Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The Highway of death

The Pennsylvania turnpike has got to be the most fucked up murderous highway in the US. Every day my commute to work is an adventure in defying bodily injury. Today, some SUV in front of me blew up it's tires, rubber flying everywhere. Everyone screeched to a halt, then started moving again. By and by, as I looked in the lane to the right of mine, I saw a wheel rim, no car attached to it, running alongside me at the same speed as my car. Without flashing any indicators, the wheel rim decided to change lanes. Again, I had to slam on the brakes as the rim made it's way across my lane into the shoulder and lay still, presumably dead.

Everyday the turnpike tries to come up with new ways to kill me, maim me or put me into therapy. One day the truck in front of me started ejecting plastic grocery carts out onto the road. One day there were haystacks, yes, entire hay stacks lying on the road, while the other day I swear, with all the individual car parts lying on the road at regular intervals, I could have built myself a new Ford. One day the trucker in front of me decided he was tired of tagging behind his extremely slow colleague in front of him, so he just ran his truck into the other guys back, spilling oil all over the road and smoke from his engine.

Then again, there are those over-enthusiastically suicidal drivers who in their zest for ending their own life, also sometimes attempt to snatch away the lives of others who might be in their immediate vicinity. There was one such life-weary zealot ahead of me in my lane, who suddenly began moving to the right into the center lane. Apparently his decision to do so was not tempered in any way by the presence of an 18 wheeler already occupying the space he wished to take over. As I sat there, moving along at 80 mph, watching this imbecile try to defy the laws of nature, I was wondering what course of action I should take once this guy succeeded in his objective, if I should go ahead and collide with the amalgamated mass of truck and imbecile or just drive myself into the concrete divider. Which would be less painful? As the imbecile continued on his suicidal mission, bits of his car, started to come off and hit my windshield... namely the mirror. Then, as if the guy suddenly remembered that he had won the lottery yesterday and suicide would be a stupid idea, decided to live and let me live, and started correcting his course.

I was alive...for the moment. But I don't think the turnpike will give up.


Pearl said...

I seem to come across self-elected pacesetter cars that set out 2 or 3 lanes across to keep everyone just under the speed limit.

gawker said...

Ah so thats what they are. I thought they were just inconsiderate morons.