Repent, you doubters and naysayers.
Anything--yes, anything--is possible on the highway. One need only ask the right question.
Think what Ventura County's roads would lack if no one dared wonder: What happens when I roll this log downhill?
What if I made these wheel thingies out of hollow rubber instead of steel-clad wood?
How much faster will this ol' rig go if I refine crude oil into super-volatile gasoline?
And why shouldn't I zoom up the right-hand lane of the Conejo Grade at 80 mph--cutting off, flipping off and ticking off my fellow motorists?
Yes, without questions like these, we might all be stuck living peacefully under crisp blue skies by a crystalline sea, within walking distance of our stress-free, rewarding jobs and blissfully oblivious to the soul-crushing hell of pollution, gridlock, bone fractures and bureaucratic usury that is the modern automobile.
I mean, look at the pygmy mammoth.
It probably never asked a question in its entire small, furry life. It lived happily beneath smoke-tinged sunsets on the Channel Islands and died fulfilled, with a beautiful ocean view.
And it wound up--even in death--treated with reverence and awe by some of the greatest archeological minds of our day.
But go ahead, dear readers, and dare to ask questions like these:
Dear Street Smart:
Your article on the Victoria and Seaward interchange projects concerns me, because they throw more money at a freeway that has ruined our beach.
The Ventura Freeway should be moved--to release our beachfront from its prison. Just imagine how the beach could be developed--look at Santa Barbara--and the enormous wealth and revenue it could produce.
I think you should use your column and influence to get Caltrans and the public to demand moving the freeway and demolishing the beach-imprisoning monstrosity we now have.
Joke though we may at times, Street Smart takes all readers' questions seriously. Below, you will find the answers you seek. Eventually.
But for just a moment, we have to ask: Are you kidding?
First, you may have mistaken Street Smart for an institution of some power. We are a mere newspaper column and thus about as important in the creator's grand scheme as the pygmy mammoth.
Taxpayers, lawmakers, landowners and the political winds have a lot more chance of budging the ol' 101 than does your humble correspondent.
Second, you might be able to ignore the fact that it took untold millions of dollars and man-hours to construct the Ventura Freeway through Ventura. And you might pooh-pooh the fact that rerouting it would be astronomically more expensive at third-millennium prices.
But you must also realize how many homes, schools, churches, muffler shops, orange groves and endangered arroyo toad habitats you'd have to bulldoze to make this happen.
Finally, are you KIDDING???
Believe us, Street Smart and many of our loyal readers might be all for razing and seeding every inch of the Ventura Freeway and returning coastal denizens to the beach-roaming state of grace enjoyed by early Chumash tribes.
But your little dream has less than a Popsicle's chance in Beelzebub's microwave of coming true.
The final word comes from Caltrans spokeswoman Patricia Reid: "Obviously, it would not be feasible to move the Ventura Freeway.
"Where would we put the traffic? Where would we move it to? How would we obtain the millions necessary to acquire the right of way for relocation? What would be the purpose?"
We hope this answers your question.
Dear Street Smart:
In your opinion, should a wife confess to a husband that she knows exactly how, where and when the family car received the mysterious dent that the husband is mildly perturbed about?
It seems to me that husbands always take these things harder than do wives.
Aphorisms taught by Street Smart's mother: The truth will set you free. Confession is good for the soul. I can tell when you're lying, so knock it off or else!
Oh sure, you probably think it's just a little dent.
But you might as well have backed your husband's face into that tree/guardrail/refrigerator/garbage truck and gouged out flesh and bone, because when you mess with a man's car, you mess with his soul.
Yes, it's bad. But if you want to continue living with your conscience and your beloved, you will just have to do the right thing and 'fess up. So here's what you do:
Tell him the pygmy mammoth did it.
Dear Street Smart:
A terrible incident happened to me about two weeks ago.
On my way to Lompoc, I had to detour through Buellton because of road construction. If you are familiar with the area, you know that it is a long, lonely stretch before coming into Buellton.
About six miles out, I ran over something and shredded my left rear tire. I panicked, then realized I had to do something because it was already 9 p.m. I managed to change my tire, but something was not right, so I drove to the nearest call box, about half a mile away.