Commuting Sucks… So Hit the Damn “Snooze…”

You know, I thought this was going to be a good week. So l work full time, so what? I can deal with no Spring Break, just stay out of my way during the week.

The Frey household is usually prepared for anything, and this storm was no exception. No last minute trips to the store for bread and milk for us. We were snowed in Saturday and Sunday, but everyone else was, so no big deal. My Siberian Husky loved it, and we just relaxed and shoveled the driveway and our cars.

The first sign of trouble was Monday morning. I woke up, threw the alarm across the room, went upstairs and looked out the window. Our street wasn’t plowed yet. Great, at least 10 more minutes added to my commute. I started up my car, backed it out, and started down the street, only skidding twice before the corner.

When I finally got out on 236, it looked pretty good, plowed, sanded, and little traffic. It was obvious to me that my usual collection of back roads I use to get to Reston was going to be impassable, so I took the Beltway and the Dulles Toll Road. The Beltway was clear, but the Toll Road was nasty. I finally got to work, and it turned out to be one of those days. For those lowlifes who’ve never worked a day in their lives, let me explain that. Have you ever had a really boring and dull class, where the only thought going through your head is that it’ll be over in an hour? Just multiply that by 8, and you’ll be somewhat close. The way home was easier. The Toll Road and Beltway were completely clear, and I only skidded once.

Tuesday morning dawned as another alarm clock bit the dust. The street still wasn’t plowed, but I could deal with that. My first hint of danger was when I went outside to start my car. The car of one of my neighbors was parked in the street parallel to it, blocking any attempt to get past it. Hmm, I thought, this could he trouble. It was.

Unknown to me at the time was the fact that every idiot with a car was under the mistaken impression that they could drive in the snow. Let me give you a little hint: If you weigh more than your car, stay home. After a good ten minutes to get my neighbor’s car out of the way, I was on my way, or so I thought.

At the end of my street was a hysterical Hispanic woman in a Volkswagen Rabbit, with bald tires. I pushed it out of the way with my pinky, and finally got out on 236, twenty minutes after I started. It was then that I discovered that every idiot with a car was on the road. I couldn’t deal with it for very long, and got off the Beltway after one exit, certain that the back roads couldn’t be as bad as the world’s largest parking lot.

To my surprise and relief, they weren’t. In fact, they were all plowed. I arrived at work half an hour late, only to face another of those days. On the way home, I discovered that my street had finally been plowed. Heck, the rest of the week couldn’t be that bad, could it.

I made a 3 point shot into the trashcan with my alarm clock as Wednesday morning broke. It was raining, but it was above the freezing point. Good, I thought, and it was, at least on the way to work.

Did I mention that I had a dental appointment that day? What kind of masochist invented this torture, where a lady wearing rubber gloves scrapes your teeth for half an hour with sharp metal objects? I don’t know, but my teeth still hurt.

Anyway, on the way home, I found out that rain plus melting snow equals twice as much water. Six inches of water doesn’t seem like much, but a current can change things. I finally made it home, though. I could rest and relax, right? Did I mention that I live in a basement? That leaks? Yes, for the second time in two weeks, one of my rugs got completely soaked. I really hate mopping, too. Oh well.

The alarm clock made a plaintive beep as I flushed it down the toilet to greet Thursday. I mopped again, then set out on my commute, and discovered that any water left on the ground had frozen into ice patches, as I slid into work. It was another of those days. Actually, it wasn’t.

I’m working on a project where Thursday I performed the intellectual equivalent of banging my head against the wall. What fun. The temperature never got above the freezing point, so the ice was still there in the evening. Yuck.

A 60 ton weight did not destroy the alarm clock on Friday, so I was forced to call in a tactical nuclear strike, code named “The Big Snooze”. The ice was still there, and it was another of those days, but it was the last one.

Let me give a piece of advice to all people who drive in the left lane. If you’re not doing at least the speed limit, GET OUT OF MY WAY!!! This week was probably payback for a couple of good weekends, but it still sucked. If you can, I advise you to spend an extra year or two at school, just to put off having to commute.

[Originally published in Expulsion, an independent George Mason University student newspaper]