Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Commuting = Death

Ok, so this one is a long shot, but I was considering it while I was on a walk this morning.  I'd arrived at work only to find the stores in my filing cabinet had run out and a trip to the general store to replenish them was necessary.  My general store is most often shaped like a
but on occasion has resembled a Whole (budget) Foods or a Super Fresh, home of the broccoli bag that contains only broccoli stems.  As I walked to and from the general store, I had another opportunity to contemplate many folks during their commute to work.

Particularly since I started riding my bike, I have begun to hate commuting with a rather irrational and intense hatred, particularly since my commute is only 1.28 miles.  I've never even had a real commute, so everything I say must be taken with a grain of salt, perhaps one about the size of Lot's wife after she looked back, which brings up the too oft forgotten bit of racing wisdom: don't ever look back!  Also, don't celebrate until after you cross the line or else TOMMY WILL GET YOU!!!
Poor Dan!

But moving on, commuting really does equal death.  Here is why:

Sitting in a car driving the same route each day is not healthy.  It encourages the consumption of bad for you foods, it encourages familiarity which breeds contempt (or so I've heard) and that can prompt you to think so little of your commute that you will get out your cell phone, text, perhaps even surf the web while you are driving.  This can quickly equal death not only for you but for unsuspecting motorists and cyclists alike.

Sitting in a car and driving the same route each day is not good for your brain or your soul.  Have you ever noticed yourself racing?  Racing to a place you don't necessarily even want to be?  I don't really care for folks that are racing home either, but at least there I can assign it some kind of value like racing home to see your kids, racing home to eat a tasty snack, etc.  Of course many people might very well be racing home to see the latest episode of some horrific TV show that involves someone named "the situation."   Racing to work can sometimes be understandable, but let's break it down a little bit:

 When you decide that you need to slam on the gas to race around the slow guy to get to the stop light first when a four-lane highway with loads of room to pass beckons not 100m away, you have lost your mind.  When you decide that you need to honk at the guy in front of you waiting for an old lady to cross the road, you have lost your mind.  When you find yourself angry because the school bus is putting out its stop sign so that little children can cross a deadly street safely to get on the bus, you have lost your mind and your soul.  When you decide that you are so angry that you need to try to punish someone on a bike for breaking a rule you are less able to break (I can only guess that was why) you are, in a friend of mine's words "your own worst punishment."  Congratulations, you get to be a terrible person all day, hopefully you can get over it with a good night's sleep.

But commuting really does bring out the worst in people and with the help of my irrefutable and indefatigable logic, you now see that commuting does in fact equal death.  It may not always be sudden death, it may be slow death like waiting for Godot or waiting for the shuttle to the long term parking lot at the Philadelphia airport which never comes when you need it.  Ever.

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