Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Rant, Rave

Okay, so there is a lot I could be talking about today (morning after pill over the counter, interesting) but I need to vent about traffic. I work in San Francisco but I live in the East Bay (for those that don't know, this means I cross the Bay Bridge twice a day) so I have accepted that there will be some traffic in my life. I cope with it in the ways people do: talk on the phone, listen to NPR, sing along with the 80s station, occasionally scream and pound my fists on the steering wheel, this kind of thing.

Because I like logical explanations for problems, if the traffic seems unusually heavy, I always call 511, the CA Highway Patrol. With their groovy voice activated menu I can yell "traffic conditions!" "Bay Bridge!" "repeat that!" so I can find out what happened. They even tell you how fast traffic is moving and where the problem is, so you will know how much longer you must inch along.

So this evening coming home the traffic was terrible. I mean, awful. (If you're about to suggest taking public transportation, I'm going to stop you right there. It takes longer and costs more, which is the end of the discussion as far as I'm concerned. But if you need further reasons, while on a bus in graduate school a drunk man vomited on my head, which gives me a public transportation exemption for the rest of my life.) So I called 511 and discovered that there was a "disabled vehicle" near Treasure Island (again for those who don't know, an island in the Bay that the bridge spans across) that was causing a slowdown. Okay. This I can live with. But by the time I finally arrived at that place, there is no sign of a problem. No flares in the road. No car on the shoulder. No tow truck. Just more sluggish traffic, all the way to my front door.

If it takes me over an hour to go ten miles, I want to see something dramatic. Perhaps a car fire--not an overheated car, but honest to goodness flames shooting out of the automobile by at least 6 feet. Definitely emergency vehicles--ideally the "Heavy Rescue" truck would be on the scene. CHP would be diverting traffic. For sure someone should be busting out the jaws of life. And though loss of any human life is of course a tragedy, if I saw the Medical Examiner's van, well then I would settle right down. Because I would know it was something Big and it was Bad and I would thank my lucky stars that the worst thing I had to do was sit in this traffic because after all I talked to my Mom and I listened to a really interesting interview on NPR with an Israeli author whose name I can't remember and I even got to wail along with Heart singing "Magic Man" which is such an awesome song I forget that I'm hungry and have to pee.

But that didn't happen and I stayed crabby instead of becoming grateful to be alive and I guess since the universe wanted me to stop complaining, we just had an earthquake that actually shook my building. So there you have it! As it turns out I am grateful to be alive and not buried under a pile of rubble. Phew! Now I must go and check the USGS website.


Anonymous said...

very funny melg. did you realize that melg is the same as mel gibson? i realized that when i was emailing someone else about the other melg. do you even read these responses?

Professional Critic said...

why yes lynchb, i sure do! i love them--responses are the only thing that tells me that someone is reading this! i also love being compared to mel gibson. what a nutter.