I glanced down at the clock on my vehicle’s dashboard. It read 4:33 p.m.
“Plenty of time to get from Rockville, Maryland to D.C.,” I told my neighbor in the passenger seat. “The game is at 7.”
“Should be,” he responded nonchalantly.
As soon as our brief conversation ended, however, we were greeted by the most immense traffic jam the American Legion Bridge has ever known. It was as if every car ever manufactured since Henry Ford’s Model-T had decided to cross that bridge at that exact moment in time.
“The game starts at 7,” I said, trying to reassure my neighbor. “Plenty of time to go a paltry 24 miles.”
“Yup,” he said. “Besides, the first 25,000 fans get a free bobble head.”
As if the traffic wasn’t enough for the hands of karmic fate, the slow but steady droplets of rain falling from the skies added a nice touch of frustration to this Wednesday evening’s festivities.
“It’s just a little rain,” I told my neighbor. “How bad can it be?”
“No problem,” he said.
What happened next is a matter of speculation.
“Does the clock say 5:45?” I asked my neighbor, almost in disbelief.
“Sure does,” he stated, rather matter-of-factly.
From my limited knowledge of physics and time travel, to pass through a wormhole you must be moving in the first place. We were obviously sitting in a traffic jam and therefore not moving. Therefore, I believe we had experienced an anti-wormhole phenomenon: the rapid passing of time without having moved. How else can you explain the passing of 72 minutes in mere seconds?
Let’s rewind a little.
It had been my idea to drive in the first place. While I normally find Metro to be a suitable mode of transportation, the early closures due to repairs they had recently implemented, along with the thousands of semi-drunk riders at the end of the game, made driving the more preferred option in this case.
However, while sitting on the American Legion Bridge for 72 minutes – or having plunged through an anti-worm hole – I was forced to reconsider whether I had made the correct transportation decision.
At some point, we found ourselves off the bridge and on the Virginia side of the river. My car increased its speed to 35 miles per hour. This joyous occasion lasted all of 3 minutes and 14 seconds.
It was at this point that reality set in.
“We probably won’t get the bobble head,” said my neighbor.
“Not likely,” I said.
There’s a small fact about the George Washington Parkway that most D.C. residents aren’t aware of: there aren’t enough lanes on this road.
However, the GW Parkway affords stunning views of the river and the various monuments of D.C. as it winds south into the sprawling metropolis. These images serve as an illusion of sorts, lulling you into a near meditative state, forcing you to forget you are going to miss the first pitch and the bobble head due to immense traffic. Based on this, it is my belief that riders of the Parkway are merely pawns in someone’s sick sociological experiment.
As we made our way onto South Capitol Street at some point during that week, my bladder decided that it must relieve itself immediately. The results of this decision made my denim jeans and the car seats interior quite nervous.
“John,” I said in a panic-stricken voice. “You drive the rest of the way.”
I immediately jumped out of my car, which was still packed tightly in a traffic jam that had stretched the entire course of our 24-mile adventure.
John complied, as I ran, faster than I’ve ever run before, to the McDonald’s across the street.
There I remained, at that urinal, for several moments. The feeling of euphoria was indescribable.
I met up with John, who had successfully parked my car, and together we walked into the Park, well after the first inning; the bobble heads long since given to Metro riders.
“John,” I said. “Next time I suggest we drive to the game on a rainy weeknight of a bobble head giveaway, please punch me directly in the face.”
“No problem,” he said.