Monday, December 18, 2006

The not-so-EZ pass

Some things I just can't tolerate. Incompetence is one of them. Welcome to Monday mornings: the prime time to have a run-in with incompetence.

Morning commutes are an odd combination of dreading the new week and a peaceful time of isolation to collect my thoughts. Traffic is the one enemy, besides lack of sleep. No one wants to deal with i'm-so-cool-ers swerving in and out just waiting to hit you, or the turtles crawling so slow that sometimes you actually worry you might die before reaching your destination. This morning was no exception. In fact, it was slightly worse. Literally as I'm turning onto the service road to get on the LIE, I turn the radio on and hear "...LIE is backed up, westbound traffic moving slowly..." great, whatever, i can deal. but this, this is the epitome of incompetence. Slowly but surely I made my way to the CIP and onto the throgs neck. Following my usual take-the-right-most-lane-because-it-splits-into-cash-and-ezpass-and-every-morning-it's-about-a-3:1-cash:ezpass-situation, I go right - because I am a creature of habit and I dislike change. not to mention this would allow me to save time trying to cut ppl off to get over to I-95. always thinking ahead. WELL, everything's going smoothly, until i find myself in the lane at the point of no return. yes, that's right - the point where there are those little reflector sticks on each side of u, where you are about 5 feet from the actual toll booths that would've had someone in there had they been collecting cash. main point: the point where you can't back out b/c as the signs say - it's illegal. i see the bar go up and down a few times, allowing drivers to be on their merry way. until of course there are only two cars ahead of me, one with a hand sticking out of the window grasping a white thing. oh great, don't tell me there's an idiot amongst us and I'm actually not it. though the EZPass may seem to work wonders for some people - it is not a magic wand. You don't wave it up and down to make the magical pole in front of you disappear. You keep it on the dashboard or windshield. Or maybe from now on they should just have you plaster it on your head. at this point ten minutes pass and the honking horns have subsided because clearly they have been useless, unless causing a headache was the purpose. the idiot ahead is still rapidly waving the darn white box outside his window. people in the car in front are trying to indicate to him what to do through their windshields, but clearly only successful at making themselves look like a cage full of monkeys. still the bar does not move and the idiot still works on his biceps.

Finally a cop comes along - God only knows how long it took him to cross all those lanes. Thank goodness he didn't get hit. Reminiscent of one of the few books I read: She's Come Undone. In the book, the the protagonist's mother works in a toll booth and gets killed while crossing the lanes. Sad, I know. Yet, something about that, perhaps the overall book's mood, made me let a giggle out. Yes, I don't know where I'm going, but it certainly ain't heaven. Back to the point. The cop had to come by to take the darn white box and swipe it against some other pad on the tollbooth. Viola. Up goes the pole - idiot was free at last. Perhaps it's like a Harry Potter thing. Each magician has a wand that is particularly suited for him/her. Clearly this magic, supposedly ez, pass was not meant for the idiot.

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