Friday, June 15, 2012

Traffic Cones

Traffic cones are like pimples.  If a person has normally flawless skin and then suddenly gets a big, bright pimple on their face, you notice it.  It stands out.  But some people have bad skin with faces just covered in acne, and over time you stop noticing the pimples.  Sure, they are still there... but it's just become the expected.  It's the norm.  It's unremarkable.  Those bright pimples have suddenly lost their ability to stand out and draw attention.

So how is this like a traffic cone?  Well, in an area not familiar to road construction, an orange traffic cone probably catches everyone's attention.  But where I live, traffic cones are as plentiful as zits on a horny teenager.  They are everywhere.  All the time.  No matter what road you turn on, there are more orange cones dotting the street and redirecting you.  We've all become accustomed to them.  So when I walked the few blocks down to where I catch the bus to work, I didn't pay much attention to the fact that there was a little orange cone at the base of the bus stop sign.  I also didn't really notice that the street from which the bus turns was also littered with orange cones.  There was even a sign that said "ROAD BLOCKED," but again, what's one more pimple?

I stood waiting for my bus for what seemed like forever.  I had my earphones for my phone and was listening to music while I waited, so it wasn't too horrible to have to stand there.  I would occasionally peruse Facebook or read an article from my New York Times app.  But after a while I began to notice that I had been there well over a half hour and the bus was supposed to go by every 15 minutes.  That's when I noticed the cone near my feet.  That cone, led to the realization of all the other cones on the intersecting street.  The orange traffic cones merged together to form a clear message in my brain:  the bus has been rerouted, idiot.

Crap!  What was I to do?  So I began walking in the direction of the mall where I work, knowing full well that I wouldn't make it there in time.  It was now 9:15 and I needed to be there at 9:30.  So I gave my coworker Riley a call and said, "Can you please come rescue me?  I'm stranded on State Street."  She said she could.  I was near a Sonic Drive-In so I told her to meet me there.  After some breakfast and a chocolate cherry Coke, she finally arrived at about 9:45.

"Sorry it took me so long," she said.  "I went to take the Center Street Exit but it was blocked off by traffic cones.  I had a hell of a time getting to you!"

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