05 February 2009

"I been in the right place but it must have been the wrong time" --Dr. John



Tuesday night I am driving home on the Beltway when all four lanes of traffic come to a halt. Urg. After a bit, emergency vehicles whip by on the shoulder, then, ten minutes later we see more on the median. Double urg. As irritating as it is to be stuck in traffic, someone is having a much worse evening than us merely annoyed commuters.

We inch forward. We do that weavy thing where some cars hug the right side of the lane and some hug the left side of the lane just to try to get a glimpse of whatever is causing this. We can't see it; just a sea of tail lights. It takes over an hour of inching along to get up to and past the problem.

In the meantime, there is much jockeying between lanes. I am impressed that, for the most part, people are not being jerks. They are signaling before they switch lanes. They are allowing for others to get over into their lanes. (We're living in a society here!)

But well into the hour, I notice an entrance ramp on the right. And the reason it catches my eye: Someone has decided to use the ENTRANCE ramp to get OFF the Beltway. Clearly they recognize that it is not an exit ramp because THEY ARE BACKING UP! Yes. They are backing up on the shoulder --thank god for the shoulder-- of the rather long entrance ramp.

This seems to me to be incredibly dangerous, illegal, and --though I risk insulting readers here-- just plain stupid.

Does this make sense to anybody? Have you done this? Would you do this? How bad would you need a bathroom to try something like this? Wouldn't the scare of doing this defeat the need to get to a bathroom?

18 comments:

*Jac* said...

I've done it once. But only because the person in front of me was too and I was scared he was going to hit me if I didn't move. 95 was backed up so we backed off and took back roads home. Not sure if I'd ever do it just to go to the bathroom.

f.B said...

it does not make sense. i have not done it. i would not do it. not badly enough. yes.

briankainec.com said...

I've been there before. I got caught in a traffic jam before with a bad case of "gotta go". You'll do crazy stuff to find a toilet when you really have to.

Liebchen said...

I've had to pee really bad before, but I've NEVER been so bold as to back up the entrance ramp! I've never had to go that bad...

The Pumpernickel said...

I would sooner pee into a empty soda bottle before I did that.

If I had to choose between dying because of stupidity and wetting myself, I choose wetting myself.

fiona said...

It makes no sense.
I have not done this...have I?
I would not do this...again
I too would pee into an empty soda bottle before doing this,the diarrhea" might be a a bit trickier but you know me I would TRY!

Mike said...

LOL That sign is GREAT. I saw that and started laughing. Talk about to the point. They could just put that on all their little signs and be done with it.

PQ said...

I've never done it and wouldn't do it...No sir.

If I have to pee...I have to pee. I can clean my car...It's harder to scrape my remains off the side of the road when the big 18-wheeler crushes my car as I'm backing up.

Driving in this area SUCKS.

Kate said...

I did it once in New Haven. I had to make a train, got lost and almost ended up on the highway. I knew I would miss the train if I got on the highway, so I backed down the entrance ramp. It would take a lot for me to do that again.

Barbara said...

I say you pee on the side of the road before you back up an entrance ramp. That sounds suicidal to me!

rs27 said...

Traffic on the Beltway? This is the first I've heard of such thing.

Jay Reeder said...

Stopping on the side of the highway to pee is almost a tradition in Europe.

In the USA, it's a "public urination" charge that will get you jail time and hang a sex-offender label on you for life.

Bilbo said...

Actually, I see people backing up on the Beltway fairly often to get off at exits they missed. But using an Entrance ramp as an Exit is definitely a new one. I predict an eventual Darwin Award.

Kate said...

This is why I live in the wild west where there's no traffic except for Sturgis in August. Then I just leave the state.

lacochran said...

*Jac*, briankainec.com, Kate: Congratulations on surviving.

f.B: Thanks for weighing in and you get extra credit points for completeness.

Liebchen: Same here.

The Pumpernickel, Fiona: I think you would wet yourself if you used a soda bottle. Narrow target. Just sayin...

Mike: But then you'd no longer see it.

PQ: Thanks for weighing in.

Barbara: I'm with you.

Rs27: It's a local phenomenon. I wouldn't expect you LA types to get it.

Jay Reeder: We do have our hang ups here.

Bilbo: I'd put money on it.

Kate: What's a Sturgis? Sounds like a fish.

Kristin said...

I think I'd probably just pee in my car. It's a Jeep; it's rugged. And I'd prefer that to backing down an on ramp.

Of course, I drive a Jeep. I'd probably offroad before peeing in my seat. I think.

emma said...

Sounds utterly idiotic. Or maybe I'm just jealous. I'd never have the balls to endanger myself and others like that, and I'm not a good enough stunt driver.

lacochran's evil twin said...

Kristin, Emma: Thanks for weighing in. :)