Monday, December 01, 2008

I Am So Thankful....

That we made it home alive last night!

I realize Thanksgiving is a huge travel holiday, but come on. What we encountered last night went beyond a little bit of traffic, it was the crazy, angry, homicidal person convention on Interstate 10.

Seriously. Who gives these people a drivers license?

I totally get the need to make it home quickly. Believe me, no one wanted to be cozy and warm in their own home more than I did. Sitting in the same spot for four hours listening to screaming children amidst the faint aroma of cat urine can really wear on a person. And does everyone have a rendition of Sleigh Ride? I love the all-Christmas-all-the-time radio station but nine different versions in two hours seems a bit excessive. How about a little Frosty the Snowman once in a while? Joy to the World?

But Joy to the World would've been much too ironic for the situation. There was no joy on the highway last night. Lot's of shouting, many middle fingers, but no joy. No. We're on the interstate about seventy miles or so, usually less than an hour, but last night we were there two. Traffic came to a stand still half way to our exit. We thought there may have been an accident, most likely the brand new silver Ford Focus with the high school tassel hanging from the rear view who was apparently on it's way to a huge emergency judging by the way it cut everyone off and rode the center white line for a while. What a shame we thought. So young. So angry. So we turned up the tunes and took bets on who'd sing Sleigh Ride next. Willie Nelson? Miley Cyrus? Nirvana? We putted along at five mph for a while longer. The cars next to us played Chinese fire drill. Why not? We weren't going anywhere. The guy to my right finished off his tall boy in a bag. Because, did you know they sell single alcoholic beverages at the gas stations in Texas? They so do. No, that doesn't interfere with the open container laws at all. People just want to buy one at an exorbitant price because they look all pretty lined up in that cooler of ice, much nicer than a cardboard box. Some people gave up and took the frontage road even though we seasoned interstate drivers knew it would end at the river a few miles up. Suckers.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, stuck in traffic. So the husband wants me to roll down the window and look for the red and blue lights because surely we should be coming upon that mangled Ford Focus. Is it blocking the left lanes or the right lanes? We need that information so we can be prepared and be in the correct lane. I almost killed us all with the exhaust fumes, but there were no lights. No sirens. Just lines and lines or cars. So. Many. Cars. Holy Crap! What the hell was going on?

You want to know what was going on?

The left lane of the road ended. That's what.

The highway went from three lanes to two just as it has since it was constructed, oh, fifty some years ago. I don't know why this surprised some drivers as that sign, you know the one, the one that says LEFT LANE ENDS was posted six times, every half mile for three miles. Some people heeded the warning and got over quickly. Some kept talking on their cells and then realized they needed to get over and would apologetically beg for entrance. The angry, aggressive even-an-expensive-car-can't-make-me-happy people gunned to the front and cut their way in. We sat in traffic while the baby screamed, our bladders filled, and gas fumes were all that was left because a bunch of idiots had to win.

My biggest traffic peeve. Just get over already. Quit being a dumb ass. Please tell me there's a special line at the Pearly Gates for those people.

And if that weren't enough. All those line jumpers who thought they'd found the secret passage were turned around and came crawling back to reenter on the right side. Oh, but excuse us, go right ahead and cut us off. We're just sitting here. Wait! It's another Sleigh Ride. Yeah!

But we made it home. Thank God. I think I saw the dog kiss the ground as he disembarked. The cat was thrilled to have a skin shreddingrelaxing bath afterwards. And the brand new silver Ford Focus lived to see another day. We passed it going the speed limit right before our exit.

Only 25 more days until the Christmas traffic fest! I'll be sure to remember snacks and my own music then.


Miss Hope said...

Ohhhhh, the interstate driving horrors. My friend came through on her way home from a Thanksgiving cruise and the normally 4 hours between here and her home? Took over 8 hours. No accidents. No blue lights. Just asinine drivers.

I don't think I'm looking so forward to our drive to S.C. on the 22nd now.

Good thing I learned to pack a cooler a year ago, huh? We are some snacking fools when caught up in traffic. For some reason? We tend to forget that downing a huge diet coke with no exit in sight isn't such a great idea at our age. Will we ever learn?

Glad you made it home safe.

Tracey said...

Sounds like a BLAST! I hate traffic without a cause. Though we HAVE learned to say "I hope it's just a ticket ahead" instead of "There had better be a BAD accident to cause all of this traffic!"

ChupieandJ'smama said...

Glad you made it home in one piece! Highway driving around the holidays is like Chinese water torchure, only worse.

Aunt Becky said...

Oh, how I remember driving home (to Chicago when we lived there) on the highway on Easter Sunday night. It was a total and complete nightmare.

*shudder, shudder*

So glad that you made it back okay. Sounds just awful.

Lynsey said...

Oh god. I felt miserable just reading that. Glad you're home safe and sound, with many versions of Sleigh Ride dancing in your head!

Burgh Baby said...

Traffic SUCKS when you are on a road trip. Glad you made it out of there safe and sound, and without committing a felony.

Leslie said...

Oh that sounds AWFUL!! I hate going to the inlaws at Christmas, 'cause they live SO FAR away!!

gingermagnolia said...

The only traffic I've ever experienced worse than Houston's is San Antonio's. People are cah-razay! I'm glad I learned how to drive there, though, because I'm not afraid to drive in big cities!

Maybe you should've stopped at the gas station and picked up your own tall boy.