The Freeway Chicken Diaries


I had to go to the doctor yesterday in a town that’s four freeways and one toll bridge away. This isn’t good because, Peanuts, (what my brain calls itself) is a Freeway Chicken of Epic Proportions.

It’s not that Peanuts can’t drive, it’s just that Peanuts has a propensity for panicking when hurling through space at 65 miles — each and every hour — next to hundreds of other hurlers which are  hurling even faster; and the only thing preventing a Total Wipe Out of Epic Proportions is my dear little Peanut’s ability to multitask.

It’s not that I don’t have confidence in my brain, but it did suggest that I call it Peanuts – so what does that tell you?

Add to this the fact that Peanuts is a backseat driver about its own driving and it just gets weird.

Of course, once Peanuts and I are on the freeway and in the proper lane, we’re fine for the time being as long as we’re not by any big trucks, next to any dividers, and there are at least six car lengths in front, in back, above and below us and we don’t have to change lanes for at least 72 more miles. We might even turn on the radio, at this point, providing it doesn’t require any ungluing of the peepers from the pavement.

Oh!  And also if we don’t have to go more than 65.  You see, Peanuts thinks that going anything over 65 is taking unnecessary risks and on this we concur whole-heartedly.  Who cares that 100-mile-an-hour traffic is passing us on the left and on the right — with a few showoffs catching air and sailing over the top of us. We’re being safe, Gol Durnit! And the rest of the traffic can just kiss our sorry bumper, that’s all!

Well sir, a mere two freeways away from the toll bridge and it started raining, pouring really.  Just as panic was about to set in there happened to be an exit right there next to the car, so Peanuts took it.  The road led to a familiar bit of urban sprawl in an area with which I was quite familiar having lived for 14 years in that particular sprawl (it’s more of a splat really). But since I hadn’t actually been back for ten years, I couldn’t quite remember the way to the next freeway. The street names were all very, very, very familiar but I just couldn’t quite recall where they went.

It was like that Twilight Zone episode where the guy wakes up and everybody knows him but he doesn’t know them and then he wanders around for awhile and then he wakes up again and this time he knows everybody but they don’t know him.  It was very much like that episode — especially the wandering around part.

Anyway, finally found the toll bridge and surprise! surprise! The toll has gone up quite a percentage in the last ten years.  I’d tell you how much percentage, but Peanuts refused to listen during math class (little brat!).  So just suffice it to say, A LOT more percentage!

The next leg of the road trip required passing through the center of a town that, in 1992, boasted 42 murders in one year.  Luckily it’s a short leg – more of an ankle really.

Then we came to a town in which I once lived for 18 months.  None of the street names sounded familiar but I knew exactly where they went . . . doo dee do do doo dee do do doo dee do do . . .(That’s supposed to be the theme from Twilight Zone but Peanuts isn’t very good at spelling songs.)

Finally, thanks to Peanuts safe driving, we arrived intact at our destination, the Doctor’s Office.  But the harrowing trip had taken its toll.  My blood pressure registered at 133 over 93 and my heart-rate weighed in at 110.  And my weight was exactly the same as my blood pressure.  But I can’t really trust that since it was Peanuts who figured this out.

I wasn’t going to mention to the Doctor the harrowing nature of my trek to his office until he suggested for my next visit, I would need to go to his San Francisco office.  When I nervously pointed out that San Francisco was five freeways, two tunnels and a toll bridge away from my home, and, if it started raining I wouldn’t know which exit to take since I hadn’t lived in any of the urban sprawls on the way there, and that I couldn’t really trust Peanuts to do a simple math problem or even spell a song, let alone maneuver my car through five freeways, two tunnels and a toll bridge all in the same day, he quickly suggested that I just go back to seeing my old doctor.

Which is good, cause she’s just down street.

Until next time . . . I love you

2 thoughts on “The Freeway Chicken Diaries

  1. I didn’t think I could laugh this much on a Thursday morning! I’m so glad you don’t have to ever go back to that doctor! Or that you don’t have to go to SF! Although I could arrange a cute lunch date for us if you did! I miss you and I’m so happy peanuts was able to get this post written out and mailed promptly to my inbox, just in time to make me laugh a little too loudly in a room full of people who basically refuse to talk to one another at this exact moment.

  2. This post really made me laugh mom! I can imagine that if I was in the car with you, there would be some yelling, screaming, eye covering and possibly singing from the stress of it all. I’m glad you made it back safe and sound despite the rain, freeways, crazy drivers, Newark detours and peanuts.

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