Sunday, November 6, 2011

Holding My Breath

Happy Fall Back Day, everyone! Are your clocks, both internal and external, set to the right time? I think mine are.

I'm at work at the moment, where one lone student is typing desperately away at one of the lab Macs in order to turn in her blog post on time. Her dedication astounds me.

As I was driving this somewhat warmish Fall day, I came upon a rather common scene in the crossing of Mobile Bay. You see, there's this tunnel that all cars must go through in order to continue on I-10. It's not very long. When I was a kid, I used to hold my breath when my parents were driving through it and it was no problem for me to hold my breath the whole time.

However, as I've come into my own as a driver, I've noticed that some other motorists find the prospect of driving through the tunnel to be slightly frightening. Here is the conversation I have with them (every single time):

"Oh no! This tunnel looks so scary! I think it wants to swallow me and my car whole! I need to slow down so it doesn't think I'm a threat!"

Me: "The speed limit in the tunnel is 55 mph! It's safe to go at least 60 then! Why must you slow down to 35? The tunnel is your friend!"

"Oh, now that I'm in the tunnel, I feel kinda safe. It's like the womb but for cars. I don't think I want to leave, but now that I know it won't hurt me, I'm going to speed up. This is kinda fun!"

Me: "Thank you! Now we're finally back up to the speed limit. Oh wait, don't--"

"Oh no! There's a light at the end of the tunnel! I think it wants to blind me as I try to exit! The light isn't my friend! I need to slow down to a crawling speed again even though that person in the car behind me is honking! I sure hope I don't die when the sunlight hits my car!"

Me: *fumes* "You have on sunglasses! GO INTO THE LIGHT!"

"I'm so relieved! That tunnel wasn't so bad. This sunlight feels nice on my hands. I'm glad I remembered that I had sunglasses. Also, I feel like going faster! Weeeeeeee!"

Me: "I hate the tunnel."


  1. For some reason, your dialog with the drivers reminded me of the dog from the movie "Up." And, I hasten to add, if you haven't seen "Up," it's worth it for the dogs alone. :)

  2. Thank your lucky stars you will never be driving behind ME toward that tunnel. Because I would be backing up, looking for a way not to enter it, even if it meant that I was forever relegated to life on my side of the tunnel.

    "Up" made me cry. First, the clouds thingy at the beginning, and then the old lady. I was beginning to wonder if I could make it through the movie. My kids? Unaffected.

  3. The way we took to Duluth when I was a kid had tunnels. We'd hold our breath and make a wish.
    When you drive through Custer State Park there are shorter tunnels, but they only fit one vehicle at a time on a road that goes both ways. Luckily, you can see the end so you can see when it's free.
    Sometimes I miss driving through tunnels. The ones in Duluth were well lit and I don't remember my parents getting frustrated with other drives, but that was a long time ago.

  4. @Val: I cried a couple times watching "Up." I took my cousins to go see it in theaters because the commercials made it seem like it was a comedy. They didn't tell me about the sad parts. It had its Mufasa moments.

    @M.E.: This tunnel has two lanes going in each direction. The interstate goes right under the canal and it's well-lit. In fact, it's really big. But people still slam on the brakes despite that. On the days when I get to drive through it unimpeded, I like to pretend that I'm a bullet coming out of a gun barrel. Pow! Zoom! It's fun.


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