Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Location: United States

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

"I fight honking traffic just for the privilege of putting cheap shoes onto the cloven hooves of people like you."- Al, Married, With Children


”Ready for blastoff, Mr. Wilder. Let’s kick the tires and light the fires.” – Our Astronaut Pugsley.

I drive in Houston every day. Each and every day, I wonder, “Where the heck are all these other people going to?”

I know in Southern California they would probably laugh at a Houston commute, since I heard it takes sixteen hours to go six blocks to see Paris Hilton dedicate the latest Pez® dispenser at the Beverly Hills Taco Bell©.

But Houston? It’s not like anybody even remotely famous lives here, except for ZZ Top. (I think the whole ZZ Top living in Houston thing was on a dare, like their beards, or like the time I agreed to co-author the Constitution with James Madison.)

Traffic in Houston is worse than traffic at the Cheetos™ bowl at a party with Britney Spears and Rosie O’Donnell. Oh, sure, it’s not all covered with all the orange cheese-polymer goodness (especially around the nostril area) as Rosie and Britney, but it’s busy nonetheless. And, in a statistic I made up specifically for this post, I must note that there are more cars on Houston roads than Britney has babies. I know that sounds like a truly incredible figure, but made-up statistics don’t lie.

In Houston, it’s not like you can get on the road and drive at 4AM (that’s 6:53PM, metric) and not see a bazillion people sneaking around. Oh, sure their lights are on, but it’s long been my theory that if you’re up at 4AM you’re sneaking. Don’t ask me why I’m up that early. I’m sneaking, too.

Why in the heck are there traffic jams outside my house at 4AM? Are there that many morning DJ’s (or, similarly, serial killers) in Houston?

I don’t think so. However, I have a theory.

Houston is the energy capital, really, of the world. If it is sticky, oily goodness, well, somebody here owns it, pumps it, buys it, boils it, or sues somebody who does one of those things. I’m thinking that all of the Chevron-Mobil-Texxon-Amoco-BP© employees are given bonuses just for driving around so that they use all the extra gas. Heck, they might pay their employees to drive to the pumps and pull the gas nozzles out and lovingly pour the gasoline over their heads while writhing to the song from “Flashdance” (which, if they’re smoking, will be all too true).

Actually, since I’ve never seen an Exxon® accountant wearing gasoline-soaked legwarmers or a Lexus™ with body parts in the back seat, I think there may be something else at work.

See, Houston is flat, and outside of work, there’s little to do here. Really. Sixty-seven million people (I think that’s right) live within a quarter mile of me and they have nothing to do. Nothing at all, except work. So, the only possible solution the human mind can come up with for this conundrum is: road trip to the Whataburger© at 4AM.

Also, Houston drivers appear to know only one speed – 95 miles per hour (300x10^6km/sec), and apparently feel that the turn signal is a vestigial appendage on a car, useless for anything whatsoever. The Mrs. and I, when driving around town are often passed by a (insert luxury car name here) at the only speed (95 MPH), which then has to implement driving maneuvers suitable for a WWII fighter pilot to stop for the red light 10 feet ahead. We look at each other, “Texas drivers,” we say, and nod in the unison reserved for people who have lived together so long that their DNA would say that they were perhaps cousins.

I think people drive around here aimlessly because they have nothing else to do, whatsoever. They get in their cars and just drive and drive and drive, paying tolls, and most importantly, cutting in front of my car while I try to get that empty spot while I’m heading for the tollway

Dang. I hate those guys. But I can cut them off if I speed up to 95 MPH.
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Blogger Dame Koldfoot said...

Now, take your average Houstonian driver (complete with a Hummer and studded snow tires) and couple him/her with the wind-polished, ice covered Richardson Highway and you have current driving conditions in Interior Alaska. Isn't it fun to point and giggle at Texas drivers?

8:56 AM  
Blogger John said...

Forever, totally, and completely it has been fun to point and giggle a Texas drivers. I still do, but I worry that there's some sort of zombie potion I drink and, heaven forbid, become one.

7:00 PM  

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