One morning not so long ago, I set out with all possible good cheer and optimism to make the trek from Edmonds to Tacoma. At 8:30 am. Now, it wasn’t my first rodeo on I-5, so I thought I was prepared for the challenge. I made it to the on-ramp, waited my turn and merged (try it, it doesn’t hurt) into the abyss. The stop and go traffic didn’t faze me, and I was on my way, albeit slowly.
Here I must digress. To the engineers, designers, and city officials who thought it’d be a pretty neat idea to throttle four lanes of interstate highway down to one lane of travel and force it into a tunnel in the heart of a major metropolitan area—you’re on my karma list. You can’t plead historic necessity, I lived here when you constructed this abomination, and it wasn’t that long ago.
I approach the choke point (executing a perfect power slide to avoid being summarily crushed by an indifferent car hauler) and when I enter the tunnel my GPS loses its tiny mind and starts shrieking nonsensical things at me.
“Turn right immediately, and head southwest on Olive Way!”
Me, “Wait, what?”
“OMG, make an immediate U-turn!”
“What are you talking about, you @#$%?”
“IF YOU DON’T BACK UP 45 FEET THE FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE WILL BE UNLEASHED AND YOU WILL NEVER ARRIVE AT YOUR DESTINATION!”
“Calm the **** down, GPS, I’m in the tunnel!”
GPS emits cannon fire sound effects and starts chanting what I can only assume is some kind of Norwegian funeral dirge (it is Seattle) along with a lot of Ragnarok and Valhalla noise.
Me, “Shut up, shut up, shut UP!” and I unleash a stream of invective that would totally get me on the Olympic Cursing Team. Finally, I pop out of the tunnel like a cork from a bottle and the GPS chirps, “Oh, cool! Continue south on I-5.”