Sunday, June 28, 2009

Things I learn on I-95

Over the last three years I have driven up and down I-95 hundreds of times; from Philly to New York, from Philly to Richmond, and most often, from Philly to DC and back.

Useless fact: It is exactly 90 miles from my house to the entrance of the tunnel at Baltimore. Not 90.1 or 89.8, but 90!

I'v driven up and down 95 over and over and over, at all times of the day, night and those odd hours of the early morning when radio frequency propagation allows one to listen to all those crazy shows (about aliens and the coming Rapture) that seem to be popular in the Midwest.

Every time that I'm on I-95 at 4AM, I am always amazed by the number of cars on the road. Who in the hell are all those people and where are they fucking going so early in the morning? I sometimes wonder if they think the same questions about me as we exchange glances as we pass each other.

That New York to the South I-95 corridor has many interesting nuances, twists and turns, as well as several rip offs, most notably the entire state of Delaware, so proud of the fact that they have no taxes.

I know why Delaware has no sales taxes.

It is because the entire state's budget is completely accounted and paid for by the multiple tolls that they charge for the privilege of driving on I-95 through all 600 feet of Delaware; multiple tolls!

The billions of dollars in tolls that Delaware gets sounds like a lot of money, but that monetary candy store pales in comparison to the trillions of wasted hours that drivers pile on as they wait in the never ending lines in Delaware tolls.

I have one of those electronic "easy pass" badges on my windshield that allows me to drive through the special gates, but even those gates often back up as the I-95 cash cow devours billions in tolls.

I have also learned many things as I observe life behind the metal and glass super space ship that is my minivan.

Today, for miles I wind-drafted behind a speeding Megabus making its run between NYC and DC.

Megabus DriverFor the first time I noticed how scary the Megabus driver icon is when blown to bus-sized proportions. The entire rear of the huge bus is painted with the pig-colored face of the megabus icon driver, his scary blue eyes staring at me as I tail the bus; big smile on his face.

A huge, huge face staring at me; his belt-buckle at the bottom of the bus, and his yellow hat at the top, the rest is mostly a huge, huge, pink face, a scary smile and even scarier eyes.

And then I noticed that he is wearing earrings!

Not just any earrings, but bright, ruby red earrings!

You see, when the huge image was spray painted or glued on, or however they apply those images onto the bus surfaces, the driver's two earlobes align perfectly with the monster bus's upper rear brake lights.

And every time the bus's real driver steps on the brakes, his caricature icon guy on the rear has red earrings that illuminate and glow bright red!

The megabus driver has earrings! That's why he is smiling! And I am no longer a little afraid of him.

Things learned on I-95.