Tag Archives: commuting

Roadway Droppings

Depending on commute time, you can spend a lot of time in your car each day.

Probably a third of life is spent in the car.

Sure, cities say, help the environment….carpool.  What about my mental health?  Carpooling does nothing to help that precious, limited environment.  Who wants to be stuck in a box with a random bunch of strangers with odd habits?

  • Mouth breather
  • Teeth sucker
  • Strange body odor, that you can’t quite figure out
  • Constant talker
  • One upper/know it all/celebrity in their own mind
  • Nose picker/sniffler/throat clearer
  • Continual noise creator: singer, whistler, chatter…anything to fill the silence
  • Cell phone communicator on YELL volume tendency
  • The Convertor to my way of ……fill in the blank for whatever belief.
  • Just to name a few….

Having to go to work on a Monday is annoyance enough, thanks.

There we all are, thousands of us, shuffling along the highway, heading to our cubicles and walls of importance.

Sigh.

Side note: Whoever invented the actual cupholder for the car, rather than the plastic clip you put into the window lip, was a genius.  How many years filled with hot coffee crotches did it take for them to figure that out?

Our car is a little metal box of comfort.  We can reflect on the day’s list of events, review talking points for the upcoming meeting, ponder what the hell that dream meant last night, sing at the top of our lungs, talk to ourselves about the idiocy of our boss/wife/husband/sibling/friend or yell back at the talk radio commentary.  It’s similar to a therapy session crossed with a UFC match blended with a PBS documentary on daily life.  Fascinating and nobody gives a rip.

As you sit in traffic, it gives you time to reflect on the beauty that surrounds you.

Including the garbage. Plastic bags, cigarette butts, plastic bottles, garage sale signs, rope, wood slats, tarps, traffic cones and random bits of junk.  Then there’s the odd balls.

Car batteries and appliances.  Obviously, they’ve been dumped.  Easy to imagine a pick up truck slowing down on the highway in the cover of night and dark clothed individual in the back….quickly pushing the items off the back.

TVs are in the same category.  This is especially true if you come along a stretch of highway where they are plentiful.  There’s one stretch in the desert near my mom’s house and it’s littered with car batteries and TVs.  Like cactus.  It’s interesting.  When you drive through, you count to see if more have arrived.  Did they come on the last bus?  What flight just arrived?  I swear last time there were only four in that cluster, now there’s six.  Are they multiplying on purpose?

Seat cushions and dresser drawers.  Now those are poopers to loose.  They’re part of a set.  Did they fly out of the back of a truck on moving day? Are you going to drive back through where you came from and look for them?  What if you were moving across country?  Kinda hard to explain mixing and matching your seat cushions or dresser drawers.  Not like you can buy them in aisle 4 of Home Depot.  And what if it starts raining?  Or someone runs over your seat cushion?  Total failure at that point.  Might as well keep on going.  Guess you’re getting a new sofa.

Mattresses are a different story.  They could be dropped on purpose, to avoid the dump charge.  Or perhaps, they simply gave out.  Their flying engine booster cable expired and they simply fell from the sky.  Their magical genie was able to continue to on to safety, however the flying….oh wait….I was thinking of a flying carpet.   Never mind.

Have you ever noticed the amount of shoes you see on the road?  Last night a single slipper.  Tan with fake fleece lining. Lots of shoes.  It’s amazing.  Always only one.  What are people doing?  Taking their shoes off in the car and throwing them out the windows?  I HATE YOU SHOE!  You would think they’re going to need that shoe.  Sometimes you see the shoe-mate a few miles further down the road.  At least, if you needed a pair of shoes you could stop and pick them up.  Could be your size.

Speaking of shoes….what about socks? I saw one the other day along the road.  It was navy blue.  Mid-calf height.  Now why would a sock be on the side of the road?  Seriously.  Who is taking their socks off on the highway?  Last time I checked, the deer weren’t wearing socks.

Then there are the toys.  Tragic.  I imagine some kid thinking their stuffed friend wants to smell the air as they zip down the highway.  And poof.  Out the window they go.  Or perhaps the stuffed friend had been rescued by a community refuse receptacle displacementologist, who had strapped them to the grill of their vehicle.  Sadly, the stuffed friend could no longer endure the intake of bugs or simply had enough motion sickness and decided to jump off. Laying along the roadway was a better life than speeding along at the blur of a Concord.

I confess, this year, I lost an antler going down the highway.  Yep. An antler.  Norman, my little car lost an antler.  Completely forgot to tape down his magical reindeer antlers to the windows and when I opened it a crack for air off it went.  For a brief moment, since we were in the standard standstill “practice your patience” traffic, I did ponder stopping to pick it up but thought better of it.  So for the day, Norman was a unicorn.

