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The Road Crew

Topic: g-rated

The Road Crew

The question is asked - I have noticed, with great regularity, that people who call themselves "road crews" will go through great effort to close off all but one lane of traffic (in both directions), frequently spending several days placing and then removing red cones on the highway, in order to noisily cut a 10' x 10' hole in the pavement. This hole is then allowed to sit in peace for a few days, with the "road crews" suddenly and mysteriously absent. After which it is filled in, and some more red cones are put up and taken down again. What is really going on here? Is there some purpose, some cosmic meaning, behind this seemingly mindless activity?

The answer is given - Although I had to consult with the well- known ornithologist, Prof. Dr. Piet Buitenbroek, for some details. The nesting habits of the Orange-breasted Roadcrew (Constructus Menatworkus sp.) have baffled biologists for many years. The animals are known to nest in flocks, preferably on hard surfaces. The nesting habits of the Orange-breasted Roadcrew include such places as roads and parking lots (hence their name). They mark off their breeding grounds with orange, cone-like droppings. The function of these excrements is unknown, but they are likely to act as a warning to predators. The flock then collectively constructs a single nest, approximately 10' x 10', one of the more remarkable examples of collaboration in the animal world, according to Prof. Buitenbroek, an expert in the ornithology of the Constructus family. At times the use of simple tools has been observed during nest construction, but Prof. Buitenbroek deems it unlikely that such an animal would have sufficient brain capacity to use tools intelligently, and he ascribes the observations to chance happenings. Apparently eggs are then deposited in the nest. However, here the baffling part begins, for despite the fact that the Crews do not sit on their eggs and actually leave the breeding grounds for weeks, no eggs have thus far been recovered from any of these sites. After a prolonged absence the animals return, and meticulously close off their nest, again using the tell-tale droppings. Prof. Buitenbroek proclaims as his firm conviction that eggs are only deposited at this point, and that they are thus covered up once the nest is closed. They then hatch after "a long time", thinks Prof. Buitenbroek. Clearly more research is warranted in this area. Other habits of the animals observed during nestbuilding are at least as surprising. Strangest perhaps is the collective interruption of nest building and turning of heads whenever a female Homo sapiens passes the nesting site. Prof. Buitenbroek considers this an aggressive gesture, and he points to the low whistles emitted by the animals at such time as evidence. However, no actual attacks have been reported. Another behavior pattern of interest is the habit to interrupt nest building for approximately half an hour ("Usually a little more", ventures Prof. Buitenbroek) around noon, during which time the animals appear to actually eat another form of excrement, this time droppings in the shape of square packages.


ALPHA v0.3