Good morning, drivers. Let’s start off on the Northbound Merritt where crews are finishing up some overnight pothole work. Should cost you an extra fifteen minutes through Exit 29. Taking a look around the outer boroughs, it appears my sandwich was stolen from the community lunchroom this morning. Things are about to get interesting if I don’t eat something soon. Southbound, Eastbound, Westbound—it’s all pretty much a shitshow out there right now.
Regular listeners will recall I’ve referenced my low blood sugar in the past. Should I say anything strange in the next ninety seconds, or overreact to basic traffic explanations, it’s a result of my mental capacity dwindling as my glucose levels drop. Thank my colleagues in the weather and sports department, who look at the traffic report as a lesser form of journalism and think nothing of stealing a PB&J that does not belong to them.
Gridlock on the B.Q.E., the F.D.R., the L.I.E., can someone get me something to eat! A downed tree on the Bruckner is the result of a tree having fallen. Figure it out, people. Half a Twix, handful of pretzels, a cough drop—anything.
Holy mother of god! Getting reports of bodies lying all over the Van Wick Expressway, or something! Commuters are merging on to the shoulder. Is getting to work on time all that matters to you people? Slow down you heartless, scumbag swine!
I can’t even say for sure if this Van Wick thing is real, or if my colleagues are messing with me again. Certainly a tragedy if true, but a Van Wick Commuter Massacre would mark the high point in a traffic reporter’s career marred by interoffice hijinks and constant sandwich thefts so colleagues can enjoy the chemical reaction that renders me a raving lunatic. Heavy delays on the Whitestone heading into Queens. Heavy delays also for a man who took a part-time job so he could work on his novel, and twenty-three years later he’s still reporting rubbernecking at five o’clock every morning. So hungry. For cheese. For life. Mickey, you up there? Can we get some eyes on the Van Wick? Let’s go to Newscopter Nine, folks.
Okay, I’m being told we don’t have a Newscopter. Mickey is something I hallucinate before the terror sweats begin. I’m also being told it was a tractor trailer hauling mannequins that jackknifed on the Van Wick, so disregard anything I may have said about commuters being heartless swine. Ten minutes at the Holland, fifteen at the Lincoln, forty-five at the George Washington. Vision is blurry. Cow people. Ice cream computer monitor. Been one big traffic jam since college, more or less.
Hearing reports of motorists stopping to pick up the mannequins and strapping them into the passenger seat so they can use the HOV lane. I… just… no… That’ll back up traffic a solid three miles, folks. Every motorist in the Tri-State area is texting while driving. Every motorist is seconds away from ending up in a tree, a river, a dead end job. You idiots sitting in the traffic I’m describing are sending me pictures of your breakfast, you sick, twisted motherfuckers. I’m adding ten minutes at the Midtown Tunnel for that! What the hell are we doing? You’re sitting inside environment-polluting tin cans and I’m calling the play by play.
Every. Single. Morning.
The Hutchinson is a parking lot in both directions. What are you jackasses doing now? Doesn’t seem to be an accident. Let’s go to the webcam. It appears everyone is waiting… for a family of ducks to cross the road? How about that? As much as some roast duck in orange sauce would be divine right now, this traffic reporter is truly stunned. Nobody honking. Nobody inching through on the shoulder. Kind of touching, if you think about it. Just a whole avalanche of stress and steel and gasoline pausing for a few moments of the bigger picture to go about its day. O Me! O Life! O Traffic! Those baby ducks will cost you thirty at the Henry Hudson Bridge.
Alternate side parking is in effect. Reliable traffic and weather every ten minutes, or as soon as I get something to eat.