Commute to Oblivion

Jul 24th, 2010 | By | Category: Columns

If you’re like me, you must daydream on your ride to work that this will be the day in which your vehicle of transportation will be hit by an ice cream truck, resulting in a nice day off and melted snow cones for everyone.

But that’ll never happen. So you busy yourself with more mundane tasks before you go to your job, like a lamb to sausage (I’m a consultant, not a shaman at a Bible college, alright?).

If you drive to work, maybe you listen to NPR. I bet that’s soothing. But in my daily work, it’s all about multi-tasking! So when I’m driving I like to pretend I’m texting someone. Actually texting someone is dumb, because you can’t write a snappy comeback fast enough when you’re trying to turn the wheel with one knee (way harder than it looks!), but it’s fun to just tape a Blackberry to the top of your steering wheel and watch how much room people give you. Also it’s a good tip for shaving five minutes off your commute!

If you’re taking the bus or subway you might busy yourself with a crossword puzzle (I prefer the game “hangman” with my own picture, but maybe that’s too literal for others). But a fun game I like to play is “Bundy/Gacy/Manson.” That’s right. I like to stare at people and imagine which serial killer they would be, and then how they’d dispose of the body. What’s kick-ass about this game is that a long studious stare can result in a free seat! (Or a restraining order.)

Another favorite seems to be reading a book. I’m an adventurer, so I prefer reading when I’m walking. I feel that an elbow to the rib from a passerby prepares me for the metaphorical beating I’ll receive later in the office.

Sometimes, when I ride the subway, it’s pretty packed and I imagine that I’m a game piece in a mighty game of Tetris! Can I fit my professionally suited body, purse, emergency purse and satchel of Tupperware through the heaving waves of human misery?

Damn right I will, because I am the strongest of tetrominoes!!


Alison Burke is a writer from the Washington D.C. area, and has been a past Defenestration contributor. She enjoys cake and male models. She wishes her life was more like a Baby Bash video — save she would be the douche wearing a sideways cap as bikini-clad men grooved comedically for her viewing pleasure.

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