You can’t make this stuff up.
Driving home from a visit with my parents yesterday, we couldn’t catch a break on the roads. It’d been a long time since we were stuck in traffic en route to their upstate New York home or returning from it.
That’s a real coup since the trip involves traversing the infamous Tappan Zee Bridge.
So, while disappointed, we were not surprised to tack an extra hour on to the journey home yesterday. What did surprise us was some of the characters we witnessed along the way.
Indeed, the accident, when we passed it (by then forced to drive on the left shoulder), looked awful — a white sedan, its nose pushed in and crying bits of glass and Fiberglas, sat perpendicular to the right and center lanes. The family that used to be in it was lined up along the guard rail. Ambulance workers had been forced to thread their way through a stubborn line of traffic to tend to victims’ needs.
Here we saw our first “shake our heads moment”: A carload of twentysomethings chose this chaotic scene to pull over so one of their number, a short-haired blonde wearing a tank top, track shorts and — I came to learn — black hip-hugger panties could “chase a rabbit,” as my dad would say. There is a rest stop just down the road, but it seemed too late to point that out.
Not too much past the initial accident was a secondary scene — this one involving several motorcycles and noteworthy for the gaggle of first reponders looking over an embankment. We saw several more fire trucks, ambulances and police cars making their way toward the scene from the opposite side of the highway and naturally wondered what had happened there and whether the bikers and white sedan mishap were somehow connected. I hope it wasn’t as serious as it appeared.
As the radio announcer warned of traffic approaching the bridge, we figured it best to use the rest stop rather than be in Black Panties’ position. Catherine and I returned to the car to find Basil white-faced.
A woman we’d passed coming out of the building — a middle-aged lady who managed to keep up a fierce argument with her significant other despite the cigarette dangling from her lip — had run away from the fellow and ACROSS THE HIGHWAY. Basil said she was then stuck on the grassy center median for a bit before she hopscotched her way, lane by lane, through the traffic and to the fellow’s waiting car.
Basil had been ready to call 911 when she reached the vehicle and the two of them sped off. What the heck?!
Our third “what are they thinking?” moment came as we were nearly home. As we came around a corner on a side street near our block, we found an SUV double-parked in the middle of the road, trunk and doors flung wide, the better to pack it full of luggage. Which is what the vehicle’s owner proceeded to do, carefully avoiding eye contact with us as he completed the task.
He finally moved the vehicle to the curb (where there was plenty of room, btw) in a huff, as though we were inconveniencing him.