Survival Skills

My commute into the office is a very short and sweet two miles down a winding, hairpin country lane littered with traffic lights. This particular area of the country suffered no delusions of grandeur in days of yore and failed to invest in urban planning which has resulted in a maddening quaint series of streets ill-equipped to handle the volume of cars forced to travail them.

Yes, I have been tempted to get a bike and offer myself up for vehicular homicide every morning rather than deal with the traffic from the security of my air conditioned dream-machine that features a stereo and a horn, but until I grow a pair of balls and lose my last marble of sanity, I’ll continue to drive it instead.

This morning was bad. What is usually a crawl was a dead stop. The only reason I moved forward at all was that cars in front of me gave up and executed 80 point turns until they had managed a 180, at which point they would rocket away, engines wailing and expressions of extreme rage on their faces. I also would have turned around except that a turn onto a side-street offering a short cut was just one quarter of a mile away.

Problems with this road include, but are by no means limited to, the following:

-potholes – they’re everywhere

-lights – they’re not on that motion sensor timer thingy. You will wait. F-o-r-e-v-e-r. For that light to turn green.

-one lane and windy – if you’re trapped behind a garbage truck, roll up the windows and get comfortable because that’s simply the way it’s going to be

-no shoulder – if a car breaks down in front of you, the best thing to do is offer to help push it off the edge of the road down the little cliff into the culverts far far below. Or maybe just do it without offering so that there’s no opportunity to say “no thanks” and so everyone else can get on with their lives.

-the little four foot strip of muddy grass at the side of the road that decorates the edge of the cliff has the occasional poorly placed sign post. Zig zag ahead. Speed limit changes. That sort of thing.

During my purgatory at zero miles per hour this morning I had gazods of time to contemplate the myriad faults that comprised the sum of this profound disappointment of a road.

And then I remembered that I had shiny new tires.

Four feet isn’t much, but if you take into account the bit of road that the automobile that wishes it was you isn’t taking up, it’s plenty of space. Several harrowing minutes of slaloming in goop at a precarious angle later and that gorgeous little car had greased its way through gridlock onto the side-street.

Not going to lie, there were several moments where I was certain that we were stuck. That all was lost. That new tires aren’t the solution to all of your problems.

But they totally are. My God. Did it feel beautiful to drive by all of those lemmings and actually make it into work on time. With that car properly equipped with an unending supply of gas, I am confident that I could survive the zombie apocalypse. The entire right side of the car is an utter mess, but it looks like mess affiliated with Great Achievement.

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3 thoughts on “Survival Skills

  1. Grammapat says:

    Congrats, Jen. And maybe pack your marathon shoes in the car too. That way you’ll still have a way out if the new tires give out.

  2. acmurillo13 says:

    Hmm I think I sent your Christmas card to the wrong address….

    • Jen says:

      Hey! I’m still in the same spot although a box of popcorn balls that my aunt sent to me in early December was just delivered several weeks ago…I look forward to receiving your Christmas card sometime this summer! Yay!

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