You see that map (click to enlarge) to the left? That there is my daily commute to work and although it’s only Tuesday, I’m about ready to start riding my bike there.
Why? Pretty simple.
The people who take the 405 at the same time I do all suck eggs. They’re a bunch of moronic demons that Hell hath spawned for the singular design of making my blood pressure shoot through the roof and by the time I get to work, trust me, it’s done just that. Just in case you need some kind of idea of what I mean, let me expand on that a little bit by explaining what I’ve seen in the past two days.
Before I even got on the 405 this morning, there was a woman stopped behind me at a red light, who appeared to be taking her daughter to high school. I saw the woman smoking which I thought was no big deal until I saw the daughter, maybe all of 16, take a puff from a cigarette of her own. Nice, mom. Bet they drink together, too.
So I get on the freeway and wait for the light on the onramp to turn green. It does and I step on it because the lane ends quickly and if you don’t get over, chances are nobody will let you over and you’ll have to squeeze in at the last minute and risk driving on the shoulder. This is a daily occurrence.
Not even before I reach the 605, I see a woman in a Mustang zoom by me as traffic was slowing and naturally, at the last minute, she slams on her brakes and just misses rear-ending the guy in front of her. The smell of rubber was overwhelming. Close call, but she seemed to be in a hurry as I saw her weaving in and out of traffic a few times.
I continued my slow drive to work and decide to let a person over since we weren’t going anywhere to begin with. I crawl and give her space only to glance in my rearview and see the guy behind me yelling and waving his hands as if those gestures would somehow push me to go faster. They didn’t and I let the person over. I threw up my hands at the guy as if to say, “Dude, really?” How much of an asshole do you have to be to make this an issue?” Believe it or not, this happens every day.
As my crawl continued, traffic slowed down again at one point to rubberneck the sight on the shoulder: it seems Mustang Woman got a little overzealous with her driving and unlike earlier, she failed to miss the car in front of her. She was now exchanging insurance information with a guy in a white minivan. Serves her right.
Much like the guy I saw yesterday who was tailgating everybody and also weaving in and out of lanes. He passed me early on and I saw him later when he slammed his car into the rear of a Honda Civic a few lanes to the left of me. If he wasn’t already late for work. And that’s only one of the many accidents I’ve seen unfold before me, in either my direction or the other, while going to work.
Then there’s this woman:
I just had merged onto the 405 from the 73 and immediately started to hear honking. It seemed unreasonable to me because a) traffic wasn’t going anywhere and b) I was sure that I hadn’t cut anybody off. In fact even when we were sitting still, somebody was still honking.
It was this woman who was not only honking for no apparent reason but also yelling and throwing up her hands whenever she lacked the words to express how she or her horn really felt. She even honked at me, which is when I realized it was her. (As a side note, she apparently loves Pogo as her “I [heart] Pogo” license frame indicated. People still know what Pogo is?)
And it’s only Tuesday.
So to all of you who take the 405 for your daily commute, I’ve got a few words of advice for you:
Chill. The fuck. Out.
Seriously. We all have somewhere to go and if you just let people over and take it easy, not drive like your collective hair is on fire, we will all reach our destinations in one piece and free of any extensive psychological or vehicular damage. I guarantee that. You might even also make there on time. Should you choose to ignore such a simple rule, that’s when shit like what I’ve posted here happens.
It’s so simple that we can all do it, right?