Monday, September 17, 2012

That's Dr. Botts' Dot, To You

The "raised pavement marker" is a familiar bump in the road, and if you know it by any name at all, you might call it a Botts' Dot. No one calls it a Dr. Elbert Dysart Botts' Dot, which is only a shame because you might never otherwise say the words "Elbert" or "Dysart," but what breaks my heart is that this Missourian born in 1893 died in 1962 California having never driven over one of his eponymous dots. The first dot wasn't secured to the road until 1966.

Fifteen years ago, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that thrermoplastic stripes might replace California's 20 million Botts' Dots. If the California dot faces extinction, the Texas dot has adapted.
It is huge. I mean enormous. I mean you see one and you know it has eaten all the other dots on its block and grown bloated and shiny and white from their corpses. Not that they evidence violence; no, they are perfect, polished, shining hemispheresand they stay that way because they are too big to run over. Seriously, they are intimidating. They are the size of volleyballs, a hybrid of speed bumps and the common dot, and they suddenly define a turn lane as if to terminate forever the fraternization of those who would turn left and those who would drive straight through. I assume these giant domes have a name of their own, but I suspect that if you used it, you would preface it with a title. Mr. Dome, for instance, Sargent Dome, Your Mighty Excellency High Commander Dome, and so on. But only if you dared to address them at all.

1 comment:

Club Narwhal said...

I would avert my eyes as I bowed in subservience to the dot!