Sunday, August 17, 2008

Adventures on the Road

Free from weekend football obligations but still filled with the need to roam the countryside, I dragged my bride to the Big City for dinner and a show. Having thoroughly enjoyed a matinee of "Jersey Boys," we were hurrying to our dinner destination when the proceedings came to an abrupt and maddening halt. There was an indescribable idiot at the toll booth.
Our reservation time having passed, we were mere moments away from the Fancy Steakhouse when our misguided fellow motorist plunked into our lives.

Toll booth idiocy
Originally uploaded by Darrell
There we sat, boxed in by barriers and other cars while the line came to a dead stop. Cars were stacking up behind us, horns were honking, people were puzzled and no one really knew what was going on except that we were not moving. Meanwhile, the other lanes were zipping crisply along as they should have been.
Then, the lady drivng the car that was holding up the line GOT OUT and stepped onto the road. She was waving something around: a dollar bill! She was holding up the rest of society because she found herself in a "coins only" lane and couldn't pay the toll. She appeared dazed and helpless over the plight life presented her.
I think we all realize that most reasonable humans, faced with this dilemma, would simply move on. Not her, no sir. She inched forward, drove across two lanes and tried to back up into the lane where there was a toll booth attendant. This, of course, nearly caused at least three serious accidents.
When last we saw her, she was in her car just beyond the toll booths, stopped on the road: a sitting duck and a serious highway obstacle, not to mention a hazard to herself, her passengers and unwitting drivers who were simply trying to go about their business.
Can she live in such fear of authority that she thinks that the police will descend upon her for running the toll booth? Maybe she's illegal and doesn't want to call attention to herself. Who knows? At that point, it didn't matter because even though she was just a few yards beyond the tool booth, she had already run it. To be more precise, inched through it agonizingly.
We were late for dinner, of course. But we told them our story and they let us stay. The irony here is that our tardiness backed up reservations behind us. When we left, we heard a hostess say, "Oh good, they're finished." Now she knows how we felt.

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