Archive | 11:55 PM

Surviving the Wall of Death

1 Oct

I don’t know what it is, I really don’t. But I am in serious fear of The Wall of Death. Have you seen this life-threatening monstrosity rearing its ugly head mile after mile along the fast lane of your not so favorite highway?

Usually you have a buffer zone between you, the center divider, and oncoming traffic. It’s a nice cushy shoulder, perhaps about five feet. But it is the most desperately needed five feet on earth. Now I’ve been driving for a while now, and I’m usually a little give or take on the miles per hour on the highway. But when it comes to The Wall of Death, I am barely at the speed limit. This thing freaks me out. And it makes no sense because no matter what, the lanes are always the same width, right?

The Wall of Death

Well, maybe. Driving alongside The Wall of Death makes you think twice about that. Inches count here. Realistically, I know the lanes stay the same. They have to make them wide enough for gass-guzzling Exaggerators and semi-trailers. But without that shoulder as a buffer? Without those five feet?


This weekend those precious five feet were taken away as I was driving back from a friend’s house. Construction. Damn construction. I don’t know what they were fixing, or why it needed to be fixed, but from the looks of those concrete barriers and the tire skid marks adorning the side walls, this freeway makeover was taking longer than expected. But when it comes to construction, when does it actually finish on time? I mean they could use the Extreme Homemaker guy for these things. It would help my blood pressure.

But they don’t. So there I was … driving about ten miles alongside the Wall of Death. I was trapped, bounded by those double yellow lines that separate the carpool lane from regular traffic.

My heart was pounding, my anxiety shot up, and I got tense all over. I was holding onto that steering wheel for dear life. I tried raising the volume and singing along to some of my favorite tunes, but that wasn’t working. I tried some Lamaze breathing, but that didn’t seem to work. I mean it didn’t work during labor, so I don’t know why it would work then. But I was trying anything. Nothing was working. The only thing that helped, was getting the hell out of that lane.

But those damn double-double yellow lines were screaming … don’t do it, don’t do it! Big ticket, lady. So seeing how I didn’t need an encounter with the lovely highway patrol, I decided to cowboy up and do my best to try to stay centered, but the fear kept driving me toward the white dash lines, the ones with the reflectors that gave the car the bump-bump-bumpity-bump rhythm as I drove over them.

I don’t know it must be the chick in me. I don’t know any guys that sweat the Wall of Death lane, but it is what it is. After about ten miles, I saw the opening and I took it. I had survived the Wall of Death once again. I had to deal with an extra twenty minutes of traffic, but I was fine with it. My blood pressure thanked me.