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Friday, October 30, 2009

Traffic: My thoughts #2

I received a couple of notes this morning from people who empathize with me on traffic. It would be safe to argue that the overwhelming majority of people do not like traffic, but it wouldn’t be safe to say, however, that the overwhelming majority of people despise traffic like I do. Not to mention, my opinion on traffic is credible, if I do say so myself: I’ve grown up in a congested metropolitan area my whole life; I eat, breathe and sleep traffic. I am traffic.

Sorry. Ok. This is a good one: rubberneckers.

I don’t understand you people. What do you mean ‘you people?’ I mean you folks who turn gridlock into single file lines of drivers waiting their turn to see absolutely nothing. Actually, I take that back. While bumper to bumper I definitely wait anxiously to see a police officer issuing a citation to a motorist. The way those cops tear that paper, along with their brilliant penmanship, is something I undoubtedly look forward to seeing and inevitably hit the break and gaze while passing by. Seriously, though, what is it? Is it those trippy traffic flare sticks, or the pretty flashing lights coming off of the ambulance or cop car?

I understand humans are naturally drawn to look at destruction. I watched for days as bulldozers tore down a building on my college campus while on my way to class (and was consequently tardy more than once). But I didn’t have hundreds of people behind me. And let’s also face the fact that 9 times out of 10, rubberneckers are looking at something not 1/100th as cool as a bulldozer crushing cement. No, they’re looking at nothing, and in the process, making traffic that much worse. Rubberneckers take the rubbernecking too far when they’re stalling traffic due to a situation that’s not even on their side of the highway. That’s just absolute idiocy.

All this rubbernecking would be understandable if accidents were actually break dancers on I-35E. Or instead of the officer writing a ticket, it’s Cirque du Solei dudes doing crazy flips through burning hoops. But until then…

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