Throwback Thursday: Squeezed In
Saturday 9: Don't Talk to Strangers

Low Bridge

Joe and I were driving to lunch the other day when we got held up slightly by a gaggle of police cars blocking off the left lane at the point where the two-lane road went under the SEPTA tracks.

The reason was obvious -- the driver of a rented Penske truck miscalculated the height of the underpass and the back of the truck slammed into the underside of the bridge and got stuck. I snapped the following picture as we passed -- it's not very good, but if you look just under the EZPass transponder you can kinda see the problem.


It reminded me of a similar incident when I was running around with the circus.

The show had two trailers outfitted with bunks: the band bus and the big top bus. I've written about the band bus before. TL;DR, it was a converted school bus that had six bunks in front for the clowns, six bunks in back for the props crew, and a tiny single room at the back for the props boss. The big top bus had bunks that length of the trailer for the working men who put up and tore down the big top.

Believe me, neither one was the epitome of style and comfort. But if you had a foam pad and a sleeping bag, you could sleep reasonably comfortably.

Anyway, one of the things the arrow man had to pay attention to was the height of overpasses. If there were low bridges that wouldn't accommodate the height of the trucks, the arrow man figured out another route and marked it accordingly.

Well, one night the guy who was driving the big top bus decided he that the arrowed route was the long way around and he knew a shortcut.

Do you see where this is going?

Yep -- the guy drove a 13-foot rig under a 10-foot bridge. The whole top of the front of the trailer got smashed to hell and gone and the rig got completely stuck. I don't really remember how it got unstuck, but I do remember it took a long time. The poor working men had to sleep wherever they could find a place to flop. It did not make them happy. Or forgiving.

Which is why the driver blew the show as soon as he realized what he'd done, because discretion was definitely the better part of valor.

He did not leave a forwarding address.