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Things seen at rush hour on an American interstate in CA

Posted 05-08-2015 at 02:03 AM by artemis
Updated 05-08-2015 at 02:10 AM by artemis
I have never commuted by car for work all my working life until this job for the past 1.5 years or so.. I used to understand the term rush hour but now I really get the stress of just sitting for 50-60 minutes when the drive should take 20-25 minutes. I listen to tons of audiobooks or NPR or classical music : all this keeps me awake! Believe it or not.

So I observe people in other cars... Some times people smile when you let them into your lane & people smile at the sticker at the back of my little mini.
Here is a random list of things that I've observed people do while driving @ between 5-15 mph...

The usual: drinking a beverage or water; eating easy things like chips, fruit, cookies, candy; singing loudly to music; playing with their hair or adjusting a baseball hat; talking on phone with hands free or headset; talking to a child in a car seat at the back;

The yuck or the stupid:
- nose picking & flicking the booger; cleaning ear wax;
- picking stuff off the teeth (teeth digging?);
- applying eye-make up (they want to be blinded I think);
- applying lipstick (this one can be usual); applying blush;
- applying eye-shadow (another blinding waiting to happen);
- talking on the phone (the thin smart phones between the ear & the shoulder);
- reaching for things in the glove compartment or the floor (headless driver like the headless horseman)

The truly weird:
- eating cereal or some such (with a big bowl & spoon, on an on ramp!);
- electric shaver? The guy was grooming his face!;
- tweezers & chin hair - her Mini Cooper was right next to mine in stand still rush hour traffic;
- applying deo! The woman was in a Chevy suburban & swerving while she applied deo right behind me!
- reading a huge file (file was open on the steering wheel);
- reading something on the iPad which was propped on the steering wheel;
- holding up a cardboard sign saying "get off the fucking phone"! The guy kept holding it up to people he passed by who were on the phone. The amazing thing is he had a toddler in the car with him (some 4 door sedan);
- two cars in sync @ 15 mph & friends chatting across cars - I should say yelling & laughing out to each other;
- applying nail polish;

The emotional category:
- Fighting & arguing - angry yelling is pretty obvious in the rear view mirror;
- woman was sobbing as she drove (she was crying very loudly in her car I bet... she was shaking);
- sexual something this couple were very happy it seemed. She was all squirmy & he kept looking at her, one hand on the steering wheel, right hand on her lap..?
- The swearing idiot (man or woman) - no patience in rush hour traffic, swearing at you & flicking a finger & I wonder... Where are you trying to go 5 inches ahead of me? You will be behind another car.. Might as well be patient & not endanger someone with high emotion & swearing! - Zombie drivers (we've all seen them, no expression, no turning of head, no blinking, steady pace, not letting anyone in, not really any pace, overtaking is tough, they are oblivious to the planet & I am always scared of this unresponsive zombie who is surely going to crash!

So you've read my weird blog.. I'm guilty of a few of these things & ONLY ONE from the weird/stupid group! Let's see if anyone guesses it correctly. And also, I'd love to hear about stuff you have observed on an interstate on your commute.
Total Comments 7


hijiller's Avatar
Fantastic! You are so observant, and funny. I'll tell you about the time I was stuck on throughway with long stretch of no exits. It was morning, and my breakfast tea filled my bladder. We were at a dead stop, but no way to pull over. So, i looked around the car. All i had was the carton of yogurt i brought for lunch. So I ate it quickly, then proceeded to squirm my pants down, and maneuver myself onto the empty cup. Ahhh, relief! All the while I had to keep inching ahead, so the drivers behind wouldn't start honking. I walked into work that day with a cup to empty in the ladies room, and no lunch.

I have no idea what the driver next to me thought I was doing.
Posted 05-08-2015 at 08:57 AM by hijiller hijiller is offline
Updated 05-08-2015 at 09:00 AM by hijiller
artemis's Avatar
Jill!!!! That is beyond shocking!!!!! You eat one cup of yoghurt for lunch??? Damn... Are you slim & all that?

The peeing is beyond disgusting.... Beyond.... I am speechless. And I do not want to ever use a black light on your car seat.... Beyond....
Posted 05-08-2015 at 09:26 AM by artemis artemis is offline
tink062570's Avatar
This very observant and funny ... people do the weirdest things while stuck in traffic .
Posted 05-08-2015 at 05:25 PM by tink062570 tink062570 is offline
Iceburn's Avatar
Hahaha!..i loved it!
Arte..youre a weirdo!..but a funny fekker all the same
Posted 05-09-2015 at 02:39 AM by Iceburn Iceburn is offline
katydid's Avatar
That was great!

Jill told you a horrific story, but I won't tell you mine which involved a finally sleeping infant, a long stretch of mostly empty freeway, bored wife and not disinterested husband. Not sure what category that would have fallen under.
Posted 05-09-2015 at 05:44 PM by katydid katydid is offline
BlueEyedMale40's Avatar
I was just in LA a few weeks ago and, surprisingly, didn't find the driving bad at all but I was driving at 2pm, 1am, or the opposite direction of the rush hour traffic. I actually got from the eastern suburbs to LAX 75 minutes earlier than I wanted to on my departure day.

As for what I've seen here locally... the classic driver reading the newspaper, women drivers putting on makeup, and more people texting than I care to count. One of the most memorable though was following behind a car with two teenage girls in it who were passing a joint back and forth between them (years ago, when mj was illegal everywhere -- it still is here).
Posted 01-03-2017 at 01:21 AM by BlueEyedMale40 BlueEyedMale40 is offline
hikergeek's Avatar
Driving home from grad school one Friday night on a six hour drive I saw somebody reading a book behind the wheel going at highway speeds.
Posted 05-06-2017 at 10:55 PM by hikergeek hikergeek is offline
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