Tecumseh Road Diet
(In this short piece of fiction the citizens of Tecumseh, Indiana, have been placed on a road diet by the city’s mayor. People aren’t happy about this new development.)
The mayor of Tecumseh has put the citizens of his city on a road diet as a result the citizens in Tecumseh are up in arms. He is taking all the four-lane roads and turning them into two narrow paths. In addition, potted plants, trees, and decorative features have appeared in the spaces where the missing lanes used to be.
Why the Road Diet is Important
The idea behind the diet is to slow down traffic and force people to leave their cars at home. A healthy city is a walking city. Not to mention, fewer cars would cut down on pollution. Plus, putting the citizens on a steady road diet would cut taxpayers’ expenses.
Of course, the mayor was overheard saying folks need to get up off their fat asses and walk the city trails. Thus, the Tecumseh road diet sparked anger in the hearts of the populace.
The people of Tecumseh, like anyone forced to go on a diet, hate the idea. When the first project on Grant Street got underway, people were heard complaining about it all over town in mild whispers. Those whispers have since turned into roars. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind the mayor had better not run for the reelection.
The guys over at the liar’s table at the Cup & Spoon are talking about taking more drastic measures. The city can’t wait two years for a general election. They are drawing up a petition to call for his immediate resignation. If that fails, they have a plan for the city council to impeach the son-of-a-gun.
They are taking bets on how far the good mayor will press his luck. Jimmy Young is checking through all the old laws on the books to see if there are still legal grounds for tar and feathering.
The egg heads in the sociology department over at the university think the mayor is a brilliant social engineer. The head of the department slipped the mayor a book which suggests the very ideas he’s putting into effect, which makes him a progressive. Suddenly, the Tecumseh road diet became the trend in city government.
Turns out it was the only book the mayor ever read so he might have not grasped all the ramifications a road diet might have caused to the citizens of the community. Jimmy is checking to see if there’s a clause in the tar and feathering law which might include college professors.
Issues created by the Tecumseh Road Diet
First responders in the police and fire department are having trouble navigating the narrow, curvy roadways, therefore, caused thousands of dollars of damage and killed a significant number of the trees planted due to the Techumseh road diet. To say nothing of having issues answering emergency calls.
The Teamsters are threatening to boycott the city because semi-trucks are having difficulty making deliveries on these one-lane paths which were once two-lane streets. They are threatening to park out on the highway. The merchants can come after their own stuff.
The ladies at The Hen House are in a quandary about what to do about the road diet. The damage caused by construction due to the road diet to Elba Mae Johnson’s is an expense she can’t afford. She plans to go down to city hall and file a complaint. Colleen doesn’t know what she’s going to do if UPS stops delivering their flowers anymore. Naomi says the ladies at the shop are going to miss Ned, the UPS delivery guy, making his daily deliveries. His brown shirt looked so cute hugging his firm, masculine body when he flexed to unload the potting soil.
Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana, who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh. To read more of her short stories and adventures click here.
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