Sunday, January 25, 2009

Tunnel vision . . .

. . . or, "Why I sat in traffic for almost an hour today.

We have tunnels here. More tunnels than bridges because of the large amount of military and commercial ship traffic. Tunnels are less of a bother to ships than bridges.

And that's all OK, except people do funny things at tunnels.

Some folks get halfway through and stop. Frozen and unable to continue. Then traffic stops while a tender clears the jam behind them and takes them out.

People slow down at the tunnel's mouth. I guess because the dark entrance looks like a portal to Old Scratch's anteroom.

Trucks too tall for the tunnels drive in and wedge themselves. Nevermind that there are warning signs with the exact clearance for miles before.

Today was a new experience.

As I approached the downtown Norfolk tunnel, all traffic came to a halt. A car in the leftmost lane appeared to have a flat tire. The car was stopped next to a wide apron between the two tunnels. No problem, says I. They can pull it over there and we're on our way.

Wrong. I tend to be logical, but often logic does not govern. The tunnel minders proceeded to bring up a service truck, jack up the car, and change the tire RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FREAKING INTERSTATE.

Two lanes of freeway traffic were held up for almost an hour while the car owner and lots of guys-in-yellow-jumpsuits first had a cabinet meeting to determine strategy, then became shade-tree mechanics while hundreds of not-so-amused drivers sat and watched.

Ron White is correct. You just can't fix stupid.