Thursday, December 30, 2010

Little Things of Varying Sizes and Degrees

If you have ever happened past this little piece of virtual paradise then you know that my love of humankind is equalled only by my concern for all of my fellow travelers on our little blue marble. Even allowing for the fact that you could fit all of the things globally about which I would in fact tender you my beloved rat's a## neatly into a thimble and still have space aplenty for your thumb, there are certain depths to which not even I shall descend.

Memo to all of the other folks occupying the luge runs and ski jumps presently standing in for our secondary roads and less-than-major highways here in the State of Concrete Gardens. We do in fact have a law in this State requiring the driver of a vehicle that has snow all over it to remove the snow from the aforementioned vehicle prior to driving that vehicle on one of those above roadways (Who else received Roget's Thesaurus for Xmas?). In answer to the question, "How close to this is rocket science?" the answer appears to be, "Not very close at all."

It appears to be until one makes the trek north on Route 287 to one's office two-plus days after all recorded snowfall activity in Jersey has ceased and makes that trek in the pre-dawn hours of the morning. If it helps set the scene, then picture Route 287 northbound between Exit 30 and Exit 35 at or about 4:25 to 4;35 a.m. All set? Good.

Now picture some ass wipe motoring northbound on Route 287 in an inconspicuous, difficult to describe vehicle that has not less than a solid foot of snow pack on its roof. Again, in the interest of setting the scene correctly, picture this particular vehicle as a box truck with hardly any identifying markings on for the picture of Freschetta Frozen Pizza across its rear roll-up door and the picture of Tony's Frozen Pizza on the length of its driver's side. Oh yes, let us not forget the insipid, "How's my driving? Call blah blah blah and let me know......" that was also prominently displayed on its rear roll-up door. One would think that as either the (a) operator of this particular vehicle; or (b) the owner of the company for whom it is being operated, it would be in my self-interest to ensure that this vehicle - and all of my vehicles - comply with State law.

One might think that but - in the event of this particular miscreant it appeared as if the repeated scraping along the pavement that his knuckles do, while approving the toughness of the top of his hands considerably, has weakened his ability to fully extend his arms above his head. What other logical explanation could there be for this moron to operate his commercial vehicle in the dark of night with an amount of snow that I would conservatively estimate at being in excess of a couple of hundred pounds affixed to his roof much like a catapult awaiting flight? None. There is simply no logical explanation.

While avoiding being a douche should be - at a bare minimum - one's stated goal for the day, the operator of this particular pizza delivery vehicle failed to attain it and did so in a fashion that might be fairly considered epic. I can blow off steam about it now - and perhaps start laughing about it soon enough - because at 4:30 a.m. (a) a large mound of something that appears to be white in color moving through the air towards you in a downward trajectory shows up quite nicely against the tableau of a blackened sky; and (b) the relative lack of other vehicles on the road at that time permits you to do some things that a State Trooper might otherwise label "creative" in order to avoid the oncoming projectile.

In the interest of fairness, but for the bump/pothole that the truck was forced to pass through as it moved from the center lane and into the right lane in an effort to hasten its departure at a fast-approaching exit, the rather enormous mound of "snice" (the mixture of snow and ice in percentages beyond my ability to calculate) that had been comfortably piled atop his roof might not have otherwise done a bit of sleepwalking, which caused it and his box truck's roof to be torn asunder from one another and led it to look for love in the most wrong of all possible places - the hood and windshield of my car.

Screw fairness. That a-hole could have killed me and/or anyone else who happened to be driving near him yesterday morning. I actually do not know what happened to the large chunk of snice once it made contact with the macadam in the spot that moments earlier had been occupied by Skate and me. From my vantage point - looking through my rear-view mirror - it appeared as if it went forth and multiplied upon contact. Admittedly, I was more concerned about other issues at that point, such as where to buy a set of replacement garments to replace those I had worn to work (at least those from my waist down) and who I could call to confirm for me the precise temperature at which blood boils, to give much consideration to it.

One wonders perhaps how such a potential mishap might have been avoided. I never presume to be the smartest person involved in any conversation but I think even I know the answer to this one. And I hope like hell, given that there are more drivers crammed per square inch into the State of Concrete Gardens than any other place on Earth or so it seems, I am not paddling around alone in the pool of knowledge.

And while I wish like hell there was some great dramatic finish to this story, such as me pulling over on the side of the highway and gathering up all of the smaller pieces of snice before pursuing this vehicular Hooligan to his destination at which time I alighted from my vehicle hurling shards of snice at him in retribution. There is not. By the time Skate and I completed our impression of the Falcon and Han Solo slaloming through the asteroid field, the offender had skedaddled off of the interstate via one of the exit ramps.

There I was, as I often am, alone with my anger. Fortunately, having the crap scared out of me beats having it knocked out of me ten times out of ten. While it took me a little while to arrive at that realization (ask the idiots who operate Continental Airlines just how long I can hold a grudge), once I did I resumed breathing at normal intervals as I contemplated the potential irony of my fate: a stranger killed at the hands of Tony the Pizza Guy while across the Hudson River a stranger's car was rescued from a fate worse than becoming part of the West Village's permafrost by Tony Soprano.

Someone much smarter and wealthier than I once warbled that, "It's the little things that count." Note to all other motorists using our highways and byways here in the Great White Northeast, while a couple of hundred pounds of snice seemingly anchored to your vehicle's roof is not in and of itself a little thing, making sure that it is not on your vehicle's roof prior to putting said vehicle into motion is. And it is most sincerely appreciated.


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