This town and this traffic have made us crazy.
I sat in my car yesterday on GA 400 in north Sandy Springs, just hoping that I could get north of exit 11 before the slowdown. No such luck. It was toast at exit 10.
We all know the normal spots where traffic backs up so we when we hit it, we’re not surprised. When it piled up some five miles before that spot, I was totally unprepared. I fell back on what has become an Atlanta tradition: talking to myself in the car. Venting with the windows up so nobody can hear you.
Yesterday I cussed out a good 10 or 12 people and they never even knew it! The %$#*& and the @#&^% all fit in the right places when no one can hear you.
I was quietly cussing out an elderly man who had the nerve to not move up in traffic so we could advance 12 feet before again stopping! I know — you’re outraged as I was. Apparently, my windows aren’t tinted as dark as they need to be because he looked over and was cussing me out, too. I could read his lips and I know what he said had nothing to do with “Have a nice day, sonny!”
From what I could tell, that man’s language could make a sailor blush. I accepted my defeat and tipped my hat. He flipped me off. Touché. We will meet again.
Sometimes traffic is so bad there’s nothing left to say. All you can do is find that distraction, hopefully not too much like a long and involved phone call while you disregard every known traffic law as you’re burning up your minutes calling “College Nymphos Who Want to Talk To YOU Direct!”
Even worse: texting or just reading the long novel you want to finish. Ever notice how a book fits just right on your steering wheel? Just remember how bad it feels to hear that crunch of the car ahead you just as you get the knockout punch from your airbag.
Let the book sit until you get where you’re going.
You can talk to yourself, which has to be boring after a while — unless you’re schizophrenic. In that case, if the two of you are good conversationalists, it’ll be more like car-pooling with a buddy.
Music is the answer
The only distraction that makes sense is cranking up the music.
For the last month or so, I’ve been listening to country stations. In the past, I haven’t spent much time with country music, preferring rock ‘n’ roll because my eardrums aren’t quite destroyed yet. For some reason, though, I’ve enjoyed listening to the country sound this time around.
I think it’s because the songs don’t get too deep. They hit topics that you and I and a bunch of cowboys can relate to.
Here’s an example: I learned that water makes corn. And corn makes whiskey. And whiskey makes this singer’s girlfriend frisky. Okay! Good enough for me — or so it seemed. Turns out it also makes them drunk and throw up.
Here’s another one. A guy sings a song about how this girl likes his big green tractor. I thought to myself, “How pompous this guy is!” — until I found out it wasn’t a metaphor. He was actually talking about his big green tractor. She loved it and he would take her riding on it.
Well, I tried it, but apparently there’s a big difference between a big green tractor and a John Deer L-108 riding mower.
Not only did she not like it, but she threw up all over the grass-catcher. Must have been the whiskey and corn.
But one thing I find with country music is that all of us can relate to at least one song on the top 10 list. Doesn’t matter if it’s the “cheatin’-on-me” song, the one about your girl sitting next to you in the pickup truck or the bar songs.
Bar songs are in a class by themselves. They talk about how much they love the bar or what happens in the bar. Two girls — twin sisters, in fact — find the only cowboy in the bar and offer him one heck of a rodeo ride and he responds by telling them he’s not as good as he once was, but he’s good once as he ever was. Stuff I can relate to! (You believe me, don’t you?)
The scenarios go on and on, but they’re not too deadly serious that I have to try and figure out the hidden meaning. I just let it ride until I finally make it home and climb on that John Deere riding mower— in gym shorts, tube socks and my cowboy boots.
Look out, ladies!