by Jack Kerwin | email@example.com
Sunday driving in the city and surrounding area …
Never fails. Make the “Escape from Alcatraz” journey outta South “Prisoner of Its Own Non-Roadway System” Jersey to my true home of Philadelphia, head north on 95, run into an absolute cluster-eff of cars and “fantasy” drivers, turn a brilliant double-back, hop on Delaware Avenue, zig and zag through the pokers, gawkers and uncertain GPS followers in order to reconnect with the interstate a few miles up … only to run into the real snag.
There it is. Four lanes of wall-to-wall traffic. Moving, yes. But only in that ever-comfy, herky-jerky style that is sparked by the, uh, leader of the pack – all the way to the left, up front. Causer of all the crap.
Out of state plate, of course. New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Ontario, whatever. Don’t even have to check. Already know. Anything nearby or north. Just not Massachusetts. Those mofos don’t mess around. Bless them.
A control freak to the max, with fetus complex fully engaged – gotta be in front and in charge, but absolutely paralyzed to pull away into the open. So they ride shotgun to someone on the right, ever aware to not surge ahead. Too scary for them to not be surrounded.
Lanes 2-4 fall right in sync. Of course, they’re already going slower than the main passing lane anyway, so …
The nightmare continues until, finally, a break or a few – cars start taking exits. Holes open. Holy smokes. The abyss of exhaust fumes is fading.
Just in time for me to turn off, and get a read on the plate – Jersey – as the pickup now pulls over into another lane, since his tied-at-the-bumper buddies had pulled off.
The fun doesn’t end there, though.
Evening offers a brilliant one-two punch a few minutes apart of, first, some genius riding right up the butt of my Mustang in the right lane of the Vine Street Expressway, the bearded man-baby unaware that there isn’t another car within sight around us and the next exit still a good half-mile away – and one which he didn’t take.
The follow-up was no less entertaining as a car in front of me, failing to show any signal, opts for the same exit as me to go 76 South … only upon entering it, the driver slams on the brakes and comes to a complete stop, apparently so self-absorbed and ill-informed that they didn’t realize anyone was behind, the headlights giving no clue, and that, as a general rule, you make a directional mistake, you don’t compound it by putting yourself and other drivers on the road in danger with such a, hmmm, unique stop in an odd location. Brain sensors took about 10-15 seconds to recharge before they found the gas pedal again.
After such incidents, returning to my suburban Philly abode in South Jersey didn’t seem such a bad idea.
Except more was in store.
Home stretch, just off the highway. Car illegally passes me on the left, cuts me off to make a right turn, same as me, the proceeds to cruise to the first intersection and park right in the middle of it once the light turns red. Sat there through the whole time before the change. Once green, poof.
With me left to do my final head shaking of the night.
So ended another edition of Sunday driving in the city and surrounding area.