Monday, September 12, 2011

Commuter's Delight

Each day, the population of Washington, DC shifts by approximately 70% due exclusively to commuters.

It takes anywhere from a brisk 20 minutes to an excruciating hour and a half to cover the six miles between my apartment and my office. The distance, as it turns out, is nearly irreveleant. My office might well be on the moon.

Each day begins with waiting for the bus. This public transportation system follows a strictly enforced policy that all buses arrive at their scheduled stop either 10 minutes early or 15 minutes late. This is where my fellow commuters and I go through the same, curious, daily ritual. Although we are all gathered at that precise location for the specific and limited purpose of getting onto a bus, when the bus does arrive, whoever is at the front of the line inevitability cracks under the pressure. They stare in bewilderment at the large, approaching metal chariot and freeze. Only after everyone is forced to board around them does the paralysis cease.

Then it's off to the Metro. Now this is when things really get sexy. If you've caught a train that's not delayed, overcrowded, or experiencing mechanical failures, you've won the commuting jackpot. If not, get ready to endure a traveling experience so irritating and inconvenient that Richard Sarles owes every passenger who has made it through a foot massage and six personally administered sessions of CBT.