Monday, December 10, 2007


(How's that for a New York Post-inspired title?)

So like touching a bruise, I'm here to recount my commute in last Friday's "monster" snow storm, commiserating with all the others around the state who were trapped in the mess. First, know that my normal ride from here at my palatial office high atop Connecticut Magazine Tower in Trumbull to my modest abode in Shelton is usually about 10 minutes, 12 when it rains.

Last Friday, it took 1 hour and 45 minutes.

And I consider myself among the lucky ones as there was no part during my trip where I crashed into anything or skidded into a ditch. But it was truly like end-of-the-world anarchy out there on the roads -- well, at least in the parking lot that doubled as the Route 8 corridor through Trumbull and Shelton -- as the first snow of the season, Friday night rush hour and holiday madness combined for a perfect storm of traffic.

Now as much as I hate snow, I do enjoy the first snowfall because that's when all the people out there who overpaid for big and shiny new SUVs usually wreck them in their maiden foray onto slippery roads, mainly because they don't understand the First Rule of All-Wheel Traction: "Having four-wheel drive doesn't mean having four-wheel STOP."

In other words, just because you can go fast in the snow doesn't mean you should -- stopping still involves the laws of physics, and if you're going 45 miles an hour on a surface that provides minimal or no friction, all the gas-guzzling, road-clogging, heated-seating, GPS-navigating, quintuple side-curtain airbagging excesses isn't going to stop you before you wrap yourself in a guardrail. Fortunately for me, I learned that years ago when I spun my then-new Toyota 4x4 pickup into a simple curb on an abandoned road one icy January night and came away shaken, but without a scratch.

That being said, I was shocked at how poorly people were driving on Friday night, like it had never snowed in Connecticut before. Do people forget the basic concepts over the summer? Holy guacamole. While I was trying to cross an icy overpass, a car going in the opposite direction actually backed into my lane unannounced and in front of me, and then proceeded to back all the way across overpass -- staying in the wrong lane the whole time. At no point did she pull over or try and turn around. (Oh, and she had kids in the car, too!) People on Route 8 were speeding in the break-down lanes to try and beat the lines of slow-crawling traffic. Craziness.

Fortunately, I was able to get away from the general madness without incident. But to the rest of you out there who weren't as lucky, you have my sympathy. To those of you who seemed determined to make a tough situation impossible, you have my scorn.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ray, don't you know it's a NASCAR nation now, with everyone racing to get somewhere they'd rather not be?

Strap on your helmet and hold on for dear life...this is the state where a governor said it was "stupid" to drive 55.

Fact is people and their cars are the last bastion of personal rights, so they believe they have the right to do as they please and damn the torpedoes. It is sad....cause many of them will end up like their idol Earnhardt, who didn't "turn left."