ROADS REPORT: Recipe for disaster

Cultural insensitivity and illegal parking sprinkled with witchcraft

Blog Entry May 09, 2014

David Matthews has been chronicling the unexpectedly humorous side of transportation news for his Roads Report column since 2000. The stories are all true.

Printer-friendly version

Food truck in bad taste
A Korean food truck is stirring up controversy in San Antonio, Texas, because of its name: CockAsian.


Candie Yoder, 40, purchased the truck last November and planned to turn it into a mobile restaurant specializing in spicy Korean fried chicken. Given the Asian-fusion fare and the fact that Yoder is caucasian, she thought the name “CockAsian” was a clever play on words.


Unfortunately officials at Port San Antonio didn’t agree. Yoder was set to debut her truck at the 1,900-acre industrial complex and aerospace facility in March, but was contacted just days before and told she was no longer welcome because of concerns that patrons might find her truck’s name offensive.


Officials say they Googled the name trying to find the restaurant’s menu and instead found pornographic images and a vulgar definition of the term from UrbanDictionary.com that had absolutely nothing to do with fried chicken.


While this meant that Yoder had to find a new location for her restaurant’s debut, it also generated a truckload of free publicity. Local media started calling. The story went viral on social media. And the truck was even mentioned on “Saturday Night Live.”


“I really need to send the offended location a thank-you letter,” Yoder posted on the restaurant’s website, “because they helped us get our name out in front of all San Antonio and so far we have only gotten good responses.”


Superior southpaws
Centuries ago, being left-handed was seen as evidence of witchcraft or the devil’s influence. Today we’re pretty sure that’s not true, and science actually suggests that lefties may be smarter than righties.


Lefties would agree, pointing to other famous southpaws like Aristotle, Leonardo da Vinci, Bill Gates and five of our last seven presidents as proof. Not bad, considering that only 10% of the population is left-handed.


Now a new study says that lefties also are superior behind the wheel.


The Center for Handedness Research (an actual place) in Albuquerque, N.M., together with TheZebra.com, an online car insurance agency, has released the results of a decade-long study showing that left-handed people are better drivers than their right-handed counterparts.


The study measured the driving habits and accident rates of some 1,500 drivers over the course of 10 years and determined that left-handed drivers cause fewer accidents, perhaps because they’re forced to concentrate harder.


“Because we drive on the right in this country, left-handed drivers may be used to a kind of constant revision of their instincts, keeping them more on their toes and ready to react to sudden threats,” said the study’s author, Glenn Haversham, who specializes in handedness research (an actual job).


“In addition, cars are designed with the right-handed driver in mind—think especially of the gear shift. This allows right-handed drivers to become complacent, while lefties are forced to rely on their less dominant hand.”


This study supports earlier research showing that left-handed people learn to drive more quickly and successfully than right-handers and could likely be added to a pile of mounting research showing that left-handers actually have the advantage in many areas of life, including sports performance and presidential elections.


Citizen on patrol
In Baytown, Texas, police officer Tommy King is usually the one handing out parking tickets at the Bay Oaks apartment complex. However this spring the tables were turned—by a 14-year-old girl.


When Bay Oaks resident Annie James noticed King’s patrol car parked illegally near the complex’s leasing office, she decided to write out her own citation. It read:

 

You are in violation of Bay Oaks apartment rules.
1.) Parking in fire lane
2.) Parking on curb
3.) NOT head-in parking
Your fine is $10 to our apartment manager Mrs. Jamie.
Thanks, Annie James

 

Officer King decided it was only fair to pay up, but instead of paying the apartment manager, he bought Annie a $40 gift certificate to Toys “R” Us.


Annie’s keeping her eye on Officer King, but he doesn’t mind. “Turns out we’re both from Alabama and ended up in Texas,” he told local KPRC-TV. “It’s a neat story. I made a friend.” R&B

Overlay Init