Child-crammed minivan with BABY ON BOARD sign crossing lanes of heavy traffic at high speed, barely avoiding catastrophe; presumably late for high-stakes, life-or-death soccer practice

Butch, razor-cut, middle-aged businessman driving Audi with Hello Kitty window decal

Seven vanity plates

Three overheated vehicles on shoulder

Truck Nutz ™ on semi

California Standoff at each on-ramp (side lane slowing to match with merging traffic, which slows to match with freeway, eventually bringing both to a shuddering crawl)

Maniacal Volvo driver, secure in knowledge that he’ll be safe no matter what accident he causes

Sudden, inappropriate use of carpool lane as passing lane; swerving cutoff rendered socially acceptable by open-handed wave signifying “My bad!  Tee hee!”

Lane splitting by motorcyclists, while normally panic-inducing, now sensible in overly hot, exhaust-heavy gridlock areas

MISSING:

Eating, drinking, texting, and talking on cell phones.  Totally common in downtown areas; utterly missing during traffic creep slow enough to permit chess games and knitting.  Why?

Dashboard hula girls, unless Mary, Holy Mother of God, or Ganesha, Remover of Obstacles, was wearing a grass skirt that I failed to notice

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