Traffic, Bad Blood, Good News, and Waking Up

sea-of-brake-lightsIf the Lord had not called me to a priest, I would have become a traffic engineer.

I would have worked 80 hours a week, keeping myself awake with cappuccinos and high-protein energy drinks. I would have chained myself to my desk, living on graham crackers, peanut butter, and dried apricots—until I figured something out. I promise I would have.


Engineering can only do so much, though, I know. Our traffic engineers are certainly crackerjack.

What we need is a national “consensus” on certain things.

I put “consensus” in quotes so that we can take stock of the word’s Latin roots: con meaning ‘with.’ Sense. Us. That is, consensus: “us making sense together.”

Can we try to make sense on this? Can we have a national discussion of this?

John Kelly will tell you about the bus ad war

Namely, the question: Yes, while driving one should generally keep three car lengths between you and the car ahead of you. When you are trying to drive 55 miles an hour or more, it is dangerous to keep less than three car lengths between you and the car in front of you.

BUT, what if you are not trying to drive 55 miles an hour or more? What if you are just trying to get through the light before it turns red again? What if you are in the middle of a sea of cars, and no one is going anywhere near 30?

Can we agree that different rules apply under these circumstances? Can we agree that you don’t actually need to leave three car lengths, but that in fact three feet is really enough? (Okay, maybe three yards.)

zorn2) Check out John Kelly on the Why Believe? bus ad campaign.

3) Also, here’s the quote of the day from Tom Boswell on Jim Zorn:

There’s a world of difference between a coach who never tells a lie (Gibbs) and a coach who gives himself the prerogative to tell the truth (Zorn). The first illustrates character. The second borders on being foolhardy.

The same could be said for parochial vicars, but we won’t go there.

4) Come, Lord Jesus.

3 thoughts on “Traffic, Bad Blood, Good News, and Waking Up

  1. Gee, this sounds suspiciously like some parochial vicar got stuck in rainy day Washington traffic~hmmm. Let’s muse over what WOULD happen if the celebrated p.v. were actually chained to a traffic engineer’s desk eating graham crackers and dried apricots? What if you really did fix traffic?

    First of all, thousands of prayers would never be said – you all know all those prayers from people who are late for work or late for dinner – hopefully they are not being said between clenched teeth. AND, lots of opportunities to offer up suffering would be lost. Think of all those poor souls in purgatory that would have to wait a little while longer.

    Traffic gives us a sense of community – no other time gives so many opportunities to get close to ALL our neighbors – within 3 feet in most cases – even on the beltway.

    Washington traffic is like cod-liver oil – it tastes terrible, but maybe it is good for you.

    If we exercise the perogative to tell the truth; the truth is nothing good would come of it – except, maybe, for an increase in the sales of dried apricots.

    (Before I get pelted with dried apricots, maybe I should admit that I go to work in the middle of the night to avoid suffering and community togetherness.)

  2. It you were a traffic engineer and not a priest, think of the other type of “jams” that you would not be available to fix. And I don’t mean Apricot jam.

    Just chill. Do some day dreaming — that’s what I do in traffic jams (I guess that is a little dangerous). I like the time alone (even with a million cars around me). Just “be”!

  3. Wasn’t 301 shut down due to an accident a couple of nights ago? Wonder if that had anything to do with this post.

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