I wish we could all be more kind to each other. We all need to be a bit more patient and understanding but sometimes it's just harder than hammering a 9-inch nail into concrete with a teaspoon.
As some of you might know, I try to maintain a rather stoic outlook on life. I try not to let things bother me. It's not that I don't care, I just choose not to get all riled up. I know what I'm like when I'm angry, and I don't like him very much.
Traffic seems to bring out the worst in people. It drives me a bit buggy. Sometimes, other drivers just rub me the wrong way. The fact that ninety percent of drivers think they are better than the average driver does not surprise me at all. We all can't be above average, can we? I must run into the 10 percent more often than other folks.
Last week, we had two occasions to climb on to the M25. This can, at times, rattle even the most zen seeking and peace-loving among us.
Sunday was a perfect day to go out and enjoy the seaside. We decided to take a longish ride from Stevenage to Whitstable. For those of you who don't know Whitstable, it is a seaside town on the east coast of England. It sits at the entrance to the Thames Estuary. I have to tell you, overall, I loved our little excursion to, as my daughter used to call it, the big water.
We crossed the River Thames at Dartford Crossing. Traffic at Dartford Crossing is heavy at the best of times. This dystopian combination of junctions, mergers, two tunnels, and a bridge is a fustercluck if ever I saw one. The traffic at Dartford Crossing can be a nightmare, and it was a touch like that on our northward crossing under the river.
Tuesday, we had the occasion to share a meal with some good friends in Chorleywood just before the England/Colombia match. Chorleywood is a village just off junction 17 on the M25. We left home at 5 pm to be there at 6 pm. We should have given it a bit more time, but I was true to form, and running a bit late. I hate to admit it, but I'm usually the one who makes us late.
I will tell you, rush hour is not the time to drive in or around London. Having said that, somehow we opted, you guessed it, to mount the M25 in rush hour. The entire journey wasn't too bad, just parts. It certainly wasn't like the mind-numbing, zen-crushing, soul-destroying traffic in and around Los Angeles. However, merging on to the M25 from the A1(M) was like squeezing out a kidney stone the size of a bowling ball. (I would have used a childbirth analogy here but, being a guy, I have no frame of reference.) It was painful, raised my blood pressure and seemed neverending. I wouldn't recommend it.
I know, given the tinderbox state the world, traffic on the M25 is only a nit in the fabric of life but even nits, compiled one on top of the other, can be endlessly irritating.
I guess it's not so much the traffic that's at issue, it is how people treat each other zipping around from within the confines of their little glass, fiberglass, and metal boxes. Just because your car has zoom-zoom doesn't mean you always have to zoom-zoom.
Three things I hate about traffic jams:
Sometimes it's best, for your own well being, to sit back and let it all wash over you. Nothing is so pressing that you have to put your own life or somebody else's at risk.
I leave you with this. The best thing you can do in a traffic jam is to:
Lastly, crank up Led Zeppelin as loud as you can to drown out the second-hand hip-hop coming out of the car next to you.
Seriously, be sane, be safe, and be kind. Love each other and make the world a better place, not a worse place.
Until next week, I wish you peace.