Friday, December 19, 2008

Fantasy Traffic With Alicia Roberts

Alicia: Let’s cut to Copter Cal for a live report from Pasco County. How are things moving this morning, Cal?
Cal: (whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup) Good morning, Alicia. Right now we’re looking down at Massachusetts, and it looks like the cars are trying to navigate through an ocean of goo.
Alicia: Things are moving pretty slowly, then.
Cal: (whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup) Barely moving, Alicia, at least the eastbound lane. Westbound is moving better.
Alicia: What exactly is causing the slowdown, Cal? Has there been an accident?
Cal: (whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup) No, Alicia, no accidents. The problem is a common one. There’s a slow moving car, a white minivan/SUV cross, in the left lane and its driver seems unwilling to pass the car in the right lane that it’s coupled with. Their theme song, if they had a chance to choose one, would undoubtedly be “I Love A Parade” because cars are lined up for three miles behind them and, I don't know if you can hear it, there is a lot of frustrated horn honking going on.
Alicia: You know, Cal, I had an uncle who was blind in his right eye and he used to say that he preferred driving in the left lane. Maybe the driver of the minivan is blind in one eye.
Cal: (whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup) I doubt that, Alicia. More likely, she intends to make a left turn onto Little Road three miles up the road and is in the left lane preparing for that.
Alicia: So what’s your recommendation, Cal? An alternate route?
Cal: (whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup) No, seeing as it’s December, you might as well just fall in line and be patient. Copter Cal’s Equalization Theory applies.
Alicia: And that theory is?
Cal: (whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup) The theory states that after December 1st, because of the proliferation of discourteous, self-absorbed drivers, otherwise known as Snowbirds, it doesn’t matter what route you take or what lane you’re in – you’re always going to run about ten minutes late.
Alicia: So, the answer is “Leave early and give yourself plenty of time.”
Cal: (whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup) Yes, Alicia, that’s about it. Okay, now, we’ve run into a similar situation heading north on Little Road in Hudson. Now, the left lane is occupied by a silver SUV, plate number I10CB… I can’t make out that last letter. It looks like a J or a T. She also has that parade thing going on.
Alicia: Does it look like she’s preparing to make a left hand turn?
Cal: (whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup) No, Alicia, she’s busy talking on her cell phone. This is a common problem that we all encounter every day. People who talk on their cell phones while driving typically abandon their driving personas and slip into one of their other personas.
Alicia: That’s an interesting way to describe it, Cal.
Cal: (whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup) Some sociologists postulate that each of us are composites of various roles we play. For example, in one role, I’m a father, in another role, I’m a husband, in another, I’m Copter Cal the weather guy. For each role, I project a different persona. Similarly, people used to slip into their driving personas when they slid in behind the wheels of their vehicles. Now, however, confusion can develop depending on who they are talking to on their phones. Say, for instance, this young lady is talking to her boss. She, by necessity, has had to abandon her driving persona in favor of her professional business persona.
Alicia: Which means?
Cal: (whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup-whup) T.A.S.U., Alicia. Drive at your own friggin’ risk – Traffic’s All Screwed Up!
Alicia: Thanks, Cal. Well, you heard him folks, there's nothing unusual to report at this hour. Stay tuned for the next update.

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