Yesterday, while pumping gas, I saw a woman melt down when unable to fill her Lexus SUV with gas. I silently mocked her. Today, I sympathized with her.
Maybe she had had the kind of traffic I did today and the challenge of self-serve gasoline was the straw which broke the proverbial camel’s back. Driving to meet my friend at the Century City Mall (where we were slated to see The Iron Lady), I changed into the left lane on Santa Monica Boulevard to pass a slow moving cement mixer, but failed to advance in traffic when cut off by a slow-moving delivery truck — which later tried to turn left onto Beverly without first changing into the turning lane.
Road work then slowed my progress further. Leaving the parking garage after watching the movie, I was stuck behind a woman who couldn’t figure out how to use the automated exit machine. And I couldn’t back out because the driver in the car behind me wasn’t aware of the problem.
Because of road work, I avoided Santa Monica Blvd on the way home only to find traffic moving to a crawl on Olympic. I so appreciated the scene at the beginning of the 1992 Michael Douglas movie Falling Down when his character, stuck in traffic, simply turns off his car’s engine and walks away.
Screenwriter Ebbe Roe Smith must have experience many journeys like the one I experienced today. Sometimes, you really just feel like turning off the car, leaving it in the road and walking away.