Gee, thanks for the warning.

Gee, thanks for the warning.

Commuting back and forth to college is awful. Sure, you get to sleep in your own bed, spend time with your family, eat home-cooked meals, have some degree of privacy, use a bathroom without anyone else using it, blast loud music for over a half-hour in your car every day, not have to worry about storage space, and remain connected to the place you grew up in, but come on, is it worth it?

I find myself confined to a metallic shell for eighty minutes or more a day, and the parking rules for Rutgers are ridiculous. Also, eighty minutes is a long time to ponder the question “Did I forget anything?”

Besides that, you slowly come to the realization that everyone and everything on the road exists merely to lengthen your travel time and frustration level. I have no idea why I was so worried about passing my driver’s exam when apparently 90% of the people who pass it are complete numbskulls.

Take for example the truck I was stuck behind for the majority of one journey. It never went above twenty-five miles an hour. Not once. Listen, if you’re driving a truck that’s impossible to pass, you’ve got a duty to actually drive with some kind of speed. You don’t go twenty-five on a forty-five road, because now you’re inconveniencing every single person stuck behind you. Even worse was the text on the back of the truck: “Beware of sudden stops”. Clearly this person was so concerned about stopping suddenly and throwing off everyone behind him that he decided it’d be safer to just not start.

Then there are the drivers that can’t take a hint. If someone is tailgating you, it’s not necessarily because the person behind you is an asshole, it’s because you’re doing something wrong. Possible reasons: Doing ten or fifteen below the speed limit. If you ever look in your rear-view mirror and someone is up your car’s arse, that’s a cue to speed up. So, please. Speed the fuck up.

But the worst and most offensive things you’ll find on the road aren’t people. They’re stoplights.

Yes, they hate you. Each and every one of them. I suppose you can’t blame them; they have a boring life. Creating challenges for you is the only way they alleviate the monotony of their day. And you’re at their mercy, anyhow, so there’s no use getting angry.

Of course, that doesn’t stop me from holding a grudge against one particular stoplight. There’s this one – I think I’ll call him Paul, because I really hate the name Paul. I run into Paul when I’m just one turn away from home. He’s always red, to begin with. That’s okay. I run into several of those assholes on a regular basis.

But then! Then, when it’s midnight, and there’s no one else on the road, Paul decides to continue staying red as he tosses out the ultimate insult. The bottommost light slowly fades into life: He gives the left lane a green arrow.

One can imagine that stoplight smiling devilishly inside, granting the empty left lane the authority to pass, ignoring the one car in the straight lane. The green arrow fades out, only to be replaced by another, yellow arrow. He still ignores my desire to get home and probably pee my brains out. He lets the yellow arrow fade out gently, and it is then, only then, when the last traces of the arrow have disappeared from the light, that he allows me to go home.

Fnoodle (that’s my car) and I agree – we really hate that guy.

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