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Toasted buns are hilarious, drivers who text need to be beaten and Chuck Norris is the world’s greatest human

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

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Warm toasted buns
Luxury car owners, beware. Dermatologists have found that prolonged exposure to heated car seats can pose a risk to your skin.


Two recent studies in the Archives of Dermatology journal found that a skin-discoloration condition called “erythema ab igne,” also known by the medical term “toasted skin syndrome,” is linked with prolonged exposure to butt warmers.


Even properly functioning seat warmers have the capability of causing the condition, which usually results in a web of red lines or brown mottled patches on the thighs.
Despite its ominous name, toasted skin syndrome is not serious. In fact, treatment is as simple as turning your seat warmer off, though it can take months for the skin discoloration to clear up.  


Looks like “My Cadillac gave me a rash” will be the newest inconvenience to join the list of First World problems, right between “There’s nothing on TV” and “The fridge is so full I can’t find anything.”


Driving everyone nuts
Speaking of complaints, Consumer Reports recently released its annual survey of driving gripes and irritations.


Nearly 900 motorists were asked to rank common driving aggravations between 1 (“Not annoying at all”) and 10 (“Ima kill the next sumbitch who does that!”).


Not surprisingly, the most infuriating behavior of 2011 was other drivers texting behind the wheel, scoring an overall average of 8.9 (“If I wasn’t late for work, I’d beat that guy with my own shoe!”).


Following close behind with a score of 8.7 was able-bodied motorists parking in handicapped spaces.


The top five was rounded out by tailgaters, drivers who cut you off and drivers who speed and swerve in and out of traffic, all scoring just above an 8.0 (“I’m about two seconds from being on that guy like white on rice in a glass of milk on a paper plate in a snowstorm!”).


A bridge no one dares cross
By now you’ve probably heard some of the satirical “Chuck Norris facts” that have permeated the Internet over the past several years.


The jokes about the martial artist and action film star’s fictional, and usually absurd, heroic feats and characteristics go like this:


“A cobra once bit Chuck Norris. After five days of excruciating pain, the cobra died.” “Ghosts sit around the campfire and tell Chuck Norris stories.” “Chuck Norris can hold a number of pedestrians and cyclists in the air while stretching across a river dividing Slovakia and Austria.”


Actually, that last one may turn out not to be as far-fetched as it sounds.


The people of Slovakia want to name a new pedestrian and cycling bridge near their capital after the “Walker, Texas Ranger” star.


The public has been given the opportunity to name the new bridge through an online voting system. The other names in contention are “the Maria Theresa Bridge,” named after an Austro-Hungarian empress, and “the Devinska Cycling Bridge” in honor of a nearby village.


Despite the sensible nature of those options, 74% of the votes cast thus far are for “the Chuck Norris Bridge.”


The final decision will be up to a regional assembly, but regional Gov. Pavol Freso says that lawmakers want to follow the wishes of the people.


If the Chuck Norris Bridge does become a reality, you can bet that Chuck Norris won’t be going to the bridge opening ceremony. The bridge opening ceremony will go to him. R&B

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