Giant Blob Tumbleweeds

I came across this yesterday at Dark Roasted Blend, which had this to say:

“Hwy 101 traffic south of Salinas, California, is attacked by the ignoble blobs of tangled matter, throwing themselves at cars but seemingly uninterested in humans.”

Really, that should say it all, but there so much auto-related weirdness here that it\’s worth looking at a little more closely.

For starters, let\’s take this piece by piece.

“Hwy 101 traffic south of Salinas, California.”

OK, for starters, there\’s a whole bunch of car stuff right there. Hwy 101 is pretty much loathed by Southern Californians, mainly due to its age and congestion, but this is in central Cal. Specifically, by Salinas, California. And we all know what happened just off the 101 in Salinas, don\’t we? That\’s where Donald Turnupseed failed to use due care and caution and crossed in front of the 550 Porsche Spyder driven James Dean and his mechanic Rolf Wütherich. The two cars hit almost head on, Wütherich (who wasn\’t wearing seatbelts) was ejected from the Spyder, and Dean was killed. Donald Turnupseed received a gashed forehead and bruised nose.

Dean’s last words were: “That guy’s gotta stop… He’ll see us.”

Yeah, how many times have I heard THAT before?

“… is attacked by the ignoble blobs of tangled matter, throwing themselves at cars but seemingly uninterested in humans.”

Well, hard to argue with the boys at DRB about that. For starters, these big agglomerations of tumbleweeds do lack a certain nobility. Not to mention the fact that they are huge, dark and it\’s really hard to tell the mass of something like that. Sure, if you look closely and think about it, they can\’t have that much heft behind them, and if you were to hit one, there probably won\’t be anything big & solid enough to damage your car (probably). But still, suppose you were coming back from vacation with an SUV packed with cranky kids and souvenirs and one of this things popped out from the front of an 18-wheeler. How do you think your average American driver would react? Probably swerve wildly in a blind panic and take out a couple of cars in the adjoining lanes, would be my guess. But I\’m pessimist amount most drivers in this country.

The “… throwing themselves at cars but seemingly uninterested in humans,” is funny, but I have seen semis pull over to clean the tumbleweed gunk out of their radiators, since it CAN build up and block airflow.

But this whole thing looks like a great start to a B-grade horror movie. “When Tumbleweeds Attack!” “Day of The Tumbleweeds!” Where\’s that Romero fella at? This would be right up his alley … let\’s just keep it away from Michael Bay. He’s hopeless.

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About The Author

Tony Borroz grew up in a sportscar oriented family, but sadly, it was British cars. His knuckles still show the marks of slipped Whitworth sockets, strains to reach upper rear shock bushings on Triumphs, and slight burn marks from dealing with Lucas Electric “systems.” He has written for a variety of car magazines and websites, Automoblog chief among them. Tony has worked on popular driving games as a content expert, in addition to working for aerospace companies, software giants, and as a movie stuntman. He currently lives in a secure, undisclosed location in the American southwestern desert.

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