Wednesday, January 3, 2007

The journey of a thousand miles begins with defrosting the windshield then driving to the ferry

I'm looking for an HTML tag that will say X-TREEM in that phlegmy cookie-monster voice they use in car commercials and wrestling and — what, I don't know — ATV ads, so that I can accurately describe my commute. Maybe with a little echo -- but not too much echo. I wouldn't want to overstate the case. My commute is only the second-longest in the nation.

Why? Maybe it's something about me. I did live in a car one summer, driving someplace new every day. Yeah, and I remember now I always longed to be a nomad, that must be it, I'm descended from some tribe of itinerant editors who navigated the alleys of olde Shiteburgh looking for jobs and grammatical errors. As a lad, they would often find me waiting for trains in inappropriate places, “briefcase” (usually a clump of leaves or bark) in hand, pensively tapping my foot and looking at my “watch” (often, sadly, just my bare wrist). And when no train appeared, how I would sigh and go back to reading my “newspaper” (usually the NY Post).

As whines go, “I have the second-longest average commute in America” is not quite up there with “I’m from Staten Island,” which means that, after you endure the nation’s actual first-longest average commute, you still might get killed. And even if you make it, you're home...on Staten Island. Nor is my twice-daily trip as harrowing as a train ride out to ol’ Sucat, but if you're used to being coddled and if no one throws excrement at you on even your worst days, two hours by car-boat-train-train-foot, twice a day, can start to wear down even the most stalwart traveler.

Of course, then there’s this feller, who is probably on the road this very second and feeling pretty stupid now that the prize money’s all been converted to carbon and fumes. I'll bet he's pounding on the steering wheel and screaming at someone blocking an intersection.

It's amazing what we'll do to get to work...but I suppose it's all worth it if you love your job.

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