Hi, there. Here's a short rant and then I'm going to disappear until Monday because of the last day of the Succos holiday tonight and Thursday (Oct. 4, 2007), the Simchas Torah holiday Thursday night and Friday and the Sabbath on Friday night and Saturday. Sunday is reserved for taking down the Succah. If you don't know what I'm talking about, read the last post.
Last Monday, friend wife and I decided to visit the daughters and grandkids (son-in-law was working, poor fellow) in New York -- northern Manhattan to be specific. Friend wife said if we left before 7 a.m., we would be OK getting into New York.
Now often on this trip, at a more reasonable hour, we zip through Connecticut and get held up in traffic in Westchester County or the Bronx. Not this time.
We also made a discovery. People, especially people who commute by car, are masochistic idiots. Not every one of them, but most.
There was some kind of report on carpooling that came out last week about people carpooling. I can't find it and I wouldn't believe it if I could.
We left New Haven and zipped through Orange, Milford and Stratford on Route 15, the lovely Wilbur Cross and Merritt parkways. Then we hit traffic.
The trip takes about 90 minutes. This day, it took twice as long. Why? Because every other person we saw on the road, every blasted one of them, was driving one to a vehicle. One to a car and averaging a cool five miles per hour. We must have passed or been passed by 250 cars. Really, 250 cars. And not one blamed one of them had a passenger, except mine.
There were people looking saintly driving in their hybrids and people looking a little ashamed driving in their monster SUVs. There were folks breathing in the foul air or with windows up breaching filtered air.
Some of them were breathing double filtered air, that is air filtered through their car's air-conditioning system and air passing through their cigarette's filter. Many were talking on the phone....you couldn't cite them for talking on the cell phone while moving....they weren't moving at more than walking speed.
There were workmen driving vans and people dressed to the nines, people in casual clothes and even one guy driving a Porche convertible with the top down. Some were weaving in and out of traffic and others with the resigned look on their faces as if this were a daily occurrence, which I'm sure it was.
What I can't figure out is why anyone, anyone at all, would put himself or herself through this day after day. I am sure that many of them were going to the same place, give or take a couple of miles. Dozens got off the same exits once we got to Stamford or thereabouts. If each car had two people in it, everyone would zip to work in half the time, would get another half hour's sleep in the morning and arrive with nerves a lot less jangled.
I'm sure if you asked them, many would say they needed their cars for work, although I'm sure that true percentage was fairly low. Others would say they wanted the freedom of having their cars nearby. A
Freedom for what? To drive home in their own cars at walking speed, of course.
Makes you wonder, doesn't it? It should.
Unitl next time...