Toll Flapping in the Wind


This week I was stuck in Bay Bridge traffic. There is something about me where I can never guess which lane is moving fast. In fact, the very act of choosing a lane will guarantee a complete slow down. I have accepted this fact and no longer lane hop to get ahead.

Unfortunately this day was doubly bad. I had chosen a lane that was moving pretty good but I realized too late that it wasn’t cash. I had cash, I least I hoped I had cash. The toll changes on weekends so I didn’t know. Being retired I wasn’t sure if it was the weekend. I shouldn’t have been allowed to drive.

So I have to somehow get into the Cash lane and no one will let me. The more we moved ahead, the more I looked like those jerks who intentionally stay in the fast lane then at the last moment cut in on you. Time was running out and the toll was fast approaching. No civility left, everyone crowding the bumpers like a bunch of starving people at the food bank.

Suddenly, one of the vehicles stalled out and created a small gap. Ah ha, I swerved in and got my spot and now only had to figure out if I truly had the cash.

As we moved forward, nearly to the toll, I noticed a car edging in from my left. He had been on the wrong lane as well, moved up almost to the toll and now wanted in. Well, I just hung on the bumper on front of me and he would have to find comfort somewhere else.

I don’t know, I was pretty steadfast for a few more seconds, after all, I still had to find my cash. Anyway, I finally let him in. I could feel the heat and the wrath behind me. They did not want me there, and now I had let in another miscreant. Hah!

So we went to the toll and I dug through various pockets until I found a ten dollar bill. More than enough for whatever day it actually was. Truly Eureka!

I get to the toll person and proudly offer my ten dollar bill like a cat bringing home a headless mouse. Only, the toll taker wagged her finger at me. The car ahead of me, the car I let in, had payed my toll. “Keep your bill”, that is still flapping in the wind.

Civility does exist. It might be rare, but we can turn it around. Now I have to pay it forward. When is the next time I’m on the bridge? And can I find a kind driver?
Oh well….