My house is just less than 60 miles from my job. Growing up in a smaller town than the metroplex I live in now, that was completely unheard of. I remember, on several occasions, asking my mom if we could go to a certain store or something of that nature, and her response would sometimes be “No, that’s all the way across town”. “Across Town” literally meant what it sounds like, we lived on the south side of town and wherever I wanted to go was on the north side, probably no more than 20 minutes away. But that was 20 minutes and we could get the same results somewhere else 5 minutes away; why waste our time going “across town”?
I would kill to be able to get to ANYTHING within 20 minutes now. My drive home yesterday found me sitting in the exact same place for 30 minutes and the same thing happened to me again this morning. Any day that I am able to get to or from work in less than 90 minutes is considered a blessing to me. Even a trip to Wal-Mart can be an ordeal. The closest Wal-Mart or grocery store is located about 15 miles away in either direction. I’m not complaining about distance though, in fact, I would love to be further out from civilization than I am now, I don’t mind driving as many miles as I do to work, as long as I am moving. What I can’t stand is traffic. And what really grates my nerves about traffic is that it just doesn’t make a lick of sense! How can you be driving 70 miles an hour and then slam on your brakes so that you can go 10 for about three miles only to speed right back up to 70? Why does traffic just stop for no apparent reason?
I get upset about days when it rains or snows and people act like Cerberus (you know, the three headed dog in Greek Mythology) has been set loose and is causing everyone’s minds to dissipate into nothing-ness. But at least when the roads are gross, there is a reason for people being morons, as if people ever needed a reason to be morons! I know this sounds terrible but I know I’m not the only morbid soul out there who thinks this every time they find themselves in gridlock hell, you almost find yourself wishing for an accident, and just so you can justify your loss of time. I just don’t understand what causes traffic. If we all drive at the same speed and didn’t have to be selfish jerks who won’t let someone merge (because they’ve never had to merge into traffic themselves apparently), we would all be happier. I’ve tried to conceptualize(I have no clue if that’s a word or not, but I made it one) the idea in different mediums to see if I could possibly find a rational explanation but so far, it just hasn’t happened.
The more and more I think about it, I can only come up with one logical explanation, and I think most of you will agree with me after you read this.
The #1 cause of traffic is…..The Buick Regal.
Somehow or another, some harmless owner of the Buick has found his/herself prisoner to their vehicle. Every action taken by the Regal is fully the responsibility of the car itself, and not the driver. See, the Buick Regal has some form of mind control device built within its wiring that is activated the moment human flesh touches the steering wheel. When contact is made, the Buick Regal comes to life and the master plan is underway. From the first moment, the Buick is in control. The defenseless driver has no control over where the car goes or how fast (slow!) it is done.
It would seem that these luxurious behemoths of the vehicle world are really quite lazy and sluggish creatures. However, despite the fact that they do not feel the speed limit applies to them, they do feel that they can drive in whatever lane they so choose and they seem to be attracted to the lane all they way over on the left hand side. They also don’t feel that they need to look before crossing 3 lanes to get to the left hand lane. They are “Regal” after all; therefore you should always yield to them.
Once the Buick has reached its desired location, it is imperative that no one pass it. Its convoy of loyal followers must never make any attempt to over throw its reign. Honking and flashing lights at it will only cause the car’s ego to grow and it will slow down so that its admirers may be able to grasp a better view of its magnificence. Anyone who dares to pass, disrespect, harm, slander, or otherwise blaspheme the Regal and its driver, will suffer the consequences of an extra 30 minutes in highway torture.
The Regal doesn’t care if you are running 10 minutes late for work or if your wife is in labor, it only care’s that all eyes are on it and it consistently demands attention. The effect of the mind control within the machine is so strong that the driver loses all hope of ever regaining any common sense and he/she surrenders themselves completely to the car, even taking on the same attitude. Have you ever seen a granny “throw the bird”? Chances are, if you did, she was driving to the grocery store and some other low-life car was brazen enough to challenge the Regal’s authority.
I think rather than complaining about traffic, we should all start practicing “Regal Awareness”. Next time you see one of these “Car Kings” on the road; you should simply humble yourself and consider yourself lucky that you are allowed to be in the presence of such an amazing piece of machinery. Allow it to have its place in the left lane and go as slow as it desires. Sure, that open highway in front of you is tempting but, at the end of the day, what did you really lose by pissing off the king?