NJ Department of Transportation
P.O. Box 600
Trenton, NJ 08625-0600
March 30, 2010
Dear NJ Department of Transportation,
My grandfather had two friends: his bourbon and his scotch. Sometimes he would talk to Loretta but mainly he would saunter off to the mudroom with a bottle, mumbling things about nuclear war. His name was Thomas Jefferson. It’s not who you’re thinking of. That Thomas Jefferson is probably dead by now. Incidentally, the Thomas Jefferson who was my grandfather is also dead by now, from halitosis. The doctor said it was malignant and we put him in an airtight casket. The doctor’s name is Ben Franklin. I don’t think it’s the same Ben Franklin you know of, even though he flies kites.
Some nights Grandpa would down three bottles of bourbon and a shot of scotch, then go out and make potholes in the road with a sledgehammer. His wish came true once when a jogger tripped on one and fell flat on his face. It was our neighbor John Quincy Adams. It’s probably not the same guy who was president a while back, but I don’t remember what he looked like. Mr. Adams went to the hospital and eventually had to get a rhinoplasty. Grandpa cracked up for a week. That’s the only time I remember him when he didn’t have a murderous scowl.
A few days ago I was on Route 73 in Marlton and spotted what has to be the biggest pothole of all time. I cried when I thought of Grandpa and how much he hated joggers. Now I know you normally fill these in, but I was wondering if you could make a special case for this pothole. I’d like it to be the “Thomas Jefferson (Not Who You’re Thinking Of) Memorial Pothole.” It can have a statue of Grandpa with half-moon eyes and a pile of empty bottles, just as I remember him. A lot of people will tell you about him if you ask — he’s a local legend. He killed George Washington’s cat (not the same cat you know of) with a shovel.
The pothole is off to the side, so this glorious statue won’t be in the way of anything, such as cars. I will cover all the expenses. Perhaps we can even make it an official Kodak Photo Opportunity, where there’s a sign and people pull over and take pictures of themselves with the famous landmark. I know this guy, Tommy Paine, who’s a foreman and can handle the project. Let us build a fitting tribute to the man who brought us laughter (but generally much more pain and suffering).