Yesterday I had to drop my husband off at the airport which meant I had to pull myself out of bed at the unbearable hour of 6:15 am. Now I realize that in a week, getting up at 6:15 will seem like heaven to me as my alarm will be blaring much closer to 5:30, but after a summer where my son has learned to sleep until 7, 8 or even nearly 9 am, 6:15 felt really early.
Although his flight didn’t leave until 8:15, I wanted to get him there a good hour early so he’d have plenty of time to check in, get through security and maybe even get a cup of coffee before boarding his plane. This was a good plan in theory. However, instead of getting up at 6 am like I’d set his alarm, he decided to lay in bed with me until 6:15, swearing he could be ready to go in 15 minutes. I knew I could be. All I was doing was putting my contacts in, brushing my teeth and pulling jeans on instead of my bedtime boxers. I accomplished all this in under 10 minutes. He, on the other hand, took over 30 to be ready to go. This put us behind.
In spite of this minor set back, there appeared to be little traffic on the road and we found ourselves zipping along the interstate toward the airport. The trip usually takes 20-30 minutes depending on traffic and we were making great time. That is until we hit traffic three exits from our destination. All three lanes came to a near grinding halt. We couldn’t see any problems ahead, but it was dark and red lights stretched on for what appeared to be miles. Not long after we basically parked our car, a cop appeared in my rearview mirror, trying to make his way down the far left lane rather than use the obviously empty median one. I immediately got over and stayed over. It turned out to be a good move as when we finally got to the accident, it had the far left lane blocked.
The accident itself was one of those real head scratchers. It involved only one vehicle, a white pick up truck. The reason the traffic was inching along was because the truck’s front end was sticking out about half way into the far lane. It was also missing the back tire, and I don’t mean it was flat…the entire tire was just gone. There was a dent in the bed of the truck, near the missing tire. Without hitting another car, I’m not quite sure how the truck could have sustained the damage it did or ended up facing the direction it was. Not that it mattered, as soon as I passed the truck, the lane opened up and traffic sped right back up. We were at the terminal in minutes.
All this would have added up to no more than a meer annoyance if it weren’t for the ride home. As soon as I pulled back on the highway after kissing my sweetie goodbye, my car was thrown back into park. This time my car actually came to a full stop. I sat there for a few seconds, creeped half an inch forward and then sat again. This went one for the next three exits. I tried to convince myself there was another accident just up the road. After all, how could three lanes of traffic with no obstructions in their path slow to a speed below that of the three opposite lanes which contain a partially wrecked car? One word: rubberneckers.
Yes, that’s right, there was no accident on my side of the median. There wasn’t even any debris. The accident, as mentioned earlier, was a particularly lame one with only one cop in attendance. Nothing was on fire. No ambulances or fire trucks had joined up by the time I finally passed it. The back end damage couldn’t even be seen by people on my side. The only view was a very calm man talking to a police officer. He wasn’t even gesticulating wildly. And yet my side of the highway was at a near dead stop. Once again as soon as the accident was behind me, I was able to speed right back home.
I understand human beings have a bit of a fascination with the macabre, but this was just pathetic. I never chose to slow down at accident sites like this one, but because the heard in front of me does, I have no choice lest I cause another one. But come on people, even a long look at this accident shouldn’t have caused the speeds to drop below 40. This town has too many annoying drivers!