Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit amphetamines

Subtitle: ‘Jesus Take the Wheel’

Apparently the traffic jam from hell made national headlines. I’m surprised I wasn’t the one making headlines — if there had been shots of me on a traffic cam, howling and crying and screaming, y’all would’ve known EXACTLY who it was!

Anyway, I could tell you about all the existential pondering I did during that three-hour joyride, or I could tell you the funny side of it. Because like my one colleague said, I don’t just have stories — I have STORIES.

I was calm for the first 90 minutes. I had trouble merging onto the Beltway, but going from a two-lane GW Parkway to a five-lane Inner Loop of the Beltway usually alleviates the waiting in line thing.


So I got on the Beltway and immediately merged behind a lumber truck. And it scared me so I shot over to the far left lane as efficiently as I could, given the gridlock. But hey, I’m only on the Beltway for four miles — I figured it wouldn’t be THAT bad.

So an hour and a half later, I’d gone MAYBE two miles. I’d been listening to my headphones so I figured, hey, maybe I need to turn on a radio. So I flipped on 99.5-FM, just in time to hear the DJ saying that she hopes everyone’s having a good day, unless we were in the mess leading up to 270 ’cause it was closed, in which case we were screwed.

And thus, I was screwed.

And I really, really had to pee. Like, hence the howling and pleading with the universe to throw a girl a bone or a catheter or a miracle or something. Mercury went into retrograde with a bang today, I say. Jeebus H.

Anyway, I started debating pulling over to the shoulder and just voiding my widdle bladder on the medial strip, but I feared my big white ass in the air would start redirecting satellite traffic. And I really didn’t want Cingular or XM’s waves bouncing off my butt, so I thought better of using the highway as my toilet.

Unfortunately, I’d just scarfed down a huge bottle of water during my captivity, and I was miserable. Like, psychotically miserable. So, armed with the knowledge that NOBODY was getting onto 270, I had to figure out an alternative.

So, I hopped all the way back across the Beltway to the far right lane. Local yokels know that the left lanes go to Rockville/Frederick (where I was headed) and the right lanes go to Bethesda/Baltimore (and all the way back around the Beltway). I figured, nobody’s going to be going THAT way, right?

Wrong again.

So I headed up the way I don’t know very well and could see the mess on the 270 spur (the overturned truck and cop cars and the last remnants of the wreckage), as well as the mess in the other exit that leads to Rockville. The line was about five miles long. I sat in it for a minute before driving ON THE SHOULDER and merging left again, bypassing all of it.

We’re at hour two-and-a-half-plus at this point, and I’m jaundiced.

I took the Wisconsin Avenue exit — seemed safe. No one was in line for it anyway. I figured, just get me to a powder room and maybe I can figure out where the fuck I am and try to either get to work (which was just a couple of miles away) or just pack it in and go home and work from there.

So, I figured, Bethesda is a pretty urban area — there are grocery stores and gas stations and toilets everywhere, right? How hard could it be?

So I saw a sign for the hospital and I think, yay! Hosptial! Hospitals have bathrooms! They treat crazy people like me who have mascara and tears streaming down their cheeks and the onset of psychosis from the claustrophobia of sitting still on the Beltway in a tiny sports car for three hours, no?

This is where the story gets good (yes, finally — shut up).

So dumbass me doesn’t quite go as far as the hospital but instead turns into the National Institutes of Health. Look at that URL — it’s a dot-gov. What does that mean? The feds. And security checkpoints and no trespassing unless you have clearances blah blah blah bladdercakes.


So I pulled into the gate and got stopped by security. Like, police security. I was still sort of whimpering and said sorry, I was hoping I could find a public restroom but I’ll turn around please kill me thanks anyway.

Yes, I said that verbatim. I was desperate.

The guy was nice and told me to pull up to the security booth and let them know he’d said it was OK to use their bathroom.

Joy! Rapture! O porcelain wonder where I could dump the contents of that FUCKING water bottle in the car!

I have to pause for a station identification break here to say that the men to whom I’ve told this story DON’T GET IT but all my female friends are all “Hell Yeah!” on how much it HURTS when a girl’s gotta pee. I mean, my teeny bladder was pressing up against internal organs and making me INSANE.

Want more confessions from Saddam Hussein? Make him drink a lot and park his ass on the Beltway. He’ll be begging for mercy. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — relieving one’s bladder is superior to having an orgasm. Not by much, mind you, but hot damn, it ends the feeling of wanting to commit homicide/suicide.

Anyway, back to the story. Because, of course there’s more — this is ME we’re talking about!

OK, so I pulled up to the security area and was immediately approached by a cop. I hopped out of the car (I think I left the door ajar) and explainedinonelongsentencemyplightand OHMYGOD — BeltwayTrafficBAD MUST PEE DEAR GOD FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLY LET ME IN!!!!!

Again, verbatim.

After taking down my license plate and the make/model of my car (I think), she told me to go through the front door (I was at the side) to go through a metal detector.

I would have walked through FIRE at that point if there was a throne behind it, so whoopty doo.

But I always fail metal-detector tests. Today? NO EXCEPTION.

