We've been getting a bit of weather here in the DC Metropolitan area. I, for one, am pleased to see some rain. It's sad to look out of my lofty windows onto what should normally be a sea of bright yellow and red fall foliage, only to see dusty brown lawns and crinkly beige trees. So if a little rain will turn those lawns green and perk up the color, I say, Rain On, little rain cloud, Rain On.
However, rain does have negative side effects. It is common knowledge that if any precipitation threatens to land on any asphalt anywhere within a 50 mile radius of the White House everyone immediately forgets how to drive their car in a normal and orderly fashion. Consequently, when it rains you can count on sitting in gridlock traffic for, oh, several hours at least.
As a bus rider, I face an interesting dilemma when it rains. I can either get wet by walking to the bus stop, but then have the luxury of doing whatever I want as we inch through the traffic. Or I can choose to drive myself and stay dry, but be really bored as we inch through the traffic. It can be a tough call. But I'm here to tell you, sitting next to 40 wet, smelly people (you may not know this, but much like dogs, when people get wet they tend to smell ... some worse than others) while inching through traffic is really something you have to be mentally prepared to do -- even if you have an arsenal of podcasts, newspapers, and scented hankies at your fingertips. If you haven't girded your loins you are better off facing the traffic on your own and forgoing the entertainment.
Yesterday my loins were not girded. So even though I KNEW the traffic was going to be horrendous, I opted to drive. And I wasn't disappointed. We were moving so slowly I had time to read, and I mean REALLY READ, an entire magazine during the commute. It isn't everyday that I get to have the best of both commuting worlds: entertainment AND privacy. Of course it also isn't everyday that it takes me an hour to drive 3.5 miles. (Thank heaven for that!)
I want to remember this event in a positive light, because I can't say that I've ever done any significant reading while driving. I'm an avid reader, as you know, but I've never considered it to be something I could do while driving. This appears to be a whole new venue! My brother in law told me that he used to read western novels while driving across Wyoming, which at the time I thought was completely AMAZING. And completely DANGEROUS. Like Are-You-Totally-Insane-Man? dangerous. Even if Wyoming is a dusty, uninspiring, ugly, oil refinery wasteland, you still shouldn't be reading a book while trying to drive 80 miles an hour. That's just crazy, man.
But now that I've done it going 3 mph, I can see the appeal. This is the next X sport, people! EXTREME READING!! Just start taking a bunch of steroids and rocket around the desert in a convertible while reading James Joyce. Before you know it Sal Masekela will be interviewing you at the X Games.