Radar O'Reilly -- 02/08/02

Radar O'Reilly is sitting in his patrol car on the shoulder of Route 1 through South Kingstown, Rhode Island.

No, not the comical character from the old M*A*S*H television program, although that is the source of his name. This Radar O'Reilly is a real dummy. The South Kingstown police department borrowed him from a local clothing store... dressed him in a police uniform... added a George W. Bush Halloween mask and sunglasses... and placed him in a parked patrol car along Route 1.

This is a highway safety campaign -- the idea is to get speeders to slow down and it's working. Speeding drivers slow down when they seem him parked on the side of the highway; they even flash their headlights to warn on-coming traffic that there's a speed trap ahead. Several times a day the police department moves him to a different area of the highway. The radar unit in the patrol car is turned on so it will trigger radar detectors, adding to the illusion and to its effectiveness.

A story about Radar O'Reilly was in the "South County" section of Thursday's Providence Journal (known locally as "ProJo")... but it was the front page lead story in today's edition of the Narragansett Times (our local twice a week newspaper). Yep, it doesn't take much to make big news around here.

See, there's more to Rhode Island than just huge Mr. Potatohead statues.

This has been an busy week... and it followed a busy weekend... I'm looking forward to doing some relaxing this weekend. It's going to be very quiet around here. Jennifer is going up to Boston for the weekend... Sean is going to a dance at the high school tonight and tomorrow he's going to be at a scout event all day... And Nancy has an all-day class tomorrow and she needs to write a paper for it tonight. I suppose at some point tonight I might watch part of the Olympic opening ceremonies.

I got the dressing removed from the site of that tooth extraction (it was kind of like a layer of chewing gum or silly putty) but I still have to try to eat on the right side of my mouth, etc. and come back in three weeks to see how its doing and maybe make arrangements for an implant.

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