Saturday, November 04, 2006

A long and winding road

What is normally a four hour trip from the 'shwa to Windsor turned into a seven hour trip last night after driving 40 km took three hours.

The whole time I spent snarking at other drivers for completely harmless reasons. Yes, Sir, that mustang definitely covers up your receding hairline! Thank you, giant SUV driver for blinding our retinas. I even snarked at company names I thought were stupid.

We bring the dogs with us when we go - it's easier (and cheaper!) than leaving them at a kennel and I think Dave's family would disown us if we didn't bring them.

As traffic ground to a halt, we weren't surprised when this guy pulls up beside us and starts trying to engage us in conversation. We just figured someone else was wondering about our freakishly huge dogs, since we get asked all the time. This time, though it wasn't the dogs. Even though there was space for him to move ahead he stopped right beside us and yelled something. The back windows were down, but we couldn't hear what he was saying because ours were up. Dave rolled his down, and the guy yelled "any idea why traffic is this slow?"

Sadly, the only thing either of us blurt out was "no." I'm generally good with the snarky comments, about 10 minutes after I really need them. I wished I'd yelled "what traffic" or "we all got together and thought you'd find it fun to idle then inch forward for 3 hours! Surprise!" Do people not have radios they can check? Why would we have more information about the situation than he did? I'm all for friendly and stuff, but come on!

As is often the case, my bladder decided shortly after traffic ground to a screeching halt that it urgently needed to find a service centre. Now. From where traffic first stopped moving at a decent pace it would have been 20 minutes away. Dave and I know the highway inside and out after living 800 km apart for nearly a year.

Every song on the radio was suddenly about my urgent need to pee. "While my guitar gently weeps" became "While my bladder gently weeps," complete with lyrics:

I look at the cars, feel the pangs that my bladder's sending
Whi-ile my bladder gently weeps
I look at the signs, on the road, miles ahead before me
Still my bladder gently weeps

I don't know why-y-y nobody told me
to go before we left!
I don't know why-y-y tra-ffic has stalled now,
they should move so I can pee!

I look at the world and I ask why this happens to me
Whi-le my bladder gently weeps
With ev-ery minute we must surely be closer to it
Sti-ll my bladder gently weeps

I don't know how-ow-ow the news radio
didn't warn us traffic had stalled
Now I am wor-r-ied that I won't make it
no one alerted me, I need to pee!

I look at the lights, snaking ahead in front of us
While my bladder gently weeps
I look at my watch, and I know, we should be there by now
And still my bladder gently weeps

I was just relieved our friends' wedding was today instead of last night. We would've surely missed it.

Traffic lightened after we went past the accident (Incidentally, they never really properly cleaned the highway - there was glass everywhere, peoples' coats strewn across the alne, and sand they had put down, presumably in case of gas tank leaks. What's with that?) we picked up speed and got off the highway at the service centre for a much needed pee while Dave let the dogs out of a similar bind.

I should say, I have an intense dislike for McDonald's. I hadn't eaten there for 12 years, not even for just a drink, until last night. Dave ordered something to eat, but the smell of the fries was too overpowering. I heard a rumour that they're covered in beef tallow, but ignored that completely and just munched away. They taste so un-potato like, I didn't know what to think. I can't really say what they do in fact taste like, but it definitely wasn't normal. And I wolfed them down, hand over fist. (And my stomach was upset a few minutes later).

I drank my large orange juice, still having the pressurized sinuses from the thousands of pounds of booger trapped in my sinuses, and my renowned "pumpkin effect" came into full force. I have this thing where once I become tired I become completely useless, unable to speak in sentences, and quickly fall asleep. That was exactly what happened, I dozed off into a deep, grease-induced sleep. I woke up a few points along the way, and when Dave got off at another service centre becuause he too was exhausted and needed to sleep for a few seconds before he did so while driving at highway speeds, I was bolt awake. He slept for about 20 minutes, and we were underway again. Wherein I fell asleep again quite quickly. For most of the rest of the way I was a big oversized sac of potatoes, asleep in a lump on the front seat.

When we arrived in Windsor at 1:35 in the morning all either of us could do was grunt at each other, and at his mum who made the pull out couch for us, and pass out until this morning. If she'd given us cardboard to sleep on I think we would have grunted appreciation toward her direction and fallen asleep there without batting an eye.

For now we're off to another wedding! Happy Saturday!


Teena said...

That's quite a roadtrip! We head down to Gord's parents' place in Madoc (about a half hour north of Belleville) about three times a year. That's enough roadtrippin' for me!

Henly said...

Meh, try driving from Ottawa to Vancouver Island in 3.5 days. That's a roadtrip! ;)

Sara said...

Heheh our little road trip to Kingston last weekend took us 9 hours. We were practically at a standstill at Kitchener and it took us 9 hours. We went 8 km's in 4.5 hours.

I'm sorry I sent the bad traffic karma your way... hopefully it will plague someone else on Sunday

The Waghorns said...

Ugh ... traffic. The only thing worse is a very full bladder in traffic. I feel your uncomfortableness.

I believe that between yourself, Sara and I we could write a guide to bathrooms whlie travelling. I've been pleasantly surprised by some gas station bathrooms and expecting to find the remains of a several weeks dead human being in others.

Jay said...

I get the same way in the car, bladder-wise, but I'm that way all the time.

It's not actually tallow that they're cooked in anymore, but they are cooked in beef essence - actually, even their chicken is cooked in beef essence. It's their "signature" - can you tell I just finished reading Fast Food Nation?

roro said...

Man, that's brutal! I remember a similar incident when my friend Jeba and I were driving back from a big lesbian camping trip; she drank a 32oz coffee and then we got stuck in traffic. It took an hour for the coffee to really kick in and then we were forced to pull over so that she could scamper out to the bluffs. Hot.

The pumpkin effect - awesome.

Heather said...

Teena: the drive to Windsor is fairly short for us- we used to drive Ottawa-Windsor and back in a weekend to see each other.

Henly: We'll probably do that trip sometime.

Sara: I don't blame your bad traffic karma, just glad the drive back wasn't as bad.

the Waghorns: I can totally do the 416, 401, 403, 404, and QEW sections of that guide.

Jay: Normally I don't suffer from hamster bladder, which was why this was particularly frustrating. I really should borrow fast food nation from my dad. I think those fries were enough McD for the next 12 years.

roro: I pondered the scamper to the bluffs routine but between Mississauga and the far side of Milton is pretty developed - I'd have ended up peeing on some company's lawn in front of floodlights, and I wasn't that brave/desperate.