Friday, February 11, 2005

Traffic-- A Misanthropic Rant

Rush hour: that hour when traffic is almost at a standstill.
J. C. Morton (1893 - 1979), journalist

The following are three traffic incidents that incurred this workweek.

Incident #3. Traffic in Southern California is absolutely abominable. B2 and I decided to carpool as a way to beat the congestion to a meeting on Thursday. Hah. We had to take the San Diego Freeway. The carpool lane was as backed up as a bad septic tank and virtually stationary. On the return trip, we encountered the same constipated movement, which inspired B2 to say, he couldn’t light a strike-anywhere style match, based on the speed we are traveling. We did encountered one short stretch of carpool line openness and we were howling with joy, sounding like Howard Dean after losing a primary.

Incident #2. The other morning, the driver of the car in the lane to my right neglected to turn his flab-filled head to notice that my car occupied the space where he placed his car. I had to maneuver onto the shoulder of the road while blasting my car horn. He refused to acknowledge his mistake, so I politely pulled along side this 300-pound, ponytail wearing, goatee driver and told him to pay attention. Then, politely screamed into his half rolled-up window (please note the positive outlook here, the window was half up as opposed to half down) to pay attention, then civilly pointed out he was overweight using the vulgar vernacular term for fornication as a noun.

Incident #1. The capper to a horrifying week of traffic was the driver of an older model white Ford van, who was unhappy that I had to squeeze in front of him in order to get on the transition bridge from the 405 to the 118. I had planned to apologize (the courtesy thank you wave to the rearview mirror type of thing), but he was already riding my bumper, so I chose to ignore him. Apparently he wanted more from me, probably my life. He decided to try and run me off the bridge. I was very cool on the outside. I held my ground, because what the hell else could I do, and only held the wheel with one hand. Inside, I was sweating bullets, wishing I had a shoulder-held missile launcher to fire into the cab of his van. He eventually cut me at the bottom of the bridge, but I picked up my cell phone and pretended to describe what just occurred with hand signals and he believed that I was calling the police and giving his license number, because he backed off rather quickly and angrily gestured to me with his hand. I just lifted my arm in an “oh well” manner to further infuriate him and drove on.

That so far has been my driving week, but other than the bridge incident, it is all rather common out here. It’s no wonder I want to be in Canada in front of the fireplace.


On The Mark said...

You're lucky you weren't on the 405 on Tuesday. It took me 6 hrs. to make a 180-mile drive (round trip). The same drive on Wed. took me 5 hours. It's insane.

Hector Vex said...

Yeah - season starts here soon. Nothing but Canadian retirees and northerners clogging up the roads, driving around town with no direction and no purpose... going 20 in a 45...

The problem is... our roads were never built for it.. so it sucks getting where I need to go when I need to go there. But at least I don't have to take the 405. You guys are in year round traffic hell. You can have it.