Hands down, the strangest thing I have ever found along the roadway?

A set of dentures.

 

Stop Talking….. Before I Get Out the Duct Tape.

On my Fridays, I take the ferry to / from work. It’s like a sightseeing trip.
This past week, in the morning, I was able to score a chair out on the deck.
Sitting in the sunshine and watching the world go by.

Sailed right into downtown Boston, calm and relaxed.
Ahhh.
THIS is a civilized commute.

The return home is even better as they have a bar on board.
Usually, I throw my bag into a seat and grab a Chardonnay for $6.
This. Is. Nice.

If I were a guy, I’d have at least two beers on the way back. I watch them and most do. Some buy two beers right off the bat. Smart.

This past end of the work week, I was the third person in line for the ferry. So I was able to get my wine on the way to finding a seat. I decided to sit outside on the return as well. It was lovely. Sunny. Didn’t need a coat. Beautiful. I settled in and prepared for the start of my weekend.

There were 34 people on the outside deck.
3/4 of them were on their smart phones.
1 was reading a book.
Several were enjoying the surroundings, hidden behind their sunglasses and drinking their beers.
1 was politely smiling and nodding his head.

Why?

Because the girl he was sitting next to would not shut the hell up.
She talked.
And talked.
And talked.
And T A L K E D.
And kept on talking.
She never took a breath.
Not to mention she was loud.
Annoyingly loud.
They were right behind my left shoulder.

The point in having a conversation with someone is to say something – then let the talking partner have an opportunity to respond. To talk to the point of vomiting words is not carrying on a conversation. It’s being a selfish conversation hog. When you are a conversational hog, you don’t care what the other person has to say, because all you want to hear is your own voice. Your conversation partner practically has to karate chop you to get you to shut up or they need to fly the white flag and give up.

This, does not a good conversationalist make.

She literally, I don’t think ever….. took a full minute of silence.

These are some of the areas she covered in her 40 minute filibuster:

She just got married.
They bought a house.
Since she is now married, everyone is telling her to go back to school.
She’s not sure she really wants to go back to school.
And why should she go back cause she just got married?
Does that make any sense? No. It’s so odd.
She works at a hospital.
This department is so much better than her previous one because you’re not trying to save lives in this one.
There is a lot less pressure.
But who knows if this is the right department for her.
Oh and there is this doctor who just annoys her.
And the co-workers are really great, especially this one….
Her new husband used to work at an Auto Zone.
Now he is doing referrals.
They are so excited to be back in Boston.
Although she doesn’t like the winters.
She loves this weather though.
Isn’t it nice weather?
Her mother told her to bring her sneakers when she comes to visit.
It was good she told her, cause she wasn’t planning on bringing her sneakers.
There are so many trails.
When she and her mom went on the trail behind the house, there were lots of turkeys.
Her mom is afraid of turkeys.
She takes pictures of all the turkeys.
Oh look! There’s another one, better get a picture.
What do you think this is? Left over and forgotten bridge?
They aren’t doing anything with it.
Wonder what it’s here for.
That is so random.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
40 minutes of this. Relentless babble.
She was early 20’s.
He was in his 50’s.
Obviously he was an old family friend as she was asking him about what so-n-so is doing now a days, how excited her mom will be to know she ran into him, it’s been such a long time. Etc.

Shut up.
Shut up.
Shut up.

What is usually a pleasant 40 minute water journey home, felt like an eternity.
There were no other chairs available on the deck – so I was stuck unless I wanted to go inside.

This.
Is.
A.
Nightmare.

It was like being in a long hallway in a horror movie, trying to get to the end, but the hallway kept getting longer and longer. There was no end in sight. Your anxiety rising like a repeat of Chinese food in the back of your throat.

At any moment, I felt a giant alien may come out of someone’s chest, or a little kid on a red tricycle was going to show up and pedal around the deck. Either would have been better than being pummeled by her voice.

This was pure agony.

I was annoyed.

SHUT UP! STOP TALKING!

Give

It

A

Rest.

For the love of god – put a sock in it!
Here! Use my sock!
You are melting any ear wax I have because of the incessant noise that is your non-stop verbal cacophony.

Yes, the gentleman did get a few words in edgewise. I only know this because I could hear the wind blowing for a change. He was soft-spoken and got to the point. He didn’t pontificate on the pros and cons of going back to school or eating out at the new place around the corner from work. This man understood the etiquette for conversation. It’s only too bad he didn’t educate her on what that entailed.

I’m sure his face was tired of smiling and nodding by the time they got off the boat.

My ears were ringing when I got off and I only had one chardonnay! I should have followed the boys on board and had a second.