07 March 2008

Another DC Commute: A Play in Three Acts

Act I:
I am on the BW Parkway entering the district in heavy traffic during evening rush hour. Here's what it looks like:

I am in the fast lane --yeahyeahwhatever-- behind a van. There are vehicles all around us and we are going about 60 MPH. I see out of the corner of my eye that the far right lane, the merge lane, is disappearing and people are working the merge.

In other locations people merge. Here people "work the merge." If you drive around DC, you know what I'm talking about. It's like when they went to driver's ed, the instructor defined merging as "stay in the merge lane until the last possible second and then plow on over because you have the right of way." But I digress...

So a reasonable driver (clearly one who took Drivers Ed in the mid-west somewhere), at the front of the line of mergers, puts his signal on and merges into the logical gap, like so:

Act II:
I see the jerk in the truck who is next in line to merge, who I'll affectionately call Truck Jerk, decide to speed up and get in front of Reasonable Driver, despite two facts: 1) there is plenty of room to merge a few cars back and 2) there is no room to merge in front of Reasonable Driver. This forces Reasonable Driver, and several cars behind him, to slam on their brakes to make room. At this point I ease off the accelerator.

Sure enough, he's not done. Truck Jerk proceeds to, then, badly --like within inches-- cut off the van in front of me, represented thusly:

Act III:
Van Guy transmogrifies instantly into Road Rage Guy and tailgates Truck Jerk for MILES on the constructiony, two laney BW Parkway. I back the heck up and give them room to have their joust and they do. They whip around each other, gesticulating wildly, swerving close to each other, cutting each other off, all in the midsts of heavy traffic.

It is another DC commute.

The end.


aijuswanawrite said...

brilliant theater. and strikingly familiar; it's like i've seen this play before...

lacochran said...

It is a classic and oft-repeated DC tale.

Thanks for your comment. :)