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Words of Winston: The Road Less Graveled

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In the '70s, the followers of the controversial guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh were easily recognized by their devotional citrus-colored attire that mirrored the traditional dress of ascetic Hindu holy men. These days, we are more apt to associate orange apparel with roadside construction workers to whom I have attributed the spiritual appellation "Caltranscendentalists."

It seems that you can't drive anywhere these days without encountering an infuriating detour that is supervised by these abundantly paid proletarians of the pavement whose public image runs the gamut from prisoners working off jail time to a squadron of bungling blacktop cops. The continuous saga of roadway renovation comes at enormous cost to the taxpayer but there may be a way to reclassify these gravel-grappling laborers so they actually serve to recoup the cost of construction.

The late L. Ron Hubbard, whose Scientology system I am in no way advocating, is rumored to have said, "The way to make a million dollars is to start a religion." It's no coincidence that both a branch of the church and the value of a bank note are known as a denomination. "Caltranscendentalism," whose tenets I am not only supporting but inaugurating, could pave the way for a more socially conscious form of community redevelopment.

Obviously, one of the most tedious tasks in regard to launching a religion is gathering followers. Fortunately for "Caltranscendentalists," almost everyone who owns an automobile will eventually have no choice but to come to a pivotal stop on the road and adhere to the directions of these safety-vested proselytizers who will guide you on your path. There will always be those of you who will have trouble changing your lane in life but in this case, the worst that will happen is that you will topple over one of those indestructible orange rubber traffic cones, creating a visual metaphor that reminds others to pay closer attention to the new road they have taken.

I realize that the idea of turning a commercial construction company into a cost-recouping institution of divinity may seem outlandish, but in the same way a hawk can inspire the future of freedom, or the horizon may instill the notion of infinite possibility, our road workers, who breathe tar fumes and petrol exhaust so those of us without SUVs survive a pothole, can inspire us to slow down on our journey and consider taking alternate routes to our destination in life. For this reason alone, they are deserving of the smile of our respect as opposed to the sulking discontent of our trumped-up allergy to inconvenience.