Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The worst pain…ever

I’m feeling a bit of a ranty mood coming on today. You’ve been warned.

Folks, when the traffic is jammed up like on, say, I-395 going past the Pentagon toward the 14th Street bridge at just about any hour of the day, is it really necessary to pull up as close to the car in front of you to prevent people (me) from merging from the on-ramps? It’s a shitty interchange. I know it, you know it, everyone knows it.

Funny, this is the picture I got when I Googled "Mixing Bowl"

The road goes up a hill, down a hill, bends to the right, then the left around the Pentagon then back to the right again before crossing the 14th Street bridge and then bending to the right, left and right again. There are on and off-ramps coming and going every which way as they please and, seriously, whatthefuck were they thinking? Whoever designed this thing should be flogged within an inch of their professional lives with their T-square. Or, rather, I’d think, their compass since there are so many bends in this road.

But that doesn’t mean you, as a driver, have to do everything in your power short of using a particle accelerator to join your bumper to the car in front of yours to stop me from getting on the highway.

Those a bit crunchier-than-thou among us would say, “Well, if you were riding a bike you wouldn’t have to worry about all of that.” True, but that’s not the point of this rant, so shutthefuckup. (Those of you who know me, know I have a bike, love riding it and will, if properly outraged by rude drivers, not hesitate a whit to use my fist on the fenders of offending cars. U-locks work really well too.)

Seriously, you’re not going to get to where you’re headed any faster by cutting me off from merging. All you’re going to do is up your already dangerously high blood pressure and risk blowing out that artery twitching in your forehead long before you can tap into your depleted 401k.

So, it’s called the “zipper.” If you’re crawling along in rush hour traffic in the right lane it’s your responsibility, nay, your duty, to allow a car on the on-ramp to merge in front of you.

Learn it. Love it. Live it.

Second verse, same as the first
Oh my god! Everyone run for the hills with your duct tape and antibiotics, the swine flu is gonna get ya. (Note: Neither of these items will actually help you when it comes to swine flu, just wanted to mention that. Yanno, for legal purposes.)

Or, at least that’s what you’d be thinking if you watched the news in the past two days. CNN this morning was like the Swine Flu News Channel (SFNC). I heard news about it on Elliot in the Morning on the drive in. Apparently, according to the report I heard on the radio, the Israeli health minister doesn’t like the idea of “swine flu” because it’s not kosher, and from hence forth, it will be called “Mexican flu” because, yanno, that’s so much less offensive.

But would you like to guess how many people the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are, as of this morning, reporting have come down with the dreaded malady?

Three million? (1 percent of the U.S. population.) No.

Thirty thousand? (1/10,000 of the U.S. population.) No.

Three hundred? (1/1,000,000 of the U.S. population.) No.

The answer? Forty, yes, 40. Four-zero. Just slightly more than one ten-millionth of the American population (13 millionths). Let’s say that number again: ONE TEN-MILLIONTH. (This number should rise significantly, numbers speaking, in the next day or so as tests are completed, but c’mon.)

According to M. Webster, a pandemic is an outbreak occurring over a wide geographic area and affecting an exceptionally high proportion of the population. What does this mean?

According to CDC, malaria is prevalent in areas of the world where about half the population live (3.2 billion). Each year 350 million to 500 million cases of malaria are diagnosed (5.8 percent to 8.3 percent of the world population). One million of these people die, 80 percent living in sub-Saharan Africa.

Funny, CNN isn’t giving this any air time, but let a couple of people in NYC or SoCal get the sniffles? You’ve got yourself a national story of the utmost importance.

Swine flu is the friggin’ flu people. Cover your mouths when you sneeze or cough, keep your fingers out of your nose and eyes and, if you feel like shit?

Don’t. Go. To. Work.

Stay home on the couch, keep a bucket handy and watch some Sports Center and TNT’s “Primetime in the Daytime,” drink lots of fluids and get better. If you don’t feel better, call your doctor. Here’s some more helpful advice from the really, really smart people at CDC.

The pain! The pain!
It starts slow, but spreads quickly. Like a lightning flash, every nerve ending in your body is on fire. It is a pain that can never, ever be equaled.

Guys, you know what I’m talking about.

It’s the pain caused by not being able to play with a new electronic toy because, say, it’s missing the right friggin’ monitor cable.

