FROM: Mississippi Office of Transportation

The national signing day for college football is Wednesday. We are told this date is of supreme importance to some citizens, surpassing Christmas, Easter, anniversaries, child birthdays, first day of dove and deer seasons, the national debt, crude oil prices, climate change, the First and Second Amendments, who Miley dates, and killer zombie infestations.

In the past there have been scattered instances of deflated and distraught fans utilizing overpasses and bridges as, shall we say, their final exit ramp. However, we at MOoT have reason to believe—based on internet chatter, newspaper blog posts, sports radio rants, and so on—that this year more fans of rival institutions Mississippi State and University of Mississippi are dangerously over-wrought. To the point, experts predict, that 2013 will see an unprecedented number of bridge-jumpers and comparable over-reactions.

The tragic result is ugly and needless littering of traffic corridors and pollution of river routes, as well as added expense to our office for removing remains and cleaning sites. In the future, assuming such trends continue, we will request our annual maintenance budget be expanded appropriately for February.

For now however it behooves our office to make more immediate plans, so as to avoid major issues on our state's roads, highways, rivers and railways this Wednesday morning. Inconvenient carcasses have the potential for serious traffic snarls and damage to private vehicles. To that end we request state media outlets publicize the following suggestions.

1.Whatever the venue being used, do not leave your vehicle either on the roadway itself or beside it. Also do not block on-ramps, emergency parking spaces, and farm driveways. Park appropriately where the abandoned ride will not become a road hazard. Better, have someone drive you to the site.

2.We strongly encourage a respectful one-at-a-time procession, and that all line up single-file a minimum of six feet outside marked traffic lanes.

3.If driving yourself, please leave written directions for vehicle disposal and whom to contact. Driving license and insurance documents are appreciated. Half-eaten Egg McMuffins are not. Also, turn off the radio which you would have been screaming at in berserk rage before exiting the vehicle, so removal crews will not suffer hearing damage.

4.Flashers and hazard lights need not be turned on, as the battery could run down before the vehicle is retrieved by next-of-kin, the repo man, or prowling meth addicts. This does not apply in the Jackson City limits, where independent local experts in vehicle removal will quickly take care of such matters.

5.To ease removal and clean-up, for the safety of work crews, and the convenience of scavenger birds, please aim for a shoulder of the roadway below. This also leaves lanes free for normal traffic. Using the grassy median is not recommended.

6.Select your site carefully as not all will serve the intended purpose. Most overpasses on our two-lane and rural roads lack elevation necessary to generate adequate terminal velocity. It is inconvenient for cleanup crew to wait on a final breath in these cases, especially as most preceding breaths involve curses about stars and flips and men-of-their-word. A test is take an egg to the proposed jumping-point, extend the arm at shoulder-level and release. If you cannot complete phrases such as ‘free Land Rover' or ‘Rich Johanningmeier' before the egg splatters, a higher point is recommended.

7.As that is certain to inconvenience many in flatter counties of our state, railways may offer a practical alternative. This does require advance scouting of when the next freight is scheduled, though, as laying on cold rails in February for hours could cool one's ardor. So to speak. Also, on some older lines the train don't run by here no more. Poor, poor pitiful you.

8.For those with access to major waterways, any bridge height should be sufficient. Though, some smaller rivers and streams also feature railway trestles of adequate altitude. However there are special circumstances involved with waterways used for transportation and commerce. Despite January rains many rivers still are at low winter flow. So we request a limit of five or less jumpers at any single point in the central stream, so as not to obstruct traffic. There was a case two years ago of a barge passing New Orleans with a body wedged to the prow, a copy of SuperPrep's preseason issue still in one hand. Unfortunately, business at the Café du Monde was off 16% that day.

9.Also, it greatly assists official personnel if some sort of information is attached. Besides usual ID, items such as booster club membership cards and season ticket stubs are preferred as proof of genuine investment in a program. These cases will be treated respectfully and requested contacts made. All others will necessarily be hauled to the nearest EPA-approved hazardous waste disposal unit.

10.Our legal department insists that cleanup crews coming upon still-expiring individuals wait a minimum four minutes after the last observed breath before going through pockets for any gratuities. Left-over subscriptions to internet recruiting services do not count.

We belief if recruiting fanatics will apply these simple suggestions, Signing Day 2013 can proceed without major damage to public property or serious distraction to everyone in our state with a room-temperature IQ.

Thanking you in advance for cooperation,

Paynen D. Asphalt, Commissioner

Addendum: MOoT has instructed municipal, county, and state authorities in these cases to waive fines for littering, unless there are scattered press clippings, prospect lists, scouting magazines, etc.

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