Friday, July 15, 2005

Traffic Haiku

Traffic. Driving in
My car, the phrase ‘You be nice’
Becomes my mantra.

Some of you may be shocked to find out that it takes me 45 minutes to an hour to get to work each day. If you are not shocked, you might be from DC, or you used to live here, or you visited once. Or maybe you live someplace where the traffic is even worse (shout out to NY and LA!).

So let’s calculate, shall we? Let’s say, conservatively, that it takes exactly 45 minutes each way. That’s 90 minutes a day. Multiplying that times 5 days a week gives us 450 minutes a week.

So how many weeks in a year? Thanks Google, that would be 52. So multiply 450 minutes by 52 weeks, and egads... I spend approximately 23,400 minutes in my car for WORK purposes each and every year. Which, thanks again, equates to 390 hours. WHICH equals 16.25 days.

So as you can see, I have a lot of time to observe other drivers. And a lot of time to fight, fight, fight becoming one of them.

The thing about DC drivers is that many of us are very rude. We see our cars as extensions of ourselves, and we do things in them that we would never do in "real" life. We all are Important people with Important places to be and obviously, each one of us has a right to get there faster than anyone else. ANYWHERE. ON THE ENTIRE PLANET. So pity the fool who goes the speed limit, or (gasp!) rides the left lane going anything less than 100 mph, or who actually uses those clicky, flashing light things. Wha?

Oh yeah, BLINKERS.

I swear, once I saw the president's motorcade going down 14th street and people STILL looked pissed that they had to let someone pass them.

Or maybe they were democrats.

Anyhow, through the years I have learned that it's really much healthier to sit back, mind my own business, and let the jerks be jerks. Except the other day? I was driving home after a long day, and I was tired. And a little sad. And I was glad I was heading home.

I needed to get over to the left lane. I looked and saw that there was plenty of space for me to move over, but being a safe and considerate driver, I put my blinker on first, and started the move to the left.

All of a sudden I had to swerve back into the right lane, because the minivan that was previously MILES away apparently saw me put my blinker on and FLOORED it so I couldn't get over.

And the guy in front of me whose bumper sticker said "Horn broken-- watch for finger!" widened his eyes in the rearview mirror at me as if to say, Damn! That was rude.

So what did I do?

I cried.

sob sob sob why are people so MEAN? sob sob sob sob sob

But that was just one moment of weakness. I don't have time to get upset over every slight, both perceived and real, that I encounter on the road. Because after 390 hours commuting, 2,900 hours sleeping, and 2,200 hours working each year, I want to spend those precious remaining hours on being happy.

Plus, there are at least 52,821 angry drivers here. And they will NEVER let you merge.

Blinker goes ignored
I breathe deep and say thanks, I
Think I'll stay right here.

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Blogger Bearette24 said...

nice haikus :)

3:39 PM  

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