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12.27.2006

Twas the Night of Christmas

Twas the night of Christmas,
and all through the state,
every creature was driving,
as slow as a mouse.

I drove to my sister's on Christmas Day. Bad traffic. Infuriatingly bad. Motorized carts would have been less frustrating. Well, maybe not. Why did I just think about that? That made my blood pressure rise just thinking of it. We had three lanes of traffic, that's TWO lanes for slow, old, bad drivers. But they thought a nice Christmas present would be to spread out perfectly across all three lanes to prevent anyone from going over 50 mph. On the FREEWAY. for MILES. So many cars. So many slow cars. So many mini-vans. It was a Christmas Caravan of Caravans. I wish that on only a select few deserving wretches. Getting stuck behind a Christmas Caravan of Caravans, I mean. I was on the phone with my friend Carrie; she got off the phone to "straighten her hair?!" Isn't it already straight? Obviously she could hear my pulse over the phone. She said I sounded frustrated. I said I wasn't, and proceeded to list off what WOULD make me frustrated. Not a good way to stay un-frustrated. First, I lied about not being frustrated; then, I thought on things that made me more frustrated and even more likely to die of a stroke while driving.

This grumbling made me thankful though. Thankful to all the people who suffered through the construction of the 4th, 5th and 6th lanes of I-75 where it meets I-4. Their years of sacrifice and frustration "paved" the way for me to "bypass" my own frustration. Passing Caravan after Caravan from the far right lane (!?!), I cruised the rest of the way to my sister's at 85 and 90 mph. No cops. I guess they knew about the Christmas Caravan of Caravans.

Another thought I had...
I love how the world shut down for a few hours on Christmas day. By that I mean text messaging. People were shut out of text messaging for a few hours on Christmas because SO MANY people were doing it. That amazes me about our world. That so many people were actually text messaging, and that many people's lives were messed over because the systems couldn't handle it. Our impersonal, impatient lives were inconvenienced and frustrated because we had to make phone calls instead. My dad called the day before because he thought the "wires would be busy." I scoffed. Until I couldn't reply to all the "Merry Christmas" texts on Christmas Day. But he was still wrong. The lines weren't busy. For calls. I couldn't figure out why or how that many people were text messaging during the same few hours until I looked at my inbox. I had youth from the church text messaging their entire phonebooks the same mass text message. "I hope you all have a Merry Christmas! And I love you and I'm so thankful for you! This next year is gonna be great!"

What's our world come to? Bulk snail mail to automated political phone calls to mass emails to mass text messages. And this is what shuts down the world.

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