How to Survive Traffic in LA

My use of profanity growing up was very rare due to the strict policy my mom had against it. Even when my friends in school started using foul language, I stuck to “dang” and “oh man!”

Over the years it didn’t change much—well, except when I got my driver’s license.  Soon after, my car quickly began to morph into my profanity haven. When I’m alone in my car, all bets are off on what is going to come out of my mouth. On some days, a fly on the wall might think I’d just returned from a six month voyage with a group of Alaskan crab fisherman. I curse at bad drivers. I curse at bad weather. I curse at objects floating in the wind that I think are birds dive bombing my windshield.

When I sit in traffic for an extended period of time, I tend to become delirious, which I think is a healthy alternative to screaming at the slow moving cars and incessantly honking my horn. I talk to myself about things on my mind, I add commentary to the drive, I tell Siri to send my friends messages that she never gets right.

An average day of traffic commentary sounds something like this:

  • Kim, you nailed that note.
  • HEY DUDE go faster, we’re on the freeway
  • Oh hellooooo boy in the truck, come to mama.
  • Wait is he 24 or like 64…..EW.
  • Oh my gosh look at that dog, pupppyyyy!
  • My butt hurts.
  • Yeah, no I’m not letting you over.
  • HELLOOO are you not going to let me over?!
  • I wonder what ever happened to my kindergarten teacher.
  • Wait, was that the exit?!
  • I seriously cannot feel my butt anymore
  • I wanna go home.

A few years ago I had an internship in downtown LA, meaning I spent a minimum of three hours on the 405 each day. I’m still surprised I survived. To those of you who take any California (or equivalent) freeway to and from work every day, I salute you. Also, I’d like to ask you a few questions: how’s your life these days? How many people have you seriously considered murdering? (If it’s less than 5, you’re still alright.) How do you deal with the butt cramps?

And while my time spent in rush hour traffic was brief, it was still miserable, and in the hope of making your continued time in traffic less so, I have created a list of things to help improve your commute:

  1. Find a song on that radio that you know, doesn’t matter if you love it or hate it, just find one that you know the lyrics to, and sing it in a loud accent different from your own. (I often go for British)
  2. Invent a new laugh for yourself. Try one where you don’t smile, one where you don’t open your mouth, and one with your tongue out.
  3. Crack your windows, point at the sky and yell “WOAAHHH” a couple times, and then watch the surrounding drivers try to find the invisible thing you are pointing at.
  4. Show defiance towards every billboard you see, pointing your finger at them like you would a child that just stole cookies from the jar. NO MCDONALDS, I AM NOT LOVING IT. NO NIKE, I WILL NOT DO IT.
  5. Do some few butt clenches to the beat of a song and count it as your workout for the day.
  6. Have a conversation with yourself aloud, stacked with jokes, confessions, and awkward silences. The neighboring cars will only envy you for having someone to talk to. (They’ll think you have someone on speakerphone or Bluetooth, THOSE CRAZY IDIOTS)

I think everyone in LA, New York, or any other traffic filled city finds their own way to cope with traffic. My way might be weirder than others, but I’d like to think it’s a bit more productive than picturing all the ways in which you could kill the person in front of you. Plus, I have recently perfected a butt clenching routine to my British rendition of Katy Perry’s “Part of Me.” It warms hearts, and it tones glutes.


One response to “How to Survive Traffic in LA”

  1. This made me laugh Kimberlee! I spent a year in LA a few years ago and this has taken me back to the times spent on the 405! A good commentary for driving where ever you are in the world, I think!

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