Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Back in My Day, We Sat in Traffic — and We Liked It

Posted By on Tue, Sep 27, 2011 at 5:22 AM

It could be worse. You could live in Beijing.
  • It could be worse. You could live in Beijing.
My most vivid childhood and young adult memories of being stuck in traffic all revolve around Nashville. I remember one night when I sat on I-24 for three hours while coming into town from Kentucky my freshman year of college. I remember being stuck on I-40 coming in from Lebanon more times than I could count as a child. It's when we developed the family rule of taking the surface roads if we knew them, a practice that has served me well since moving here.

I also remember when getting from I-40 East to I-65 South involved crossing three lanes of traffic — and as my mom tried to somehow look over the back of the camper to see if we had room to get over, my dad would yell, "Goddamnmotherfuckingsonofabitching kids, shut up." (True story: I did not know there were separate cuss words until high school. I thought there was just one grand cuss word, and you could break lesser parts off as needed.) Needless to say, vacations with the Phillipses were not often restful.

Traffic was so bad in Nashville that it even made Robert Altman's Nashville.

So when I just learned that three Nashville interchanges are among the worst in the nation, I found myself thinking, "It's a helluva lot better than it used to be."

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