Traffic jams and other creepy stuff
Traversing three freeways on my daily commute, I spend a considerable amount of time sitting in my car not moving. This means the guy in the next lane isn’t moving either.
One minute, I’m speeding down a highway, focused and alert, careful not to let my eyes detract from the goings on of the roadway.
I’m sitting stationary with all the time in the world.
Still focused and alert, but now however able to look around, to see the other cars and their drivers, and to notice how some are feverishly preoccupied with various tasks.
I totally get this.
A moment ago, we were shrouded in a cloak of invisibility—not seeing one another as humans, but rather foes in need of vanquishing, as we routinely cut one another off in an effort to arrive at our destination a few seconds earlier than do they.
But traffic has slowed to a crawl and now we’re stopped, lifting that cloak of invisibility to reveal an actual human being behind the wheel.
Still alert, and still very much focused, I use this time to spy on other drivers…to see what they’re up to.
Some are texting.
Women are coiffing and putting on make-up.
And then there’s the nose picker.
The guy who without a care in the world, and apparently hasn’t figured out how we are now visible to one another is hastily exploring one of his nostrils.
I’m not talking about the guy or gal who takes an honest swipe at their whistling beak in an effort to rid it from some foreign presence.
I’m talking about the guy (and it’s always a guy) whose incessant mining efforts have now produced some kind of god-awful extraction, one requiring a momentary pensive gaze as he studies it for who knows what.
Size? Shape? Configuration?
Color? Is he examining it for color? Maybe its color and configuration.
Or maybe there’s a wayward nose hair in the mix. I can see where, at least visually, this could create a stir. That usually freaks me out when I see one on a kleenex. I can’t imagine my fingertip and in traffic no less. Eeewwww!
I’ve now drifted into a euphoric gaze staring at this dolt—one where I catatonically sit and stare at something bizarre—as if seeing it for the very first time.
One where time seems to slow, as the cacophony of traffic noise, car stereo, and any random thoughts now have mystically faded away, tranquilizing me into a deep visual fog.
Sorry, I’m back.
Holy shit, what’s he going to do with that thing I begin to wonder. Jesus I hope he doesn’t eat it.
I knew a girl in fourth grade who often picked her nose during math, and just when she thought no-one was looking, she inserted her mining finger into her mouth, pretending to bite her nails.
She lived with the moniker ‘Boogereater’ all through elementary school.
But this guy. I wonder about a guy like this.
Whether he’ll wipe it on his person or the seat of his car.
Or whether he’ll roll it up and flick it someplace. A lot of people I’ve watched pick their nose in traffic do this. Although I did see a woman use a kleenex once, making me wonder why she couldn’t have used it to blow her nose with, this in lieu of her full-scale pick. Weird.
But this guy is dressed to the nines, driving a late model BMW 750I, I seriously doubt he’ll be eating it, or flicking it onto his fine leather interior for that matter. I surmise he’s probably preoccupied, thinking about that big meeting he’s headed off to this morning, complete unaware of the fact that he’s knuckle-deep into his schnoz, and how any one of a number of other drivers are now monitoring his productivity efforts.
I wonder if he’ll stop off in the mens’ room to wash up first.
Or whether he’ll simply forget about his mindless activity during the commute, shaking hands with everyone pre-meeting, getting his remnant boog spoils all over them…this as they unsuspectingly gather for coffee and pastries.
A fellow blogger recently posted a bit about shaking hands with others and how detestable an act it is, for reasons such as this, I presume.
I wish I had never read it.
That’s all I can think about now every time someone sticks out their paw to shake my hand—thinking how they might have been stuck in traffic earlier, spelunking for that all elusive, once-in-a-lifetime boog—most likely the holy grail for the seasoned professional.
You know which one.
The one resembling a long wayward string of hot melted cheese right after you slowly pull the pizza slice away from your mouth.
Have a nice day.
I hope you’re not having pizza for lunch.