You know you’ve been around a while, when...

By John Toth / Editor and Publisher

AI was standing in the cafeteria line the other day and overheard the people ahead of us talking about the “new” Highway 288.

I had to chime in.

“You know you’ve been around a while when you call a highway that opened in 1982, new.”
I said it jokingly, and got a good laugh. The cafeteria line was long, and there was time to talk about other things.

I try to go early when there is no line or just a short one, because I hate waiting in lines. But, there are advantages to being in a cafeteria line.

Many times I meet people I have not seen in years, or people with whom I do business. It’s better than being in the office. I ought to stay in this line just to catch up on things.

One time, I finished eating and headed for the exit when someone stopped me.

“I really enjoy reading your columns,” he said. Then he rattled off a few, remembering them better than I do.

I not only had a full stomach, but now also a big head.

‘’Thank you for reading it all these years,” I said.

So, my wife, Sharon, and I got to talking with the people in front of us about the old days, even though I don’t consider myself that old. For some reason, Lake Jackson street names popped up. That’s always been a favorite topic of mine - anyway.

For those of you who got that pun, give yourselves five bonus points.

Which way are we going?
That’s right.
That way?
No, Which Way?
That’s what I asked.
Go this way.
I am.
That’s coming up.

Abbott and Costello would have eaten this stuff up.

If you are new to the area, picked us up in the north part of the county, or are reading this on our website, search the web for the Lake Jackson downtown map to get the joke. It will be funny.

I just made that little skit up. It was not part of our cafeteria line conversation. But, it would have been a great addition to our polite encounter had I thought of it.

You know you’ve been around a while if you miss such opportunities. Also, when you call a 32-year-old highway “new.”

Has it been that long, asked one of our temporary companions.

It opened one week before we got married. I kind of remember that date still. Even if I forget, I will be reminded two weeks earlier, so that there is plenty of time not to get in trouble.

I used to drive the new 288 when there were almost no cars on it, all the way to Highway 45. There was seldom a backup of any sort.

Then, Pearland turned from a city in Brazoria County into a suburb of Houston. Now 288 is the same as all of the other highways leading into Houston.

The intersection of Highway 288 and FM 518 in the old days was just an exit to take to Pearland -- two lanes all the way.

Progress has its downfall, but it must go on, I guess.

You know how you really can tell that you’ve been around a while?

When you find yourself standing in a cafeteria line to catch the weekly special and start talking about roads and highways.

I then went home to watch grass grow, or even better, paint dry. I can’t remember which.
Where are those reading glasses? Oh, yeah. I’m wearing them.

I’m just kidding. I’m heading out to the gym.

What did I do with those car keys?

I’ll just walk ... that way.

Sorry. I couldn’t resist.