Off-duty: Weekends are our escape from insanity

We are a funny species. How did we get to be the supreme beings of Earth’s food chain and how long do we expect to be in first place, the way we’re acting?

Booze and drugs have accounted for most of the craziness — not to mention insanity, a noble defense for parents of teenagers — but I think we teeter closer to the edge than ever before. And we don’t need much of a push to get us over the edge.

We’re packed like sardines into these cookie-cutter communities surrounding the city, thanks to idiot politicians and deep-pocketed greedy developers who somehow convinced the aforementioned idiot politicians that building high-density residential communities, producing a few hundred thousand cars on the already taxed infrastructure, was a good idea.

The drive to Atlanta from Gainesville now takes roughly three months. Driving through Dunwoody or Sandy Springs is like driving through Marietta or Douglasville. Strip malls and subdivisions and streets filled with cars with people who have that thousand-yard stare, sitting at yet another traffic light, only to drive a hundred yards to the next traffic light.

Everyone is going everywhere at the same time. It is the rat race we said we’d never be a part of — well, I said it once before taking into account that you needed money to survive. Now I’m just one of the rats chasing the cheese.

Living life in line

Normally I hit my lowest point of the week on Wednesdays during the lunch hour. All of the parking places are taken and, regardless of where you’re going, someone is there ahead of you.

The line to make a left turn is long so you know you’re going to get screwed on the red light and, sure enough, you’re the lucky guy who gets the red light. Everyone made it but you — including the dumb jerk who wasn’t watching the light and wasted five seconds looking at his Droid trying to figure out how to kill those pigs on his Angry Birds game.

See how bad this has gotten? I’m griping about a lousy five seconds! It’s a sick game of musical chairs, only with disgruntled adults.

Well, I’m as sick of it as you are. And if you aren’t as sick of it as I am, then you’re in a coma because how could anyone be driving in the metro area saying to themselves, “What a great day for a traffic jam?”

Savor the weekend

As the old man of winter fades away with a few parting shots of cold, around the corner comes the spring and then summer. Spring is a love/hate relationship, unless you’re into sinus trouble and mucus. Pollen is the last miserable headache thrown at us before we catch a break.

Post-pollen spring weather in Georgia is good. Dogwoods bloom and the temperatures rise and we get all fired up about the weekend.

We should embrace the weekend. It is our sanity from the idiocy of life. Plan something. Don’t get up on Saturday and sit on the recliner Get up and get out! If the weather is nice enough to allow it, go!

It doesn’t matter what you do. Count the hours, not the days. Take in a game of lawn darts at the Moose Lodge or drive up in the mountains to take in the beauty of Mother Nature and the occasional old fat guys in leather on their Harleys.

Just get out of the house and get in some me-time, away from town. It will do you good.

Now, let’s hope it doesn’t rain.

17 comments Add your comment

Sleep Easy

March 11th, 2011
4:22 pm

Take a 90 mile drive down to Fresh Air Bar-B-Que in Jackson Ga. A great way to spend a Sat. morning. Once you eat, you will not let the traffic bother you on the way back to town. You can also bring some que home so you won’t need to go our and drive at lunch time during the week.

Big Al

March 12th, 2011
8:16 am

I left Atlanta for middle Georgia in 1981. Atlanta was bad enough then. If I lived there now it would probably drive me postal.

My only advice is to get as far from any big city, especially Atlanta, as quickly as you can.

DW

March 12th, 2011
10:17 am

GOOD ARTICLE!

Kennesaw Dave

March 12th, 2011
10:29 am

It’s kind of funny you wrote this piece. I am at work and I was just telling a co-worker about how much I’m looking forward to the warmer temps because when Spring and Summer kick in some friends and I grill each weekend and just enjoy some good food and just relax and enjoy each other’s company. I live for those moments. Simple, and the most relaxing in my opinon. A trip to the Florida panhandle (Destin, Ft Walton, ect) helps a good bit too. :)

Pick a Deli

March 12th, 2011
10:47 am

I get postal when I read about officials calming everyone in Japan that the radiation from the nookyooRar Meltdown will only affect the population inside a six mile circle. (What does THAT sound like?)

one answer

March 12th, 2011
10:43 pm

west point lake. i-85 south, exit 18.

only slightly smaller than lanier, with 1/100th of the traffic. great fishing, boating, parks, and very few jet ski kamikazes… don’t tell em i told ya

destin dawg

March 13th, 2011
6:35 am

we moved to Destin ( retired ) 10 years ago…. when I’m back in Atlanta to see friends and family couple times a year.. I’m amazed ( depressed ) that nothing has changed about traffic… no mass trans… no car pooling… we drive in HOV lane wide open… its much better when the kids come see us !!!

Oillie Ollie

March 13th, 2011
7:44 am

I do not live in Atlanta, but I have been there and it is misery. Everything you said was correct. However, where I live is parsely populated. And cold, the temperature is still in the 30s. I will tell you how to survive and even feel good, go to the Y. I am going today and run on the treadmill and go for a swim. I have a personal trainer that limbers those tight muscles. Living is easy. I just go an ereader, so I can read if there is nothing else to do. Now, take last night I watched UConn beat Louisville. All the guys were black, why is it that they play basketball better than the rest

nice read

March 13th, 2011
7:44 am

Your read my mind, down the the very second… or five.

Cop Supporter

March 14th, 2011
9:23 am

All so true, I have lived in Atlanta my entire life and been driving 15 years of it and it just sucks…

I hate when someone is not paying attention at the light and you honk to get them moving and then you miss the light. Frustrating..

Great article Lt. Steve

Cop Supporter

March 14th, 2011
9:29 am

Oh yeah and the person who delays you at the light looks at you in the mirror like it is your fault they were not looking. :)

kar

March 14th, 2011
10:44 am

It helps sometimes when you take the long way home. Knowing that it’s not the most direct route on the highway but at least you’re moving along residential streets. Especially if you’re going slow enough to enjoy the flowering trees, children playing outside and some good tunes.

Pick a Deli

March 14th, 2011
11:07 am

Wait a minute. First Steve tells us that traffic is gridlocked, and then he suggests we drive to the mountains? Hey, pick a rush hour and stick with it.

Leary

March 15th, 2011
9:34 am

I am thankful to have been employed in the Atlanta area for the last 24 years, but I do so look forward to retirement when we can leave for a less crowded place without the crime, noise and pollution. Give me birds, frogs and crickets any day.

s

March 17th, 2011
2:56 pm

You don’t necessarily have to drive for a “mini vacation.” I walk to a Starbucks with a book. It costs less than $2.25 for a large coffee and I sit outside and enjoy. Two hours later, I’m refreshed.

Retired and broke

March 17th, 2011
7:24 pm

We were lucky and moved to the mountains after retirement.No crowds,crime,traffic, also no medical help for 30 miles.Husband got sick, almost died and had to move back for the doctors.Move to the mountains before you get old.It’s wonderful.

mrdisgust

March 18th, 2011
6:28 pm

angry birds……he he