Deal 1014: A Modern Modest Proposal

We all agree, I am sure, that there are too many cars driven by idiots and maniacs between us and our destinations. They clog the roads, pollute the skies, cause accidents, and are generally annoying. Worse, many lack the proper training to operate their cars, and many lack the proper endorsement of the authorities. These latter properties become a problem as incidents happen that are other than a pure accident. An improperly trained driver, lacking a license to drive, also typically lacks the means to pay damages they cause.

Further, our roads are perpetually in disarray, with unpatched potholes a frequent complaint.

Raising the alarm has not, thus far, been successful.

Unqualified buffoons continue to clog the roads, and the authorities seem powerless to resolve the problem.

I offer a solution, after the authority of the notable Swift. A modest proposal, if you will.

Fill the potholes in the roads with materials made from the bodies of the unlicensed drivers.

Cremation provides an average of a tenth part of a talent1 of material. It can be used as sand along with suitable crushed rock in an asphaltum hole-filling medium. Patching and filling compounds can benefit from a few percent of dust or sand mixed with the larger aggregate in the cold mix process, so one fool’s cremated remains can be extended to perhaps a quarter ton2 of aggregate, which at three stone3 per pothole will patch about a dozen typical holes. These figures are based entirely on half a millifortnight4 of looking things up on the internet, and should be assumed to be absolutely true on that basis.

To satisfy concerns of family of those used for road patches, suitable recordings can be made of the specific holes filled by each individual’s remains.

In this way, the debt to society imposed by the willful disregard for public safety can be used to repair a public nuisance.


  1. One talent weighs between 50 and 70 pounds depending on region. 
  2. A lot, or 2000 pounds. 
  3. 3 stone is 42 pounds. 
  4. a millifortnight is bit more than 20 minutes. 
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