Unsubtle Ploy For Sympathy
GAAAAH! Fuck you, Mother Nature, for going all Joan Crawford on me like that. Behold the breakdown for yesterday:
10 a.m. Leave for work. Thick snow’s already falling, and forecasters say our little corner of
1:30 p.m. Arrive at the office, which closed an hour and a half before (a.k.a. “Two hours after I left”). Fortunately, my security badge doubles as an electronic key. The newsroom’s deserted save for my boss, who got there just a few minutes before. “You may as well go home,” he said. “I can’t,” I replied. “[A VINP] is supposed to call me at 3:15 to talk about [this story I’m working on].”
3:10. VINP’s press secretary calls to say that unfortunately the VINP is running late, so could we re-schedule for 4:30? Of course I say yes.
4:30. Press secretary calls. Unfortunately the VINP is running late. Can we reschedule for 4:45? Of course I say yes.
4:53:30. Press secretary calls. Hold for the VINP, please.
4:56. VINP call ends. Wow. The man gives great soundbite. Quotewise, he’s the best 90 seconds of journalism I’ve ever had. Too bad he probably never even knew my name.
5:10. Get in my car and leave for home. Streets haven’t been plowed at all. Thassokay, it’s not like
5:20. Pull onto Interstate on-ramp.
5:21. Interstate closes.
6:15. Still sitting on the on-ramp.
6:20. Traffic is moving! Hosanna! I’m moving, I’m moving. . . I’m two hundred yards closer to home but now traffic’s stopped again. Another motionless half-hour.
6:50. One-hundred-yard advance. Stop. Curse. Swear. Then notice that if I ride on the shoulder for 20 yards I can reach that next exit, which has been plowed.
7:00. And I see that the alternate road I’d planned to take is impassable. The Interstate’s still closed. Now what? Start driving west. I’ll find my way home somehow.
7:30. Where the hell am I? Some ritzy retail district. Too bad everything’s closed; I’d love nothing more than to stop and ask for directions.
7:45. Also, I need to use the bathroom.
8:00. Hey, I recognize that route number! Somewhere south of here, it eventually reaches an intersection not far from where I live. All I need to do is — no, wait, it’s a hilly road. And it hasn’t been plowed or salted. No way can my car make it. Keep driving down whatever the hell road I’m already on.
8:10. Seriously, I really need to use the bathroom.
8:24. There’s a McDonald’s up ahead. And it’s open! There’s people inside! Oh Ronald, my love, your hamburgers suck but for now I adore you. Going up to the counter, I say in what turns out to be the most unintentionally plaintive voice I’ve ever used, “Can you tell me how to get to [town where I live] without using Interstate 84? It’s closed in both directions.” Staff’s shocked to hear that. Turns out I’m only a few miles north of my destination.
9:00. Home. Finally. Over the course of eleven hours I accomplished nothing except a 90-second phone call.