Let’s play the Would You Rather game. You know, that one where you are given two really crappy scenarios and you are forced to rationalize one horrible choice over the other?
Let me put it this way, I would rather get poo’d on by a flock of seagulls after they’ve scavenged the beach than sit in bumper to bumper traffic for longer than 15 minutes. An actual flock of feathered friends, not to be confused with the feathered hair band from the 80’s (because in that situation I choose the traffic hands down). The birds do it to my car with me in it anyway, so if I can cut out the being in the car part then I come out of this a winner right? Besides, isn’t it good luck to have a bird shit on you? That’s the rumor anyway…Google it, I swear.
We went to the beach today and sat in traffic. The weekends are supposed to be your break from traffic aren’t they? I did a calculation. I’ve spent approximately 6,630 hours in my car over the last 8 years as a commuter (not including weekend traffic). And, just when you think your commute can’t get worse, I’ll raise you a kid in tow. Yes, I have traveled nearly 1600 of those hours with my baby girl in the back seat. She hates traffic just as much as I do.
Traffic makes you bitter. Your friends are all home from work eating dinner at a normal hour, maybe even cracking a beer open. Then there you are all stuck in traffic. Staring at tail lights, eating exhaust fumes, watching the guy in the car next to you pick his nose (because in your car no one can see you) and getting a sunburn on your left arm because you haven’t moved in ten minutes.
It takes a certain type of person to withstand a commute for that long. A crazy person with extreme determination and superior tactical skill. Commuters are a different breed and if you aim to be one of us, here is some intelligence that will help you on your way to become a true commuting survivalist:
1) Learn the rules of the road. Nothing triggers road rage better than a pretentious jerk who doesn’t say thank you. Were you raised in a barn? Where are your manners? If someone lets you pass or merge, give them a wave for god’s sake! You must acknowledge the fact that you’ve just extend their commute an additional ten seconds. They deserve a medal, maybe even a Saint named in there honor. If you don’t thank them, you are an A-hole.
2) Broaden your swear word vocabulary. Sometimes the word dammit doesn’t quite capture the anger you feel towards the person who just cut you off. Use words that are going to make a real impact when you are yelling them…to yourself…behind the wheel… in a car where absolutely no one can hear you. You really showed them.
3) Freshen up your sign language skills. For when you really need to get your point across and skill no. 2 doesn’t work out.
4) Broaden your alternative swear word vocabulary. Your driving language becomes a lot less intimidating the second you have your kid in the car with you. It takes extreme skill to master the art of alternate swear words. Words that feel just as good to say but are far less offensive around children. “Can you believe that dingleberry didn’t even say sorry?”
5) Keep your windows up. Seriously, if you are in bumper to bumper traffic seal those suckers tight. Especially if you are a woman. The windows will create an invisible but necessary force field between you and the menace to society in the car beside you. Don’t take this advice and you will have an invisible and very unnecessary neon flashing sign above your car that reads “Please harass me, I’d love that!“.
6) Be smarter than the traffic. If you want to progress in the sea of vehicles you must gage your surroundings and be on the offense. Analyze your competition and always prepare your next move. The jerk tailgating you clearly wants a punch in the face but there is nothing more gratifying than finding an opening that launches you ahead and watching him eat your dust. You finally found your freedom and he did not. Sucker.
When all else fails, go ahead and punch your steering wheel.
In conclusion, there are a million things we’d rather be doing than sitting in traffic. I know I’m not alone on this. So this one is dedicated to my commuting homies, “Commuters 4-LYFE”. Tonight I’m pouring one out for all of the hours we are never going to get back.
Find me on Twitter @PunchItErin
Like My Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/iftraffichadafaceiwouldpunchit