Friday, November 27, 2009

Hit The Road Jude...

Well I thought that I would give you a rest from polar bears, thought you might be getting a little fed up with the cold of the Arctic.

Since relocating to the new office just over a month ago, my commute has gone from an hours journey to an hour and a half to two hours every morning and evening. So with up to four hours of my day being taken up with sitting on buses I decided to return to using the car. Now my journey takes about an hour each way. It is a ten mile journey!

That's the joy of living in a city and travelling during the rush hour, nose to tail traffic. You get time to observe your fellow commutors when sitting in traffic. Yesterday a young man in the car behind me decided to carry out his ablutions whilst creeping along in the traffic. A quick tickle round the ears and face with a wet wipe, followed by brushing his teeth, rinsing with water and spitting out of the car window. The woman in the lane next to me was multi tasking, talking on her phone whilst doing her make up using the rear view mirror. Oh traffic was not at a complete standstill we were moving slowly and we were approaching a very busy junction where two more lanes of traffic join into one lane. The chap in the car in front had his newspaper spread out over the steering wheel, catching up on the latest news and drinking his coffee.

Every morning, and I mean every morning there are scrapes, bumps, shunts and outright smashes. My journey is punctuated by traffic bulletins announcing 'incidents' and road closures whilst the emergency services clean up the mess. Every morning I sit there watching people who clearly feel totally secure in their little metal boxes being completely distracted from the task at hand, driving. Yesterday morning as we got to the busy junction a large van from a well known courier company sped out of the lane joining ours. He probably assumed, as he did every day that he was in a large vehicle and that people would let him in, afterall they all come equipped with brakes don't they. Unfortunately for everyone involved the chap in the car in front was engrossed in his paper, and the woman in the lane next to us was applying her mascara. Result, newspaper man was shunted into make up lady by courier man. All lanes of traffic blocked it took over an hour to shift the carnage.

Fortunately non of them was injured, only their cars suffered as a result. They all began to argue who was at blame. Finally newspaper man and make up lady decided to 'gang' up on courier man, I was asked by them if I would provide a witness statement for their insurance. I informed them that I would happily oblige, not a problem. However I became public enemy number one when I mentioned that I would have to be honest and point out that neither of them was paying attention to the road and both were distracted as a result of their in car activities. They didn't require my assistance after that.

I wonder what joys await me this morning.

11 at confession:

Jimmy Bastard said...

Avoid the ones with the Christian fish symbol attached. They may be steering, but god is in the driving seat.

Maggie May said...

That is a long way to have to drive there and back.
I also like to people watch when I am out & about. It is surprising what you see.

Nuts in May

Beth said...

Killing time while stuck in traffic can lead to some pretty nasty results.
It’s now illegal here to talk on a cell phone in your car unless you have some kind of hands free device. I’m waiting to hear if there will be a decrease in the accident rate – I expect there should be.

Your commute sounds brutal.

St Jude said...

Jimmy - how right you are.

Maggie May - This morning a chap passed me at some speed with children in the car. He was steering with one hand and brushing his teeth with the other.

Beth - It is also illegal here to use the mobile without hands free, but it clearly doesn't apply to some people. Don't hold your breath about a reduction in accidents.

Pete said...

you can never get too much of a polar bear!!

Charlie said...

Not only is using a cell phone whilst driving legal here in Arizona, but so is texting on one.

That's right. People who have I.Q.s of 50 or so to begin with text like mad whether in a back-up or sailing along at 70 m.p.h.

I don't go out much.

Kevin Musgrove said...

You have my sympathy: I'm getting far too old for a similar commute.

Back in the day, the National Transport Research Laboratory did a series of experiments which led to the conclusion that "the only way to persuade the majority of drivers that they needed to be constantly aware of what was going on outside the cocoon of the car interior would require the installation of a bayonet in the hub of the steering wheel such that the point of the bayonet is six inches away from the breastbone of the driver."

DUTA said...

You were great about the witness statement!

Madame DeFarge said...

Quite right about the witness statement. And you can never have too many polar bears!

Meg said...

After reading that I'm actually feeling kind of thankful for New Jersey drivers. Never thought I'd say that. Be safe.

Kim Ayres said...

Time to get a Learn to Speak Chinese Linguaphone CD or some such thing for the journey :)

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