Did you know it’s National Roundabout Week? Of course not. You have lives. But here in Carmel, Indiana, it’s a big deal.
Carmel is the roundabout capital of the United States. We have around 140 of them with more on the way. Our mayor likes to fill them with art. Not local art mind you. No, he likes to have people from other states or even other countries supply the art for large piles of taxpayer money. This makes local artists and voters mad, but they never seem to vote him out. He’s been mayor since the 90s. Maybe they are holding out hope that one day he will give a local artist a pile of cash to put art in a roundabout.
As for me, I don’t care who creates the art as long as the citizens keep fighting over it. You see I use that unrest to fuel the stories I write about Carmel. Tension is good for business.
Some people are intimidated by roundabouts. Actually, they are pretty simple. Approach the roundabout and look to your left. Ask yourself, “Self, am I faster than that dump truck heading towards me.” And if yourself says, “Yes, you most certainly are,” then you punch it. If your self says, “No, you will most certainly be crushed by that dump truck and your family will have a closed casket funeral,” you sit and wait and consider how much better roundabouts are and how this feels like Europe, or at least how you imagine Europe would be if you could ever find the time to book a trip there, and suddenly it’s time to go!
The band Yes had a massive hit in the 70s called Roundabout. They wrote it traveling from Aberdeen to Glasgow. On the way, they encountered 40 roundabouts (give or take). According to lead singer Jon Anderson, they were stoned to the point that “everything was vivid and mystical.” Apparently getting vivid and mystical was the key to great songwriting back in the day.
I asked my wife if I could get vivid and mystical in order to write a hit novel. She said the completely sober version of me was vivid and mystical enough for both her and our dog. She added that humanity was better off without me partaking in the creative enhancements that fueled the band Yes. I pointed out they reached number 13 on the Billboard chart. She pointed out that I once hit #1 on Amazon without the weed. I hate it when she’s right.
I called our mayor’s office to suggest that Roundabout by Yes be the official song of Carmel’s Roundabout Week celebration. They hung up on me. I’m not popular at the mayor’s office for reasons that will be fairly obvious if you ever have the chance to read any of my Tales From a Roundabout stories. My guess is they’re afraid that a bunch of hippies from the 70s might descend upon Carmel stoned to the bajesus and having vivid and mystical experiences.
Speaking of which, I had a business idea. If Indiana ever legalizes marijuana, I’m going to start a Yes-Roundabout tour of Carmel. I’ll buy a bus and drive stoned people through Carmel’s 140-plus roundabouts with Yes music blaring on the stereo. Just $29.99 per person (munchies not included).
Carry on, Citizens!