Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snowpocalypse Affects the Brain, Apparently

GW Parkway had a facepalm moment last week.  If you live remotely in the DC area you remember that day last week when the foot of snow hit all of a sudden, all at rush hour, and every single commuter going in or coming out of DC had a 6-11 hour commute.  (The 6 hour commutes were reserved for those lucky enough to live a mile or two from their places of work.) 

And if you were unfortunate enough to be on the GW Parkway that day, you know that it came to a complete stop until about 4am the next morning.  What you might not know is that the reason the traffic cleared up after 4am is because a lone police officer hiked two miles to the epicenter of the traffic jam and discovered one guy, stuck in the snow, who had eventually given up and gone to sleep.  So, naturally, he banged on the window, woke the guy up, pushed him out of the snow, and singlehandedly cleared up what could have become a traffic jam of Chinese proportions.

And man, A+ to that officer, because WTF everyone else.  I related this story to a coworker the next day, thinking only of the insanity of the sudden snowfall, and she shook her head and said, “These people have no survival skills.” And I realized immediately that she’s right. Because what were the twenty or so people directly behind this guy doing all that time?  Did no one, over the course of ten hours, pop their head out their window and go, Hey what’s going on up there?  Or if they did, did they see the guy stuck in the snow and go, Welp, nothing can be done there, I guess we live here now?

Seriously, what is wrong with those people.  Even in the absence of curiosity or concern for what is going on in the world around them, where is the self-preservation that bands people together as a means to an end?

The answer is, apparently, nowhere. Everyone just sat in their cars and waited for someone else to fix the issue, because ten hours in, they were still so sure it would happen.  I mean, I’m sure the people several miles back simply thought the road conditions were undriveable or there was an avalanche or a Land of the Lost-style chasm had opened up down front and they were stuck until road crews could get them out, as opposed to one idiot who decided to take a nap instead of get his damn car out of the snow.

But the driver of the offending car and the cars directly behind him?  No excuse.  It’s called being proactive. It’s called NOT being defined by the bystander effect.  It’s called common freaking sense.

Congratulations, guys. You are an entire highway of asshats.

1 comment:

David Pratt said...

That's the most depressing story about DC traffic I've heard yet.