this.
We live in a country that, despite Stephen Harper's best efforts, still has winter. Somebody should have figured this out by now.
After all, we put people on the moon and invented the selfie stick. Are good roads that difficult?
Why, after more than 100 years of practice, are we still using 19th-century technology, filling holes with an inedible oil product guaranteed to eventually loosen our fillings?
Is it the power of the auto repair business, which profits from replacing road-damaged parts? Maybe it's the omnipotent asphalt cartel.
Whatever the reason, none should be able to withstand the pent-up anger of Canadian motorists. If we treat the system the same way we treat drivers who cut us off, nothing can stop us.
Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Instagram
Add us to your circles
Sign up for our weekly newsletter