Traffic was backed up for four miles on the southbound lanes of I-35 near Huxley, Iowa on Tuesday afternoon as crews labored to clean up a spilled semitrailer load of Jell-O pudding cups. Meanwhile, a mere 25 miles away, former Jell-O spokesman Bill Cosby was a featured speaker at the Get Motivated “business seminar” in Des Moines. These are indisputable facts, and for some reason, they are funny. Even the Associated Press coverage of the accident, which mentioned neither the brand name Jell-O nor the nearby presence of Cosby, was amusing, mainly due to the line “Pudding cups littered the interstate.” The heart of the matter is this: a pudding spill is funny.
Of course, it is unlikely that the semi driver has joined the chorus of chuckles. Although he escaped uninjured, he did endure the harrowing experience of driving down the highway and suddenly discovering that his trailer was on fire. After pulling over to the berm and detaching his cab, he awaited the arrival of emergency crews while his trailer became engulfed in flames. His cargo spilled from the side of the trailer onto the roadway. Far from being amused, the driver was likely grateful to be alive while overwhelmed by the practical implications of the incident. What was the cause of the accident? Who, if anyone, was responsible? Were the trailer and its contents insured? What needs to be done next? Meanwhile, I doubt that cleanup crews found much levity in the unenviable task of removing the mess while impatient motorists backed up mile after mile. Read More