There’s no way to begin this blog without sounding like some peppy, cliché “So You’re New To LA” handbook.
So before I dive into the topic at hand, let me give you my top cliché openers*:
*(To be read in the voice of a snarky, zany voiceover actor who is a birthday party clown on the side.)
“Let’s face it, LA has A LOT of traffic.”
“Let’s get real, here. If you’re moving to LA, you’re pretty much moving to a giant traffic jam.”
“Let’s be honest, if you’re coming to Tinsel Town, get ready to slow it down.”
“Let’s cut to the chase. LA + 6pm = Gridlock. Period.”
“Let’s take it back now ya’ll. One hop this time. One hops this time. Right foot two stomps. Left food two stomps. Slide to the left. Slide to the right. Crisscross. Crisscross.”
Okay, so that last one was my version of the wedding favorite Cha Cha Slide (I added the “Let’s” to make it my own) sung by the incomparable DJ Casper (respect), but you get the idea. In LA, driving always sucks. And I, being a chronic multi-tasker and person born with approximately 0% patience, have taken if upon myself to use my car time wisely and cleverly, as opposed to using it to get really really really upset.
So because (back to the zany clown voice now) LA Traffic is the worst, amiright?, I am bringing you my list of:
PRODUCTIVE THINGS TO DO ALONE IN THE CAR WHILE YOU’RE STUCK IN TRAFFIC.
I have not put them in order of safest to least safe, so I advise you to always drive carefully and always wear a seatbelt. Like, don’t be dumb and then blame the blog for your dumbness. And remember: If you drink and drive you have a small penis. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_yhum6rgCM That’s just fact, yo. So don’t do it.
The originality of ideas are in no particular order. (i.e. Total Givens are included.)
Pick your nose. – Get in there. Get after it. Pull the big one, flick it out the window, and enjoy all the wonders that clear breathing can be. Who cares if someone sees you? You don’t know them. You don’t. Pros: The glorious sensation of successfully clearing a nasal passage Cons: Sticky fingers, stranger seeing you. Best done when: You are at a traffic light and dude next to you is on his phone. Flick when car is moving again. TOTAL GIVEN.
Learn all the words to Eminem’s Lose Yourself. – You got time. Do it. Find the track, rewind when needed and don’t stop until you got it down. The hardest lyric for me to recite is: “he knows his whole back to these ropes it don’t matter he’s dope he know that but he’s broke he’s so stagnant he knows when goes home to his mobile home that’s when it’s back to the lab again yo.” If you can nail that the rest of the song is easy coasting. Use it at parties. Pros: Showcasing your inner badass, pride. Cons: Song may be dated for the younger crowd. Adjustments: Any rap song will do, I guess. None will be as cool but to each their own. LOSE YOURSELF 4EVA.
Call your mom. – She’s always telling you to. Or at the very least, she wants you to. Fill your mom talk quota. Ask her specific questions about her book club and/or book she is reading or books in general and the traffic jam time will fly by! Bonus points if you can get dad on speakerphone. Pro tip, for all phone calls, use a set of hands free headphones. Pros: Score brownie points with your folks! Or if you’re like me and really enjoy talking to your mom, like, enjoy it. Cons: “Can you hear me? I’m talking as loud as I can. Did you… did she just hang up on me? Oh hi Mom. No that was you… You want me to repeat my story to Dad?” TOTAL GIVEN.
Fart. – If you are alone and need to get it out before an important engagement, brothers and sisters, let it rip. Pros: Ever see The Last King Of Scotland where James McAvoy puts a golf club over Forest Whitaker’s stomach and pulls? That must have been a nice release. This is too. Cons: Stinky car, but well worth it. TOTAL GIVEN.
Practice your Oscar acceptance speech. – Duh. You can even throw in a little, “I have dreamt of this day for so long, I even practiced while I was young, poor, and stuck in traffic on the 101.” It will totally humanize you. Now all you got to work on is your sincerity, tasteful humor, and classy execution of thanking your spouse. Pros: When that day comes, and it will come, you’ll be ready. Cons: Unless you never win an Oscar and your life is totally meaningless. Adjustments: Insert desired award: Emmy, Tony, Grammy… Or practice four separate speeches and a fifth when you need to comment on how you got an EGOT.
