Car Crash
2008/05/08

I live in Northern California just South of San Francisco.  I guess
the traffic isn't as bad as Los Angeles, or perhaps other places, but
it is still pretty crowded.

I don't know why I have started noticing car crashes more often, but
for some reason, I have.  I begin to believe there must be a serious
crash every day on the highway.  And yet still, people drive insane.

Imagine 4 lanes of traffic, folks driving anywhere from 45 to 85, with
everyone merging, and perhaps 1 out of 20 cars swerving like they were
immortal.  That is what it's like driving in our area.

Once you've been out here you will see many things.  Cars will flip
over... go over barriers, all kinds of stuff.  But most of the time
you don't see the accident, you just get stuck in the nearly daily
traffic jam and pass the aftermath.

If an accident is bad enough, they pull the large fire trucks along
side in order to protect workers, and I suppose block the sight of the
accident and people.

The last few months have been particularly bad.

Just the other day we decided to try out our new outdoor dinner table.
We had just sat down to enjoy some spaghetti, when we heard a loud car
crash that had to be on the highway.  It sounded bad.

We kinda looked at each other not saying much.  I guess we were both
thinking people were likely hurt in the crash, as we did not talk
much.  I remember sitting in the quiet, cutting the noodles and
watching the red sauce flow around the fork.  As I cut deeper into the
spaghetti, the fork would eventually reach the plate and scrape a
little.

About half way through the meal, we started to hear sirens from across
the city moving towards the highway.  Sounded like a few of them, so I
imagine they must have been moving the large fire trucks.  They
arrived just as we were finishing up dinner.

I'm sure the services responded quickly, but it's amazing how long the
course of a meal seems when you think it is the same amount of time
someone may have had to wait to be rescued.  I hope they were OK.

A few days later, I was driving to work and a police car drove in
front of me and started swerving back and forth across the lanes.
This is what they do to stop traffic on a 4 lane highway.  You see it
from time to time.

But for me, it meant another car crash ahead, and I just couldn't bear
to see it.  Not another one!  This was just too much.

The cop brought us all to a halt, and he got out of his car.  There,
on the side of the highway was a mother duck and 6 of her ducklings.
I guess they decided to cross, and someone called the highway patrol.

It was real nice to see.  You could see everyone kinda cheering on the
cop or simply smiling.  No one was upset about stopping for this.  It
was a very nice break.