Saturday, July 7, 2007

It's a free country

It was a dreary afternoon on the forth of July, and I was waiting in an endless series of stoplights on MLK. I had dissociated from reality to an extent due to the excruciating boredom of being stuck in The Greatest Traffic Pattern in America, which is why I didn't consciously pay attention to the honking at first.

The light changed and we pulled up to the 23rd consecutive red light. Suddenly I noticed the sound and realized it'd been going on for some time now. After rounding a slight curve approaching the 24th red light, it finally became apparent what all the fuss was about.

There was a car stopped on the light rail tracks, blocking the path of the oncoming train. At this point, the train had pulled up to within a few feet of the car, but the driver was having none of it. In fact, it was the driver, not the conductor, wailing the bejeezus out of his horn.

Because, seriously people, wtf is that train doing on those tracks in the first place? And why the conductor gotta be like that? He needs to chill out and just go around or something. But no. The conductor was dead-set on going down those tracks and he turned out to be even more stubborn than the driver of the car.

The driver finally acceded defeat, but the American people are known for their scrappy "can do" attitude, and their dogged individualism, their anti-authoritarianism and willingness to break the rules if that's what it takes. No one embodies that attitude better than The Greatest Drivers in America.

Instead of slinking past the barrier in front of him to finish crossing the tracks like some damn Frenchman, the driver celebrated the American Way by heroically slamming the car into reverse and proudly backing off the tracks, going the wrong way into oncoming traffic.