Baby You Can Drive My Car

September 17th, 2004 · 2 Comments · Writing


In answer to L.A. Insight: Baby You Can Drive My Car, the Friday questionaire on L.A. Blogs:

1. How many hours a week are you stuck in your car?

Let’s see, this semester, about 12 hours a week.

2. What music is in your car, right now?

Frank Black and the Catholics, soundtrack for “Faraway, So Close,” Suzanne Vega, Badly Drawn Boy, and a mixed cd that Murray made as an end of the semester parting gift for his exceptional 3D design class, which includes the best music that every art student needs to know, from Jurassic 5 to Edith Piaf.

3. What do you do while stuck in traffic? Eat? Sing? Primal scream?

Make long distance calls to Texas, where often, I’ll catch my sister on her way home from work and the conversation goes like this: “oh, hi Meg, I’m getting in the car right now to head home from work.” And then we talk for about 10 minutes or so, and I move a mile or two up the 605, and then she says, “well, gotta go! I just got home.”

I also listen obsessively to NPR. Sometimes I finish getting ready — makeup, brush hair, put on earrings — if I’m in a hurry.

4. If you could give citations to other drivers for bad behavior, who/ what would you ticket?

People who drive slow in the fast lanes. But my biggest pet peeve is people who cross the double yellow lines of the carpool lanes. That drives me bonkers.

5. What’s your favorite place/freeway to drive in LA?

My favorite scenic place to drive is, of course, Highway 1. Going south through OC, at night, when you pass Huntington and there are all the bonfires going, and then to Laguna and that spectacular cliff. Well, it’s great going north past Malibu, too.

But my favorite freeway that almost never lets me down? The 105. It’s a great, underrated freeway, and it’s an excellent alternate to the 5 or the 405, which are both parking lots, 24/7.

6. What’s your least favorite?

The 101. Hate. That. Evil. Freeway. Has. Wretched. Traffic. Always.

7. What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen another driver do?

The week we moved to L.A., I was driving north on the 5 with Murray, almost to the Citadel. Traffic was heavy but moving very fast. Probably the average speed was 60, and there were cars on all sides. About one and a half car-lengths in front of me, the spare tire underneath the 4-Runner directly ahead of me suddenly came unscrewed and dropped straight down to the highway and started skidding like a hockey puck towards me.

This was when I knew that L.A. drivers have seen it all and know how to do this driving thing. Because everyone around me, still going 60 miles an hour, saw the hazard, and knew I needed to get away from it, and they all looked right and left and made a space for me, which I pulled into before the tire got to me — all without slowing down.

When I looked behind me, the same thing was happening down the 5: it was like the Red Sea parting as cars calmly made way for this spinning tire. There were no accidents. No panic. No pandamonium. And no one even bothered to slow down.

8. What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen left on the side of the road?

There are so many shoes. Where do all those shoes come from?

Category: Writing

2 Comments so far ↓

  • J-Baz

    Once I saw a little black dog trotting happily up the shoulder of an on-ramp as I was getting off the 134 in Burbank and to this day I am sick about not having tried harder to quickly pull over and try to find a safe way to somehow rescue that puppy. It was headed straight for the freeway. I hope in my heart that someone did rescue it and took it home to be their pet and that it didn’t get hit by a car. I know there are plenty of dogs in the world but still. Be thankful you’ve only seen shoes.

  • Shack

    I have two theories:
    The shoes come from the people that get hit by cars and who are taken, shoeless, away in ambulances. I read that in Baghdad, after a recent carbombing, there was a pile of around 50 shoes, since the bomb literally was blowing people off their feet. Yikes!
    The other reason there are so many shoes, is that people keep their old shoes in their trunks, on top of their spare tires. Then when they get a flat, they finally say, “What the hell do I still have these shoes for?” And they toss them over their shoulders.

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