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Pac-Man mystery: Video game icon chomps local lane dividers

Monday - 7/9/2012, 2:39pm  ET

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PAC-MAN chomps lane dividers on southbound 3 in Crofton, Md. (WTOP/Brennan Haselton)
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Brennan Haselton, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - It was one of the most dominant video games of the early 1980's. So, why then is someone painting Pac-Man on roads and highways around here now?

If you blink, you'll miss it, but on certain roads in and around Bowie and Crofton, there he his: The yellow Pac-Man chomping up those familiar white lane markers.

So, what's the message?

"I don't know," says Mary Kay LeMay, WTOP's Director of Marketing, who lives in the area where the road chomping is taking place. "Is there like a Pac-Man resurgence I'm missing or something? I don't know, but it's very well done, too."

LeMay has seen the Pac-Men on westbound Route 50 at exit 13, and on southbound Route 3 at the exit to Annapolis Road.

And Pac-Man isn't alone. At least one of the characters that chases him in the classic video game, the red monster "Blinky", has appeared on a blue Postal Service collection box on Superior Lane in Bowie.

The Maryland State Highway Administration is not amused, and spokesman David Buck says the Pac-Men should be removed by week's end. "Apparently they are very creative but they certainly can pose a hazard," Buck said.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)