A piece of road walks into a bar and declares to all its occupants: "I'm the hardest bit of bitumen in the whole of this town!"
The piano player stops and the bar goes deadly silent. After a brief pause, all eyes drop, the pianist returns to playing and the piece of road pulls up a bar stool and settles down to a beer.
Five minutes later, a piece of dual carriageway throws open the bar door. Once again, the bar goes silent but for the creaking of the slow-moving overhead fans.
The dual carriageway declares: "I'm the toughest piece of bitumen you'll ever see this side of the border!"
The piece of road slowly turns and locks eyes with the piece of dual carriageway. The tension mounts, other drinkers scatter and take cover.
At that precise moment, in walks a piece of freeway which says: "I'm the hardest bit of bitumen in the whole country and I'll take you both on!"
And there they stood in a three-way Mexican stand-off for what seemed like an eternity.
Once again, the door opens and, into the middle of the stand-off, walks a strange-looking piece of coloured bitumen with a blue stripe. The other three turn their backs to the door, sit down at the bar and stare sheepishly into their drinks.
The bartender sidles up to the three of them and asks what the problem is. "Shhhh!", says the dual carriageway, "Watch what you say, that guy's a real cycle path."