Thursday, August 6, 2009

traffic tantrum

This weekend I drove to the land of my forefathers: Iowa.

The drive there includes seven hours of country and two hours of bumper-to-bumper and forehead-to-steering-wheel traffic.

As I sat (yes, sat) on Interstate 494 near Minneapolis, I rolled down the windows so as to conserve precious gas. And also, because it was a summer day and I wanted some fresh breeze. But I didn't feel any. That's how slow it was.

In fact, it was SOO slow, I painted my nails, waxed my eyebrows and PLUCKED the hair from my legs. Plucked. Like a bajillionty hairs. That's how much time I had.

Then, I took a photo with my cell phone. It turned out like this:

Interstate 35W was my turn off and it turned me off to anything pleasant as well.

I35 was more than 20 minutes but less than 5 miles away. I sat there in awe, wondering who would waste their life living through this misery. But I found ways to pass the time. First, I made friends with neighbors (who I could speak to from my window). Then, I watched a bird gnaw insects below me. I even introduced Vinny to some of his long lost Volvo-family relatives.

Then I got a text from the Cowboy. Apparently, he not only reads minds, but he gets under your skin too.

CB: Sick of driving yet?

Listen a--hole, I'll tell you what I'm sick of...

But I just called him instead.

In that time (32 minutes) I drove 5 miles. He drove 30.

That's the thing about small towns. Five miles doesn't seem so far anymore.

And, only in North Dakota can you steer with your knees and drive 75 mph +. In big towns, you may knee-drive as you sneeze or blow your nose. Not here. Here, you drive that way because you've got more important things to do like text your brother or read a magazine or something.

The other annoyance about driving big city interstate is the break lights. Every 20 seconds I was braking, slowing down or yielding to some lady pushing a stroller. Jerk.

North Dakota's interstate doesn't have all that. In fact, typically your car flies solo. North Dakota doesn't even have brake lights. They just haven't been invented yet.

You could call that a good thing. Maybe. Not waiting 24 hours to drive six miles is a plus. But I guess I'm just not ready to write the words "good" and "North Dakota" without a period and some question marks first.

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