Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Freeway

For the longest time, I had a hectic work commute driving from my home in Mount Washington to El Segundo every day. Anyone who lives in Los Angeles will agree that our freeways are a brain numbing experience particularly, the 110 Freeway. The freeway is surrounded by numerous sports venues, businesses and schools so it’s usually busy at all times of the day and night.

One Friday afternoon, when I was driving home on the 110 and by driving I mean plodding along at five miles an hour, stepping on the brake constantly and changing lanes hoping to move a little faster. Ironically I was in the ‘fast’ lane.

We were moving along at a snail’s pace when the driver in the car behind me started to tailgate my bumper. The driver continued to tailgate and stop short of my car’s bumper every few car lengths. I thought, “What a nitwit” and continued to navigate the stop and go traffic. When you’re driving that slow on 110 Fwy, you really start to notice the amount of debris along the inside next to the center divider; hubcaps, busted car parts, Spiderman diapers, bits of smashed wooden furniture, shredded tires, a broken coffee mug.

Up ahead in my lane, I could see a greenish blue object laying on the ground over the double yellow line. As we got closer, I could see it was a plastic toy. I recognized it as one of the two-headed dragon from Imperial Toys circa 1983. Insane! My car rolled to a stop right next to the thing so I pulled on the parking brake, popped open the door, leaned over and scooped it up! Well, this was too much for the driver of the car behind me because he swerved out from behind me into the right lane, drove around and cut in front of me. The traffic ahead in our lane had moved several car lengths forward.  

A couple minutes later, there was a long tire screech followed by three loud car crashes. A little plume of black smoke slowly billowed from the cars in the lane ahead. I slowly moved into the second lane and drove past the accident to find out that the impatient driver behind me had slammed into the car in front of him, who slammed into the car in front of him, who slammed into the car in front of him. Saved by a two headed blue plastic dragon sent by the freeway gods!

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