RUGBY, ND (AP) Residents of rural Rugby, North Dakota will not soon forget this July 4th. Cars, pickups, and big trucks started rolling up 4th Avenue at 9 o'clock in the morning. Drivers soon started pulling over and ringing doorbells asking for directions to the center of Rugby. By noontime, every street in town was snarled with traffic. Angry drivers honked their horns and waved their maps at each other.
A thousand miles away at MapQuest.com headquarters, two technicians worked feverishly to try to find out why every single computer generated map was giving directions to tiny Rugby, ND. It didn't seem to matter: if you were trying to get to Grandmother's place in Ohio, or if you punched in for directions to Yellowstone---Mapquest sent everyone the same map: Rugby, North Dakota!
By late in the afternoon, nearly all traffic in America was heading for tiny Rugby. North Dakota Governor Tom Hoeven declared a general state of emergency and called up the National Guard. As we go to press, Army bulldozers are trying to clear up the cars that became jammed on everyone's front lawn. North Dakota State Police put up traffic barricades at all major interstate highways leading into the state.
MapQuest CEO Mike Mulligan apologized for ruining everyone's July 4th weekend and promised free maps for life for any driver inconvenienced by the company's computer glitch.