December 4, 2006
Wake Up!! You're Asleep At The Wheel
I95 finally did me in over the weekend. I couldn't do it again if I had too. If you're not white knucklin' the wheel at 85mph just waiting for the brake lights in front to come on hard because the oversized SUV that right lane passed you like you were standing still just rear ended a minivan 5 miles up the road and traffic will be stopped for awhile while they clean car parts off the 8 lanes of traffic doesn't get to ya, the guy who taps his brake every 5 seconds cause he's no more than 3" off the bumper of the car in front of him will.
What really got me this weekend though were the tolls. I spent no less than $40 roundtrip from Hartford, CT to Washington D.C. on the Jersey Turnpike. It's really hard to break even on a trip when the tolls cost 1/2 as much as the gas.
In the course of 20 minutes I went from wandering the east coast and doing alright to owing the Pennsylvania DOT some serious money. Now I realize when you get on the turnpike it's your responsibility to have some change along, maybe some dollar bills or, if you're really in the fast lane, an EZ pass. I started out OK, but when my initial $10 was gone and I was only 1/2 way to DC I thought I could fake it with the nickels and dimes I'd been saving all year in my Gatorade container. A few $3 tolls later and that sucker was emptied dry, that's when they hit me with a big one - $5. Mind you, this is still all in that 20 minute time frame.
It's not easy for a guy who's been living on a credit card to come up with THAT much cash. I've even forgotten how you get it and what it looks like. This is when I discovered I had been doing it all wrong the whole time, ya see, I'm not the owner of the car I'm driving and as a matter of fact, I don't actually know who is. If only I'd realized this sooner, I could have saved sooooo much money the last few months.
Kayla's the real angel of the interstate though. She is really doing her part of keeping things smooth on the tollway. She counted out my $3 in change even as she to posed for her picture - sixty, sixty-five, seventy, eighty, eighty-five, nintey, dollar five... only stopping briefly to smile for her picture. She didn't seem to mind the honking and screaming from three cars back as she coolly counted on - two o five, two ten, two twenty, two twenty-five...
at 3:29 PM