Traffic


Because I’m so tired I can’t think of a better title for this post. Read on to discover why.

When I put Caroline outside this morning so she could empty the things that needed emptying, something out there was sizzling. Confused in my standard early-morning stupor, it took me a moment to realize why my snowy yard sounded like a fresh order of fajitas. Apparently, Mother Nature decided to celebrate the first day of November by sending us an impressive round of freezing rain.

If you’ve never driven in a Canadian winter, I don’t blame you for missing out on why freezing rain makes the rest of us roll our eyes and sigh deeply. Rain that falls in the winter, and really shouldn’t since it’s below zero but not all things make sense, freezes thickly on every available surface. It creates horrendous road conditions and lots of extra work. I spent 12 minutes chipping pebbly ice off my vehicle so I could drive it to work. Then I spent more than twice as long as normal driving to work. As the dashboard clock ticked dangerously upwards, I counted down out loud.

“Twenty minutes until ‘O’ Canada.’ It’s okay. I’ve got this. I’d like more time, but I only have another eight blocks to go.

Thirteen minutes to ‘O’Canada.’ This is not good. Why aren’t people moving? Is there an accident? Maybe I’m having a nightmare and will wake up at home in my bed soon.

Eleven minutes to ‘O’Canada.’ How have I only moved his much? At the rate of a block every nine minutes, I’m going to need to call my secretary to have someone else start my class. Crap. Crap. Crap!

Eight minutes to ‘O’Canada.’ Okay, I can see the parking lot. Can I just pull onto the curb and jog the rest of the way? Can I  even do a traffic circle on these roads?

Six minutes to ‘O’Canada.’ Oh please, oh please let today not be the day someone is parked in my stall.”

At approximately 4.71 minutes until O’Canada, I threw my stuff down on my desk and tried to strip off my parka so I could run to the ladies’ room just barely before class. In doing so, (the tossing, not the peeing) the fork in my lunch punctured my can of Diet Pepsi, and I had a fizzing flood all over my desk and all over my lunch.

Fast forward through a normal, busy Thursday, complete with a staff meeting. The falling rain morphed evilly into heavy snow, which kept falling for most of the day, so I was well aware the roads would be far worse heading home than driving to school. Thankfully, I have all-wheel drive and winter tires, so I knew at least my vehicle was a safe as possible under the conditions. What I didn’t expect was the utter wretchedness of the traffic. It was one for the records.

Normally, my trip to school takes approximately fifteen minutes, and my trip back to the dollhouse takes about twenty because the roads home are pretty congested in the afternoon. I anticipated a longish trip home, maybe double the normal time, due to the wet, heavy snow the city still hadn’t made a move to clear on my side of town. My tax dollars at work, I tell you.

In total, it took 83 minutes to drive home. I use the term “drive” loosely, since what I did for most of the trip was just release the brake pedal and let the vehicle roll forward when enough of a gap opened up to bother moving ahead. It was strangely thrilling when I was actually able to use the accelerator sparingly for a fraction of a block once I cleared the worst part of the gridlock. To add to the excitement, I was so thirsty when I first got into the car that I put away a good majority of my Diet Pepsi in the first ten minutes. There is a special kind of panic associated with being well and truly stuck in traffic on bad roads with a full bladder.

I am thankful to be home safely, without peeing myself by a minor–but much appreciated–miracle. Hopefully, the ploughs and sanding trucks will be out cleaning things up soon. Also hopefully, and perhaps even more so, that guy in the huge white pickup truck who went around the traffic by climbing the curb and driving on the boulevard well over the speed limit was picked up by the police. I don’t care how badly you need to pee, sir: that’s just bad, bad manners.

copyright 2012:  http://bluespeckledpup.com

 

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