Upon leaving Arlington in the wee hours of 19 April, the British battalion under Lt. Col Smith was already exhausted from avoiding the many potholes and double-parked vehicles along the length of Mass. Ave. The combination of fatigue and inadequate road signage causes them to miss the left turn onto 2-A, and instead they end up inching their way through Lexington Centre during the worst of the morning rush. To make matters worse, the street they need to get down is one way going the wrong way (as is every other parallel street within half a mile). After a vain attempt to fight their way across three lanes of oncoming traffic, the harried troops cut their losses and instead must waste precious time diverting through Bedford in search of a road not under construction or flooded out. They reach Concord hours after the entire town has shut for the night, desperately short of food, water and ammunition. And that's when they learn the true meaning of the word "unhelpful", as only a foreign visitor can experience.
The rest, as they say, is history, but whereas the rest of the colonies went on to independence and beyond, not much has changed here in the 233 years since that defining moment. Like Thomas Gage in 1775, our governors continue to be elite tax-raising, gun-grabbing, politically-connected opportunists without a shred of local accent in their speech, entirely at the mercy of a power-drunk legislature and entrenched special interests. For the most part we grumble and bitch a lot and put up with it. But occasionally, we don't. And in celebration of that, each year on the third Monday of April, we turn every road in Middlesex county into a fucking zoo.
Welcome to Massachusetts. Have a nice day. Some place else.