DON'T FORGET TO LAUGH
Too Many Express Lanes
Amazon trucks are delivering to Davidson residents in record numbers these days. The coveted item they are carrying: noise canceling headphones. As loud profanity in homes and public spaces becomes common place, parents scramble to protect their offsprings’ delicate minds from the onslaught of “&*(%#! and $*+^@!!!” Yes, the online ads for the I-77 Express Lane have begun.
With guilt ridden messages implying you slept late or left your poor dog alone for too long, these ads offer you a pass to the fast lane. “Life in the fast lane, Surely make you lose your mind.” Just acknowledging the *&^! Express Lane exists raises our heart rate to the “explosion” level on our Fitbits.
Much like Pavlov’s dog, we see the ad, we cuss, loudly. Do we really need reminders of the hell I-77 construction has put us through? How many tires have been worn prematurely smooth because of “texture” in the asphalt? How many realignments have been required because we dared to use exit 30 with its baklava of pavement?
The Express Lane ad pops up and, once again, we grieve for the precious moments lost as we sat in our cars begging for the red traffic line on our phones to turn green. All the praying, positive thoughts, and mind control would not make those cars budge. It is wasted time we will never get back and we know it.
This is trauma we would care to leave behind as we exit our cars. But noooo! We go online to check the weather or see what movie is playing and BAM! the blue ads hit us right between the eyes. Windows shudder from the volume of vulgarity spewing from our throats. Children gasp at words they’ve only heard us use when assembling IKEA furniture or trying to find items in the newly arranged Harris Teeter.
(I’d like to take a moment to thank the Antiquity Harris Teeter for helping us exercise our brains. Who needs Lumosity when your favorite grocery store has flipped all the aisles? Need to challenge the ol’ grey matter? Just try to find sparking water. Is it on the aisle marked “water”? No! It’s stored with the sodas! Who the #%@ decided to move everything and why do they hate us? Are they just trying to force us to use the order-ahead service, like they push us to the self-checkout by hiring too few cashiers? Okay, now back to our regularly scheduled column.)
It is no surprise that research shows profanity increases in our vehicles with each day the I-77 construction continues. Now it is also woven into every fabric of our lives. There is no escaping it.
“Just turn off the electronics and enjoy Mother Nature,” you say. Ahh, let’s all go for a jog on the greenway. Wait, what is this by the Pines and the Parks and Rec building? Yes, it’s the Express Lane for the greenway. Pay a fee and soon you can use it for running or cycling around those strolling at a snail’s pace.
It’s still under construction. So, should you go at night, you may have the random racoon or possum shining lights in your eyes and directing you to go left, no right, no left. A deer will block the greenway exit you desire and direct you to the Lowe’s exit.
When will the greenway Express Lane be finished? No one knows for sure. Just put the earphones on your kids and turn on your computer or phone. As completion approaches, the ads will alert you.
Carol Wilber Bradfield
Carol Wilber Bradfield is one of those "Lake People." She snuck into Davidson many years ago when someone left the gate open one night. If seen, please approach carefully and give her a hug... and cash if you have it. Lots of cash. Thank you.