I was beeping all over the place. I’ve been stopped in airports because of hair accessories — I knew that had to be at least one of the culprits. I’m also wearing a lot of silver rings (I am always in sterling silver) and my jeans had metal buttons on them.

Oh, heh. I shouldn’t admit this, but I had unbuttoned my jeans, so there I was with my already-low-riders riding down, well, even further as they were UNDONE. So my ass is hanging out and I’m whimpering and blubbering and saying for the love of CHRIST can we just do this AFTER I PEE?!?!


So I got through the detector and they picked up their little wand and proved that yes, I was right — the hair accessory, the jeans button and the bracelet were guilty as charged.

Throughout all of this, I am still crying and freaking the hell out and saying, “Oh, god, just KILL me already. I am going to commit SUICIDE if we can’t expedite the process!”

To which I was asked, “Are you a patient here?”

Whoops. Because, you know, they have LABS on the premises — Psychopath, Party of One! She’s escaped!!!


So as I am ready, finally, to go into the glorious room where I’ve longed to be, the one lady cop said, “It might be occupied.”

I said, “I’ll kill them.”


I was asked again, “Are you SURE you’re not a patient here?”

Me? “I will be if that room is occupied!”

It wasn’t.



At this point, I am ushered out by security (never to be let in again!). Tears are dried. Eyes are burning. But cooter? She is happy. 😉

So at this point, I decide to call in to work, as it is past noon after all and I have, like, deadlines and stuff.

I was sitting behind a cement truck in the right-hand lane of two left-turning lanes. (It makes sense around here.) I am not quite sure when my boss’s voicemail picked up, but I’ll bet it was when the truck zipped forward and I punched the gas to make the left onto Rockville Pike and I’d gotten up to 45 mph in a hurry when. …

… the fucking truck throws itself into REVERSE!!!!!!

Jesus H on a motherlovin’ pogo stick.

I guess, in retrospect, he’d overshot the turn and needed to correct himself. But as I was ready to plow into him and someone was ready to plow into me, I had to act fast.

Problem was, there was a string of cars in the other turning lane, too, so I was either going to get mowed over by the cement truck or I was likely going to smash the car to my left that was turning with me.

I held my breath and decided I’d take my chances of smashing the next car off the road. My little Samantha would surely lose to the truck.

>By some (the only) grace of God today, I managed to not hit anyone or anything. Scared the fuck out of them, of course, but everyone escaped unscathed. *whew*

Anyway, I babbled some incoherent monologue into the voicemail, and lord only knows what it was. Because I’d just lived and was high from that, I was now pondering where the fuck I actually was and what I needed to do to get into the right direction.

I have been told that said voicemail will be saved for the company Christams party, likely for the masses to hear what it’s like when I’m off my meds. 😉

Let’s just say that I’m usually edgy ANYWAY when I get to work, but I was FLAMING when I got there this afternoon. EVERYONE was approaching me gingerly, waiting for the Linda Blair side of my personality to surface. (Like they don’t see it every OTHER day of the week. Sheesh!)

In any event, I would love to say that evening traffic was better, but this is me we’re talking about. Yes, the Beltway and 270 were clear by the time I dragged my ragged ass outta there, but guess what? The GW Parkway was backed up to the Beltway! I flew off of the exit ramp and nearly rear-ended the 10-mile-long stretch of cars in my lane. *sigh*

Believe it or not, while I was on the Beltway circa 10 a.m., I was writing on my lap in my journal. I almost KILLED someone who shot in front of me unexpectedly (I had taken my foot off the brake for two seconds to flex my fucking toes and I hadn’t looked up). I may have to print the entry from today — it’s rather, um, RAW. We’ll see. 😉

Anyway, in sum, what a piss-poor way to start a day!

5 Responses to Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit amphetamines

  1. Inachis :

    Sheesh! Lord I’m glad I live close enough to my place of employment that I can *walk* to work everyday.

  2. Amy :

    You know, I was starting to doubt my decision to move here to the midwest because I’m having such a hard time finding work, but love, unemployment is far better than what you just endured. Jeebus.

    I may have to link and quote heavily from this entry on my own blog, because seriously sister, this wone is too good NOT to be shared! 🙂

  3. nic :

    Actually, you did right by going to NIH. If you’d turned into Suburban Hospital, you’d still be trying to find a parking space.

  4. Caterwauling :

    […] Confidential to those who decide on my compensation package, after Thursday’s commute from hell, Amy raises a point of consideration: And as my female readers will tell you, when you have to pee you HAVE to pee. It hurts and it drives you to the point that you do desperate things to relieve yourself. Now, I’ve never found myself in the despearate situation dear Dawn did, but she gets major huge props for talking her way into a secure mental hosptial to use the facilities. That, my friends, is pure brilliance. … […]

  5. Chuck :

    Here’s one guy who sympathizes with you. Back when we’d take a 6 pack of Cokes I’d be stopping every half hour (if I could find somewhere) One day I was on 95 in the middle of Georgia (back in the late 70s before somebody woke up and put more restaurants and rest stops in). I was 1/4 mile from the gas station, decided we couldn’t get there fast enough, and ran to it.
    These days, my blood pressure medicine is a diuretic, so I don’t take it when I go on long trips.