Sunday, November 24, 2013

Reading Cars

This past Friday, what should have been a routine two hour drive home from daughter Lindsay's home turned into a four hour trip.  When all the traffic lanes came to a complete stop and stayed that way, no crawling or inching along, I read the writing on the wall and stopped drinking my extra large sized cup of coffee.

Good thing I did.

That happened after one hour of driving, at the typical halfway point from home.  I sat for the next hour, trying to amuse myself by watching the other annoyed and impatient drivers and the old couple in the beat up Chevy truck in my rear view mirror.  At one point I saw him pass a roll of toilet paper over to his wife, who immediately became very busy with something thankfully down below my field of vision.

I watched as nearby drivers got out of their cars and began hiking toward whatever was the problem up ahead.  Eventually they all returned to their cars, none the wiser.

My radio on, I listened to every Christmas song and carol ever written, and every ugly mutation of them, too.  I've decided that nobody should modify those traditional tunes we grew up with and have loved for decades.  There should be no country-fications, no opera-tizing, no jazzing up, and certainly no changing of the standard rhythmns.  All of that messes with my OCD tendencies, and I do not like it.  However, you can do anything you want with "Feliz Navidad," including eliminating it entirely.

I listened to the conclusion of my audio book, "The Slight Edge," by Jeff Olson.  It was a self-improvement lecture, and if I learned anything, it's that I need a complete and total overhaul.  I'll start that tomorrow.

I found myself obsessing about bathrooms, and toilets, and travel potties, and that little potty thingie my parents hauled around in the back of the old family station wagon 55 years ago for me and my two brothers.  I wondered how many more hours I'd have to "hold it."  I wondered if that old guy behind me would share his toilet paper.

I debated whether to leave the car running or turn off the motor.  I figured sure as shootin,' as soon as I turned it off, traffic would start moving.  So I left it run.  Another hour.  I should've turned it off.

Should I get out of the car, open the trunk, and excavate my book?  Nah, folks will get angry if I'm lolligagging out and around when things do start moving again.  I should've.  I probably had enough time to finish it, and then I could've stopped again at my local TinyFreeLibrary and traded it for another book.

I cleaned my fingernails, pushed back the cuticles, and removed every hangnail.  I played "drums" with my fingers on the steering wheel.  I sang along with the few Christmas songs I still recognized.  Hopefully nobody was looking, or listening.

I am one of those people who gets bored easily, so it's a good thing that traffic started to crawl after an hour of all that sitting.

One lane would move a tad, then stop.  Then my lane would move several feet, then stop.  It alternated this way for the next entire hour.  During this hour I somewhat amused myself reading not only the license plates, but especially the weird bumper stickers and other stupid stuff people put onto their vehicles.

This driver makes it clear who and what she is:

How about this next one?  I'm not up to date on current pop culture - perhaps this is a music group?  If not, it's just puzzling.

Could this guy be an airline employee or pilot?

I had plenty of time to read this "bumper sticker" while stopped in traffic:

I'll behave myself and not comment on that bit of literature.

This vehicle adornment was more of the redneck variety:

And finally, probably my favorite of the day:

Finally both lanes of cars began to roll, and I was eventually able to see what had caused the blockage.  It appeared to have been some sort of a spill that covered both lanes.  By the time I passed by it, the highway crew had treated it and mopped it over into just one lane, enabling traffic to pass around it.

One hundred miles, four hours.  Not great.

However, I was certainly glad to arrive home, safe and sound.

Oh, and the bathroom looked quite lovely.


  1. Another good reason why I have the Kindle app on my phone. I'm never without a book. However, I would be I really be trouble without the bathroom. I can only cross my legs just so long. I like the Think sticker also.

  2. That is one reason I love my motor-home; it has a bathroom!!

  3. This sounds like a trying time! Glad you kept your cool and I enjoyed the bumper sticker shots!