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Stuck in a Jam?

Updated on August 3, 2022
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LA is a creative writer from the greater Boston area of Massachusetts.

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What Not To Do

If you’re like me, you hate the summer. You hate it not because of the weather (Even when you’re suffering from heat stroke and are burnt to a crisp, the weather still gets a thumbs up.). You hate it not because of the mosquitoes (Who needs every pint of their blood anyway?). You hate it not because of increase in the noise level of your neighborhood (Mowing your lawn at 7 am is just making good use of your time, right?). No, you hate it because of the traffic. Everywhere you go, regardless of the time of day or day of the week, you are surrounded by traffic. It is frustrating (even when the guy behind you keeps his filthy hands off of his freakishly puny sounding horn). It is unfair (You left an hour early and lost sleep for this?). Yet, from late May to early September, it’s life. In the hopes that it will both give you a laugh and give you something to consider when you’re stuck in yet another traffic jam, I give you the following ten tips on what not to do when you’re stuck in traffic.

  1. Don’t Beep Your Horn

    Though it helps to relieve some tension and gives you something to do, don’t beep at the cars in front of you when you’re in a traffic jam. Yes, the light may have changed. However, there’s no place for the cars to move to. You’ll just annoy people further and look like an idiot. In general, try not to beep your horn. I’m pretty sure that horns were created so that drivers could warn pedestrians and other drivers to get out of the way before an accident occurs. The likelihood that they were created so that you could make the car in front of you move an inch or let another driver know you were about to flip them off is pretty slim. Be respectful of others and they’ll be respectful of you.

  2. Don’t Have A Cookout

    Sure you’re hungry, but so is everyone else. Unless you brought enough hotdogs and hamburgers for everyone, don’t remove your hibachi grill and smokeless charcoal briquettes from the trunk. You don’t want to start a riot.

  3. Don’t Knock On Others’ Windows

    Tempted as you are, don’t get out of your car and knock on other peoples’ windows. Yes, you’re bored and want to talk to someone. However, this is why cell phones were created. Instead of annoying the guy in the car next to you and startling his dog and/or spouse, remain in your car and give your aunt a call. You don’t call her as often as you should. She gets lonely you know.

  4. Don’t Pop Inflatable Toys

    Though you know it’s not real, the inflatable dragon in the car in front of you has been staring at you for over an hour. Despite repeatedly telling it to look away, it just keeps staring. Frustrated, you get out of your car, reach through the back window and pop it with a pen. The parents yell at you. The kids cry and call you names. Things get really messy. Worst of all, the eyes of the deflated dragon are still staring at you. You shouldn’t have popped that toy. In the future, I suggest you fantasize about popping toys instead of actually doing it. It passes the time, keeps you out of trouble and allows the toy to live another day. You just can’t lose when you fantasize.

  5. Don’t Go For A Run

    As you left the house early today, you never got a chance to go for your morning run. You decide that instead of continuing to wait, you’ll get out of your car and run around the block once. No one has moved in twenty minutes. How likely is it that they’ll move in five? Honestly, I would say very likely. The second you’re halfway around the block, the cars will start to move and the horns will start honking. Without meaning to, you will have started another jam. Shame on you for always thinking of yourself!

  6. Don’t Yodel Out The Window

    True, you’ve won awards for your yodeling. Unfortunately, only a select group of people will appreciate this and, sadly, none of them are in the traffic jam. You’re welcome to do some yodeling with the windows up though. Even though you can’t amuse others with your talent, there’s no reason why you can’t amuse yourself. Be proud of your yodeling no matter where you are.

  7. Don’t Prank Call News Stations

    You have an interesting sense of humor. To pass the time, you decide to call the local news station and tell them why exactly there is a traffic jam on such and such street/road/highway. In truth, it is just because a construction crew is working on a part of it. However, you tell them it’s because two medieval re-enactors are dueling on top of the cars and everyone is too afraid to move. Though the news vans will cause even more of a jam, just to see the look on their faces when they see that they were sent on a wild goose chase will be worth the wait. Anything for a laugh, right?

  8. Don’t Go To The Bathroom

    You’ve been holding it for an hour and you don’t think you can hold it a minute more. Lucky for you, your car is in the lane closest to the bushes. Though you’ve never done it before, you decide to get out of your car and pee in the bushes. It’s a odd experience, but the end result is fantastic. Well, it is at least until you get back to your car and all of the drivers and passengers of the cars behind you are laughing and pointing at you. Apparently, while the bushes blocked the view of most of the cars, it didn’t block all of them. You’ve just showed a line of cars what your parents gave you. Your bladder may be happy now, but you’ve never been so embarrassed in your whole life. Yes, emergencies do happen. No, people shouldn’t be looking. Still, people are nosey and it’s gross to pee on the side of the road. Next time, I suggest you buy one of those products that you put in your pants when you’re going on road trips that allows you to have “an accident” without the mess. It will save you time and keep your private areas private.

  9. Don’t Repair Your Car

    Seeing the mile of cars in front of you and realizing you’re going to be here a lot longer, you pop open the hood of your car and go to your trunk to get some washer fluid. Suddenly, the cars behind you begin to merge into the lane beside you. One driver yells, “Great time for your car to die, huh?” Another yells “Get that piece of shit out of the road!” You try to tell them that your car is fine and that you just wanted to add some washer fluid, but they are too busy yelling at you and cutting you in line. While it’s tempting to do some light maintenance while you’re in traffic, don’t do it. People will do anything to move ahead in line. Don’t get stuck on the side of the road just because you wanted to use your time wisely. Just stay in your car. The washer fluid can wait.

  10. Don’t Become Intimate

    As gross as it sounds, I’ve seen people “getting it on” while in traffic. Well, to be completely honest with you, I’ve heard people honking and looked around for the reason why to find that other drivers are watching a couple in another car doing this. I know you and your partner may feel passionate about each other and can’t wait until you’re in a private area to do your thing. However, such an intimate act shouldn’t be taking place in such a public area. True, people should mind their own business. However, people rarely do. With this in mind, the next time that you feel the urge to have "special fun" with your significant other while you’re in traffic, don’t do it. It’s unsafe and cheap.

Traffic jams are not fun. They take up your time and slap around your good mood. The next time you’re in one, I suggest you take a deep breath, turn on your air conditioner and ignore everyone around you. Most importantly, resist the urge to get out of your car, reach through the window of the car behind you and bash that driver’s head against his horn. The police will only take his side. Trust me.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2009 L A Walsh


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