Making matters worse, the Apple store doesn’t have one in stock.

Ya know what? I’ve been looking forward to my new computer for days. Yesterday, after I saw FedEx had delivered it, I had to hold myself back from leaving work early to go home and play with it.

But when I figured out I couldn’t play with it last night, well, that was like Steve Jobs kicking me in the jimmy.

The pain is almost too much to endure.


Malnurtured Snay said...

Posts like this are why I love the Metro. Even when the trains break down, I can just jump on a bus or walk.

Seriously, though, I used to get the worst road rage. The WORST!

charlotteharris said...

that photo is so deceiving! it's not really that peaceful and pretty down on the highway!

FoggyDew said...

Snay - Metro's not bad, but it's not all that and a bag of chips. It definitely has issues of its own (which will be discussed in a future post).

charlotte - Yanno what I just realized? That's an old, old, old picture of the interchange. No mall, no Fashion Center, no Teeter or BB&B. That pic has got to be from when it was just built way, way back when. When it seemed like a good idea.

Fearless in Toronto said...

I'm reminded of the SARS debacle, when CNN went out of its way to find and film the one or two people in Toronto who were wearing masks. Fear and chaos! Terror in the streets!

No, not so much.

Titania said...

Well, this crunchier being, that is me, who rides blissfully her bike to work so as I can avoid traffic, got stung by a freaking bee in her lower lip this morning while going pretty fast down hill. Almost crashed out of the pain, and still can barely talk because it still hurts like hell (my friends say that I saved a fortune in collagen though). So, there, the bike has her drawbacks too.

I am cranky too.

Ha!! my word today is "underbed"... I always seem to be getting bed-related words from your blog, Foggy.

FoggyDew said...

Fearless - I like CNN, don't get me wrong, but sometimes they press my buttons. Every other word this morn was "swine."

Titiana - Oh, man. Oww. I actually know how that feels, a bee once crawled into my soda can before I took a sip. You'll have to take pictures, of course.

PQ said...

I drive in on 395 everyday. And every morning, I have a moron who thinks that cutting me off from getting on helps him get to work faster.

5 weeks and I won't have to deal with that ever again.

And can we please talk about friggin tour busses in the middle of DC traffic during rush hour? Just.say.no.

Liebchen said...

I stopped listening to all the swine flu updates (or tried to) because it just seems so over the top. Not that it's not a big deal, but....I liked Jon Stewart's coverage of it much better. "No prep schools are safe!"

FoggyDew said...

PQ - Congrats on your deliverence from evil. As for the tour busses, one almost ran me down on my bike on Independence Ave last summer. Bastard.

Liebchen - Yet another reason to send your kids to public schools.

JoLee said...

I think I'm going to load up a van with pigs infected with swine flu, stop in the middle of 395, and let them loose.

Bertinator said...

It also drives me batty when people merge into 1 lane 3 miles before a construction zone and then get bent out of shape if someone actually uses the perfectly good lane that has been vacated. I don't get it, use both lanes and then zipper at the merge. Dammit. (yeah... there was some traffic and construction on the turnpike this weekend)

Malnurtured Snay said...

Foggy -

Oh, I agree with you about the Metro. It has its problems, but even when the train breaks down, if I can't get off, I can still read (hard to do that in a car, especially if you're driving and inch-inch-inching foward in a traffic jam). And it's a lot easier to abandon a train and walk than it is to abandon your car.

FoggyDew said...

JoLee - Just give me a five-minute head start before you "Release the hogs!"

Bert - Welcome, welcome. If only people could figure out how to merge at speed in the last mile or so, that would be wonderful. And, if only your aunt had balls she'd be your uncle.

Snay - True, but if I want to go somewhere at 2 a.m. I can do that in my car. Kind of like the old comparison of a glass pot to a metal one where they melt the metal one in the glass one. True, but let's see which one passes the "drop it 3 feet onto a tile floor" test.

Rio said...

Flogging by T-square relative to user frustration? Like to see that, in the small print, in the road designers contract.

The flu is the flu, each year it gets a new name, new powers and front page media attention - that's what happens when you look at last year to see what you should write about this year. Coming soon - dog attack stories closely followed by how global warning is making the temperature rise - Oh the horror!

LiLu said...

"Getting new kittens" = "swine flu."

Hence why I'm not at work today...