Liquid Plummer

Driving in Los Angeles

I’m almost certain there are no mental or physical aptitude requirements for you to legally operate a motor vehicle within Los Angeles city limits. In fact, before you even establish residence, your license will arrive certified mail, your signature required as documentation that you understand and agree to the terms and conditions contained within which proclaim that you are now officially an involuntary benefactor to the Los Angeles County revenue stream. Your first contractual obligation will be to pay the enclosed parking ticket, automatically issued to you and due in 21 days or the fine is doubled. You will also find a public service announcement from the board of health informing you that operating a motor vehicle is the second leading cause of insanity in the City of Angels. The leading cause is having to use public transportation in a city that covers 500 square miles and a rail system that only services 1/10 of that area.

When you hit the streets you will soon find yourself out of breath as you attempt to escape hostile natives who want to eat your brain as retribution for stealing the idol of their golden god. You may gain ground for a moment, but beware, when you change course in an attempt to lose your pursuers; you will inevitably find yourself up to your ears in vehicular quicksand.

Already submerged in the muck are a veritable melting pot of the uninsured, self entitled and suburbanite masochists who will ensure your commute is anything but pleasurable.

The uninsured are usually only moments away from any number of hit and run victims, as if they are in contention for taking the lead in Death Race 2000. The only physical evidence at the scene are the glass fragments the CSI”s have managed to dislodge from the victim’s skull, and the paint chips, which exceed OSCA led standards enough to conclude the vehicle is fresh off the blocks from a Tijuana chop shop, ensuring the vehicle has been stolen, then resold to the now felonious driver, with fake Vin tags ensuring it’s untraceable.

When you encounter the self entitled they will insist on showing you the sales receipt from their luxury car dealer as proof of manifest destiny, ensuring their right to the throne as divine rulers over the kingdom of the black top.

Finally, you’ll share the majority of your vehicular tenure with the suburban masochists who are the antagonists of their own self fulfilling prophecy as they waste 1/3 of their lives on the road to nowhere. What they consider a necessary evil will reveal itself as the leading contributor to brown air a symptom of their commute that covers anywhere from 50 to 100 miles to reach their respective cubicles. In the meantime, if we don’t appropriate more funds to expand their freeways they will insist they are victims of infrastructure discrimination instead of realizing their own self righteous narcissism.

On the off chance that you’ve managed to avoid the aforementioned nuisances, rest assured, for you will inevitably encounter a wide variety of cut off artists, tailgaters and those diametrically opposed to using their turn signals. Your final obstacle and possibly the most frustrating will be the plethora of unsynchronized traffic lights that will have you convinced you are the focus of an elaborate conspiracy orchestrated by the staff from The Truman Show who are competing for an incentive bonus, awarded to the individual that utilizes the most effective methods of commuter progress inhibitors.

My advice for successfully navigating through this cesspool of steel and smoke, is to set your GPS for the high road. It’s at the intersection of maturity and humility. With enough patience and persistence you will slowly but surely reach your destination. If you’re lucky you will have enough energy for further excursions into the veritable treasure chests of culture that are scattered throughout the eclectic landscape of the concrete jungle that is Los Angeles.

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