Wednesday, June 27, 2012

If I Did The Morning Traffic Report

Public Domain use image from Wikipedia

Every morning on my drive in from Hamilton to Toronto, I love listening to Ben, Kerry & Shawna of Y108, a Hamilton rock radio station. Their fun banter helps alleviate the morning traffic blahs.  And the regular traffic reports by the chipper Cara Graham are something I also appreciate. 

Cara's pleasant voice makes even the bad news seem not as grim.  But, with all due respect, I think about how Cara and other morning traffic reporters tend to sugar-coat the morning traffic with terms such as "seeing a bit of volume" and "starting to fill in" rather than what it really means.

That's why, if I were doing the morning traffic, I'd be a bit more tempted for it to sound like this.

Good morning, this is Mark Leslie, your Y108 traffic reporter. Yes, I know, this job is like being the weather man when all you have is constant showers on the weekend. But suck it up, sunshine, you've got to head in to work and the truth is, it's not going to be a pleasant drive at all.  Here's the dirt:

The QEW coming in on the Skyway bridge is starting to fill in. And by fill in, I mean it's looking like the parking situation in the neighbourhood near Ivor Wynne stadium just before a big game.  You'd be better off jumping off the bridge onto a canoe and paddling your way in to downtown Toronto.

We're seeing a bit of volume where the QEW and 403 meet in Burlington. And by volume I mean the loud screams of the drivers who are yelling at each other because of the idiots who don't use their signal and cut everyone else off by racing up the merge lane and cutting in at the last minute.  At this point you'll likely be kicking yourself that you didn't take the 407 toll highway.

By the time you pass Walker's Line you're really better off just parking your car and getting out and walking -- you'll get there faster.  Between Appleby and Burloak you'll find there are more jackasses whose constant lane changes end up slowing down two full lanes of traffic.

As you near Erin Mills you'll come to realize that traffic is at a dead stop because 5 years ago some idiot slowed because they saw a shiny object on the side of the road that they thought was a penny.  Experts estimate that we'll still be seeing the effects of that slow down for another three years.

Heading further into Mississauga you might as well put your car in reverse -- that'll likely get you to your destination faster. If you take a glance out your window, you might just see a chain of ants zipping past your car.  Seriously, there's no other way to describe the traffic at this point other than stupid.

And if you make it all the way to the Gardner without repeatedly banging your head into a bloody pulp on the dashboard out of sheer frustration or having a stroke because of your consistently elevated blood pressure, you might want to pull the horseshoe out of your ass and stop in at the nearest convenience store to buy a lottery ticket for this week's Lotto 649, which is bringing you this morning's traffic report.  

Lotto 649:  Just imagine not having to deal with this bullshit.

And that's what my morning traffic report would be.  Simple. Honest. And pointing fingers at the small handful of idiots who make the drive worse for pretty much everyone else because of their selfishness.  I'm pretty sure there's a special place in hell reserved for these assholes. 

Of course, my positive attitude about the whole thing is which is why I'll never get a stint as a traffic reporter.

All joking aside, getting frustrated just causes more grey hair.  Which is why, after ten to fifteen minutes of getting my morning fix of the cool folks at Y108, I tend to sit back and relax and listen to an audio book in the car.  I figure, if I'm going to be stuck in traffic, I might as well do something productive and useful such as "read" a book.  Of course, this morning, having already finished the latest audio book in my queue, I composed this blog post in my head.


Jess Legacy said...

It's great reminders like this that make me happy to be out of the city. Even when I do have to commute in, I'd rather spend two hours on the zippy highway than an hour in gridlock traffic. Audiobooks definitely help though. Do you have any recommendations? I've been listening to a lot of mid nineties murder mysteries lately.

Mark Leslie said...

Hi Jess - I'm a big fan of Michael Connelly's novels, the Harry Bosch series in particular (which is celebrating 20 years this year - The Black Echo was his first novel) - lots of great stuff there. If you like great thriller/mysteries then check out Linwood Barclay as well. He has several fantastic stand-alones, and I'm still a fan of his four book humorous mystery series: BAD MOVE, BAD GUYS, LONE WOLF and STONE RAIN.

For non-fiction, virtually any of Mary Roach's books are wonderful to listen to: STIFF, SPOOK, SPACE (she's informative and entertaining with a wonderful low brow sense of humour).

And if you haven't already read READY PLAYER ONE (a tribute to 80's geek culture - Pacman, video games & John Hughes movies), it is read by Wil Wheaton, who is the perfect narrator for this novel.