This past weekend I went home to my parents’ house. It’s a two hour drive each way. Part of the drive involves the North-East Extension of the Pennsylvania Turn Pike. I hate that road. Most days it takes forever to cover the 75 mile stretch of the road. You drive and drive and drive only to be assaulted with a huge line to pay your exorbitant toll. It’s literally high way robbery.
This past trip the lines at the tool booths were outrageously long. Each of the 10 open lanes had at least 25 cars, trucks, busses, motorcycles, or things in line. It was a mess. Now, I don’t have Easy Pass. Why? Well, I try to avoid tolls. Besides, I would not use it enough to justify the purchase. And to be honest, even those lanes were clogged.
So, I pulled up to a line hoping beyond hope there would be a fast toll collector tending to my chosen lane. No luck. I sat and sat and sat and sat and sat. Alfalfa was in the passenger foot well of my car in his carrier. He began to take notice of the long wait. He expressed his frustration with our lack of progress vocally. *Wheek*, *wheek*, *wheek, Alfalfa complained to me. “I know,” I lamented. “There is traffic…I can’t do anything.” To make matters worse an angry driver was two cars behind me and began to honk his horn. I looked in the rear-view mirror and said, “Like that’s going to make the line move faster…idiot…”
Of course, the line moved very slowly; it was my line. But then the worst possible thing happened: someone’s car died in the toll lane to the right of mine. ‘Oh, no…’ I thought, ‘that’s not good.’ There was a large truck behind the dead car. It decided that it was going to merge into my lane in front of me. I didn’t have a choice in the matter. It just began to merge and I had to make room for it… So, wisely, I ‘allowed’ the truck to merge.
Mind you, letting the truck merge was not my ‘choice’. However, the angry guy two cars behind me didn’t like my ‘decision’ at all. He began to complain by honking his horn at anyone and everyone. There was nothing I could do but withstand the acoustic abuse. *honk* *honk* *honk* he went without considering others around him. Then, Alfalfa started to complain to me about the noise. *wheek* *wheek* *wheek* Alfalfa yelled. It was getting to be too much for the poor guinea pig. It was getting to be too much for me.
I sat and listened to: *honk* *honk* *honk* *wheek* *wheek* *wheek* *honk* *honk* *honk* *wheek* *wheek* *wheek* *honk* *honk* *honk* *wheek* *wheek* *wheek* *honk* *honk* *honk* *wheek* *wheek* *wheek *honk* *honk* *honk* *wheek* *wheek* *wheek *honk* *honk* *honk* *wheek* *wheek* *wheek* I had enough of the cacophony of horn and mad guinea pig. In front of me, the truck driver finished his merge. Behind me the car continued to sound: *honk* *honk* *honk*. “This is a lovely Sunday afternoon drive,” I said to my reflection.
I saw the truck jerk in front of me. “Oh, no,” I said thinking it had just rear-ended another car. Unfortunately, I was wrong. The door of the truck opened and I saw the driver getting out. Apparently he had enough with the honking and was going to do something about it. The truck driver began to walk back towards my car. “Oh, no…” was all I could get out as I slumped in my seat…
My life is a circus. Please check back next week for the conclusion of this story…its a good one.