Friday, September 9, 2011

Making the Most of Your Commute: A Simple Guide to Becoming A Road Warrior.

It’s inevitable: if you live in America, and you have a car, you will fall prey to traffic at some point in your life. There are no if’s and’s or but’s about it, traffic is a beastly monster that crawls under the hood of every car, releasing poisonous fumes into circulating vents, thus causing a major delay in your brain. Hence, traffic is born—a  new monster created everyday capable of taking out even the most harmless of creatures. Overcoming the monotonous, terrifying beast is vital for your survival. And, I assume you want to survive your commute, so taking this advice may be your only hope. 

Terms for Survival:

A commuter—one who drives a distance longer than 30minutes between 3-5 days a week for work and/or school.  Common characteristics of a commuter may include: tunnel vision, reading, swerving in a dazed stupor, and expressing road rage through a series of gestures and words.

A road warrior—one who has surpassed the dullness of a commuter with god-like qualities. They can often be compared to Jeff Gordon, dragons and Yoda alike. Using their creative whit and brute strength, these individuals always manage to put the entertainment of others before there own needs. Laughing in the face of danger is always a must.

For your transformation from normal commuter to road warrior, here is what you need to know:

Honk your horn frequently and often. This will insure that you get the attention of everyone, including yourself. You want to be awake and present for anything. After all, you are a warrior, and warriors don’t let people idly pass—you want attention! Popularity is an important quality that road warriors crave. And, if you honk, heads will be naturally inclined to turn in your direction.  So, honk that horn. Honk at cops, honk at old drivers, honk at pedestrians—but make sure you choose wisely the tone of each honk because each one is an extension of your personality.

Drive it like you stole it (and when I say “it” I mean your car, of course).  To ensure maximum use of the on-ramp, slam your foot on the petal and turn your wheel sharply (in the direction of the freeway, of course) to insure you get the most squealing potential.  “Where your eyes go, your car goes” (The Art of Racing in the Rain, Garth Stein)—it’s open road and it’s yours for the taking. People will get out of your way (and if they don’t, you both have an immediate problem on your hands). The friction of rubber against pavement will either light the underbelly of your car on fire or send the people behind you into a smoke induced coma. To be honest, you will probably find the latter to be more common, but that doesn’t mean putting your car into an induced blaze of glory isn’t possible—dragons can do it, so road warriors must fall into this greatness pool as well.

Weave in and out of the carpool lane during rush hour.  This will provide you with entertainment typically between the hours of 6am-9am. If it is no longer the allotted carpool time during your commute and you are preceding to continue this advice, stop. You are no longer a warrior; you are a fool. The damage will be irreparable.  However, swerving in and out of the carpool lane during traffic is the way of the warrior. It is cool. People will look at you with admonishment and adoration. Many will think, “Cool! I wish I could do that!” and others will furrow their brows and communicate awful words that cannot be repeated on this page. Both qualities are required for the mightiest of warriors. At this point, you may be thinking: what about the cops? Well, what about them? They are drones of the commute too. Becoming a warrior creates an impenetrable force field of awesomeness—cops and morons alike will bounce off your shield like a hockey puck reverberating off of a wall.

Like the carpool lane, you can also use the shoulder at will. Besides that little white line creating an invisible barrier, you have NOTHING blocking your way to instant gratification.  So, be gratified. Spread your wings; honk your horn, and swerve from the carpool lane into the shoulder. After all, America is all about instant gratification, and your wish, as a warrior, is to be gratified.

You are a warrior—paralleled to the great Yoda himself— so if you truly wish, you too can BE traffic. Slam on your breaks, frequently and often.  Swerve into the onramps at massive and uncontrollable speeds; blindside those who wish to be a warrior but undeniably remain a commuter. What you decided is the inevitable; nobody can escape the glory that is you.

Simply: If you don’t become a road warrior during your morning drive, you will not survive. The vicious fumes of the traffic monster (which you could have had the choice to create) will eat at your soul giving you little ambition to continue on the path set before you.

So, what will you chose to be? Road Warrior? Or Commuter?

PS. As a road warrior, I must heed this warning-- if for some reason, you do find yourself in flames or rundown by the cops, it's because you weren't reading between the lines. So please, be careful with the weapon that is you. 

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