Every day when I drive home from work

On May 21, 2004 by Eden M. Kennedy

Every day when I drive home from work I have to dodge through a tricky little section of road to get onto the highway. You have to sit there blink-a blink-a blink-a pleading with constant nonstopping oncoming traffic to slip through to make a left, but it’s not just a regular perpendicular left, it’s like a 170° hairpin left turn at FULL SPEED to get onto the on-ramp, because oncoming ramp-merging traffic coming down the hill won’t slow down, it has to ride right up on your bumper just to remind you how rudely you’ve interrupted its mystically-perceived divine right to unimpeded ramp-merge acceleration.

So yesterday I’m sitting there blink-a blink-a quietly letting the adrenaline build up in my heart as a parade of entitled oncomers hits the ramp car, car, car, truck, truck, car, car, sherman tank, amphibious armored personnel carrier, and I glance in the rearview and I’ve got four or five cars waiting behind me now, wondering what the fuck is taking me so long to turn, thinking obviously I have no balls! So there’s pressure building up behind me. Pressure to grow a big hairy hanging scrotum. And I’m watching, I’m watching, I’m watching for a gap, just the tiniest one, and then I see it. A UPS truck at the top of the hill is taking just a hair’s-breadth longer to crank it up to speed, giving me precisely 4/5 of a second extra to haul my ass around and get onto the ramp. I’ve lost everyone at this point but I’m going to keep going because there is a reason for this godforsaken story, and it’s really fucking cute worth a chuckle, if you enjoy my self-mockery.

I slam my foot down on the accelerator because I don’t want a UPS tailpipe enema, and I totally peel out. There’s that miserable lag where you’re sitting there with your foot on the floor but you’re not moving. You’re just sitting there, waiting for your tires to quit smoking and connect with the pavement. You’ve lost that 4/5 of a second that you had, but! You’re also totally laying a patch. Fishtailing, tires squealing, burning rubber. In a Volvo. A forty-year-old woman with hedgehog hair and blue-cheese-toned skin and red Chanel sunglasses is making her tires squeal on Coast Village Road, Buffy, come look! It’s a Big Daddy Roth gone horribly, horribly awry, but also, you know, I laid a patch!

So that’s my story. Is it cute yet? Because then, as soon as I got off the highway I had to go through a roundabout. Santa Barbara was big on roundabouts for awhile — they were part of a now-abandoned citywide push for traffic calming measures. But you should see the people in their cars getting off the highway, going Whatthefuck is this? Why is everyone driving around in a circle? How in God’s name do I get through this flaming hippie traffic experiment? I’ll tell you how. You fucking peel out! Just slam it down and go! Fuck it! Fuck calm traffic! Wheeeeeeee!

And then I went home and Jack was there and I didn’t have to pick up Jackson for another forty-five minutes so my husband and I had mutually fulfilling sex within a respectful and loving marriage.

AND THEN I TOTALLY PEELED OUT!

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