Like many of you, I work in a major metro area that is simply not affordable on an entry level salary, unless you’ve got a solid dealing job on the side. The natural next step is to make the pilgrimage over to the far cheaper suburbs, where white picket fences and baby boomer populations now fill my once youthful surroundings. The major downside to this slightly more affordable living situation is the brutal commute I make into the city. Not even the wisdom of Dave Ramsey teaching me how to pay off my piles of student loans over the radio can keep me from the madness of bumper to bumper on the interstate for an hour and a half to start the week.
After several months of driving my 1998 Toyota 4Runner through this hell hole, I have come to recognize my “commute regulars,” the other everyday Americans who brave their way through this God forsaken highway to hell each day. These road warriors come from a variety of different ages, backgrounds, and professions, yet we are all connected through a common bond: the disheartening morning commute.
The Weathered Blue Collar Worker
This grizzled veteran of the interstate has been putting his poor ’91 Toyota Tacoma to work since 41 was in office and the Buffalo Bills actually had a winning record. He’s a simple man, 65 mph in the middle lane with a cup of coffee in hand, heading out for another long day’s work so he can put some food on the table. This guy embodies the American spirit. He’s been doing this for years, and it’s just a part of his daily routine like his evening bourbon on the rocks. If Hank Hill wasn’t selling propane in Texas, he could very well be this guy. Keep fighting the good fight, you durable old hero.
The North Shore Guido
This son of a bitch. This Jersey shore transplant drives a newish red Ford Mustang (probably a lease) and feels the need to cut me off at least twice a month. Not to mention the fact that this Everest College educated punk has enough gel in his hair to keep LA Looks in business for another 12 years. It’s a safe bet that this 85 mph in the fast lane daredevil is somewhere in between his most recent shopping binge at Ed Hardy and the local Crunch Fitness. Either way, we’re all waiting for the day this leech on society makes the move back north to pursue his career in reality television.
The Monogrammed Diva
We’ve all seen her– the recent college grad who drives a new black Jetta with her initials obnoxiously monogrammed in a large font across the back window. It’s usually a safe bet that she has a double venti in one hand and her Lilly Pulitzer cased phone in the other. It will be a cold day in hell when this diva uses her blinker, let alone her brain. There’s no doubt she could’ve been a keeper freshman year, but at this point, we’re all just hoping she marries rich and stays off the road.
The Unaware Senior Citizen
As a Florida native, this one hits close to home. I see this dinosaur on the road quite often in her ’92 Buick. She’s exactly what you would expect from the old folk– the classic 35 mph in the slow lane with nothing but the best of intentions. I’m not sure if she’s on her way to play a game of Bridge or Bingo, but if there’s one thing for certain, it’s that she’s in no rush to get there. Additionally, my Vegas sources tell me that there are very strong odds her name is either Doris or Ingrid, for any of you betting folks out there.
We all know this guy. He’s wearing thick framed glasses while driving his neon green Toyota Prius with “Coexist” and “Sanders 2016” stickers side by side. It’s a safe bet NPR is on the radio, and he’s almost certainly en route to the closest coffee shop. We all knew one of these guys in college. He was usually the one petitioning in front of the student union for PETA or delaying your Health Science elective by arguing with the professor over the advantages of becoming a vegan. This morning, though, he’s just as mainstream as the rest of us, bumper-to-bumper in a sea of colorful machines.
The Bold Bastard
This guy is one of Darwinism’s finest examples. Weaving in and out of traffic on his Kawasaki Cycle going twenty over the speed limit, no helmet necessary. Chances are the high from dodging death by mere inches every two minutes will be the most exciting part of this guy’s day, as he goes from Evil Knievel to “Customer Support Specialist” by the end of the hour. You can’t blame him, though. We’ve all got to find a little bit of happiness somewhere, right? .
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