Monday, December 20, 2004

Let it Snow, Let it Snow

Winter finally hit NYC last night. Overnight, the temperatures dropped nearly 30 degrees and we even got our first snowfall of the season. It was more of a dusting than a full blown storm, but that didn't stop the people driving in this morning from acting as if it was the second ice age. The highway departments of nearly every town seemed to ignore the week-long weather forecasts that warned of snow and were apparently surprised to awaken this morning to see that funny white stuff on the ground. Mobilizing with their usual vim and vigor, they began working at the beginning of rush hour thereby ensuring long delays and, I'm certain, more overtime pay for themselves. Of course, there were only about two inches of snow on the ground, so we should have been able to drive through it reasonably quickly. However, many of my fellow drivers seemed to be channeling their 80 year old grandparents and so they drove 3 miles per hour with their noses pressed against the windshield. I swear that I saw a kid on a tricycle pass me as I drove down the Long Island Expressway. Its times like these that I wish I owned a tank so that I could simply roll over the idiots in front of me and get to where I'm going.

I know, I know. It's wrong of me to think that way. Part of the joy of life is the journey. I should simply relax and enjoy the trip without worrying about what time I get there. You see, the problem with that kind of logic is that it's stupid. I don't mind the journey as long as I am moving, but its hard to love sitting in traffic sucking on carbon monoxide fumes while trapped between two morons. On my right, the driver was picking his nose and thoughtfully examining each nugget that he dug out. Look away, you say? I tried but I couldn't. It was like watching a train wreck. As nauseating as it is, you can't seem to tear your eyes away from the spectacle. On the other side of me, the driver seemed to be warming up for her American Idol audition, blasting her radio and singing so loudly and off key that my windows threatened to shatter.

After all of this, I finally got to the train station to begin the second leg of my journey only to watch in dismay as the train pulled off just as I pulled into the parking lot. Now the LIRR has difficulty getting the trains to run on time on beautiful days, but somehow they always get it right on the worst days of the year...or so I thought. As walked up to look at the schedule to see when the next train was coming, I noticed that the departing train had stopped just past the platform, thereby ensuring that nobody else could get on, even though they weren't able to proceed any further. I half expected to see the conductors looking out the back window and laughing at those of us left behind to freeze before giving us the finger and mooning us.

Fortunately, the train eventually moved on and the next train arrived only about 20 minutes later. The forced bonding that took place in the barely heated waiting room was more than I could stomach after my annoying drive over, and so I stood quietly as my fellow commuters shared stories about their hellish commutes, the train they normally took, and how being late was going to throw off their day. See how lucky you are? I saved my commute story for the blog. Anyway, all of this camaraderie quickly vanished as the next train arrived at the station and people began fighting to get on as if it were the last chopper out of Saigon.

So much for the holiday spirit. Hopefully Santa wasn't watching.