Figure out how you could be of value in a group during a zombie apocalypse. – Would you be a strong fighter? Or would your brain be a helpful asset? If neither of those things apply, no one would want the burden of your sorry ass so are you able to live alone okay? Or will you just give up quickly and hope the devouring is as painless as possible? THESE ARE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS, PEOPLE. Pros: Discovering that building a tree house is a great idea! Cons: Dammit, you should have paid more attention at Girl Scout camp, you prick.
Play out a scenario where you say exactly what you want to say to that annoying co-worker, Tammy. – You can’t hold it in any longer, can you? It’s like, one minute you’re all, “ Eh – Tammy isn’t that bad,” but then she does that thing again and it’s all like BOOM “Tammy get out of my face with your words and your voice and your hair and how you’re all like, ‘Hi I’m Tammy’ all the time. Because seriously, I effing can’t right now, okay? Like I can’t.” Let it out! Then Elsa that shit. (i.e. Let It Go.) Pros: Don’t you feel better now? Cons: Ooo, that comeback might be too good. You may actually want to use it someday. Adjustments: F*** it, that con is a pro too.
Voicemail your bestie who lives in another state. – see this previous blog for explanation. https://inthesunwithalison.wordpress.com/2012/06/09/things-that-should-be-a-thing-volume-1/
Make a playlist of songs you would love to sing if you were lead vocals in LA’s most sought-after cover band. – Yes, that is a perfect opener to this set. The closer is solid too. And everybody will be on their feet with your surprisingly awesome rendition of Bonnie Raitt’s “Let’s Give Them Something To Talk About.” Pros: You sound amazing in the car. You should really start this cover band. Cons: CAN PINK EVER SING A SONG IN YOUR KEY? TOTAL GIVEN.
Make a playlist of songs you would love to sing if you actually got to meet the band and they asked you to join them onstage of a one-night-only event. – Me? Weezer? But I can’t– Hit it. MY NAME IS JONAS… Pros: River would be lucky to have you. Cons: Hoping no one posts mean shit about you on the internet about how you ruined the conceptually perfect My Name Is Jonas. Oh wait, this is just a car fantasy.
Make a playlist of songs you would otherwise not want people to know that you really thoroughly enjoy. – In short, Taylor Swift’s 1989 and Barbra Streisand’s Christmas album. Pros: It’s your car, YOU HAVE NO SHAME. Cons: We all know Babs is Jewish so is she a sell out with making a Christmas album? I don’t ever want to think badly about Babs.
Work on your Walken impression. – It’s so distinct, yet so hard. But you can do it, if you just focus. Pros: Once you master it, dinner conversations are in for a whole new world of interesting. Cons: Sorry, there are none. Adjustments: Try Goldblum on for size.
See if you can cry on cue. – The cars aren’t moving, so let your mind drift. Play a somber song. Think of dead puppies. Let the mouth quiver. You’re doing it. You’re doing it. Pros: You will win considerably more arguments with this trick. Cons: Shit, now that you’ve thought of dead puppies you can’t stop. The tears are pouring out of your eyes like a leaky kettle and the road is too blurry to see if you’ve gotten past the Melrose and Normandie Ave. exit yet. Adjustments: Maybe try to see if you can look like you’re crying without actually crying.
Practice your Tonight Show interview. – This may sound similar to practicing your Oscar Acceptance Speech, but it is far from it. Instead of sounding sincere and tastefully humorous, your anecdotes need to sound relatable and witty. What brings you to The Tonight Show? Will The Roots let you jam with them? Will Jimmy make you play a fun game? Will he let you co-host like Timberlake did for a week? Ah, so many scenarios to work through! Pros: Now all you need to worry about is not peeing yourself on stage. Cons: Who are you kidding? You will never get on The Tonight Show, you big fat failure. Adjustments: What mean tweet would you read on Kimmel? Will Seth Meyers charm your pants? Can you dance with Conan and sit next to Andy?
Meditate. – It’s nothing but beneficial to take a few moments and clear your head. Use this time for you time. Pro: It will be so calming, now just close your eyes, breath and… Con: AHHH KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE ROAD. ARE YOU CRAZY??
See? Isn’t this so much better than…
- Yelling “GO EFF OFF YOU JERK!”
- Overall anger in general?
Yeah, I thought so too.
– One L
“Moving right along, we’ve found a life on the highway, and your way is my way, so trust my navigation.” – Kermit the Frog and Fozzie Bear.