Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Don't F#@k With My Sundays

Sundays are sacred to me.  Oh, yeah, I go to church and all that.  But, once April comes around, the day takes on an even more religious aura.

Dodger games.

I'm there every Sunday afternoon during every season.  Day games underneath the California sun.  Majestic mountains in the background.  Me there in my loge seat with a scorebook in my lap.  Cheering on the home team.

There is nothing like it.  Another form of worship for yours truly.

Usually, there are some home Sundays where ESPN intervenes and the game is moved to a 5PM start.  But, still, regardless of the time, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

I was so looking forward to last Sunday.  It was an ESPN game and that was going to allow me to sample for the first time the new Tommy Lasorda Trattoria.  I know sausage and peppers are on the menu there.  I wanted to taste them with every fiber of my tongue.  I couldn't wait.  I baked extra time into my drive to the stadium so I would be able to have a leisurely Italian repast prior to the game.

I couldn't wait.

Onto the 405 Freeway.  Merge onto the 10 East.  Traffic is a little pokey.  There is a motorcycle down around Vermont Avenue.  No worries.  Kick the body aside and let us go around it. 

I was on time.  I could smell the onions mixing in with the sausage and the grease.

On Sundays, I have developed my own shortcut to the stadium.  You can cut through the streets of downtown Los Angeles and shave ten minutes off your route to Chavez Ravine.  It doesn't work well for weeknight games, but, on Sundays, it's as if I'm on one of those leisurely drives to Ferncliff Cemetery with my grandparents.  I pop off the freeway for the downtown breeze-through.

And immediately hit a wall of traffic.


There are two lanes of cars going nowhere.  One is turning left.  The other is turning right.  Nobody is moving forward.  I look ahead.  There are police barricades.  And, in the distance on a virtually clear street....


The bane of a Los Angeles motorist's existence.  Assholes on bicycles.

I was trapped and angry and ready to commit homicide.   Meanwhile, the parking enforcement idiots who give out tickets on normal days double as traffic cops for special events.  These clowns are usually fat women who are one ladder step up the career rung from McDonald's French fry salters.  They are perfect validation of one of my dad's trusted adages of life.

"At the end of every traffic jam, there's a cop."

I wanted to scream.  And, as a matter of fact, I did so.  Several times.  I was pushed into a direction that was headed west.   The ballpark is to the north.  The clock was ticking.  My sausage and peppers was now a cholesterol-filled dream at the end of my driving nightmare.

Kill me now.

When I finally got my car turned in the right direction, I inched and meandered my way towards the stadium.  Practically at every stop sign, we had to wait. 


Assholes on bicycles.  I secretly hoped that I could watch one of them have a tire blowout, go over the handlebars, and land splat on the pavement.  Without a helmet.

Somehow, I got to the game.  We really only missed part of the top of the first inning.  But, my dinner plans changed.  And my routine had been disrupted.  Because of...


Assholes on bicycles.

I learn later that this big event downtown was some nonsense called CycLaVia.  Opening all the streets to a wonderful and ecologically-friendly day of merry bike riding through the towering office buildings of Los Angeles.  Indeed, if the city had its way, there would be no cars in the city.  Only people pedaling around. 

Yeah, right. 

Okay, I have nothing against bicycle enthusiasts.  Those folks who truly enjoy the sport and take it seriously on weekends.  When they take their bikes to country roads and commune with nature.  Nope, no problem with them.

But there are the others.  You know who they are.  The cyclists who populate the streets where you and I are trying to drive.  Clogging lanes.   Getting in your way.  Not paying attention to any traffic rules whatsoever.

I saw plenty of these jerks on Sunday.  Being empowered to ride gleefully around without a care in the world.  And the same dumbbells take this license to do whatever they want on any other day of the year.

And, as a result of this misguided focus, you wind up with days like this.  With drivers like me gridlocked all over town.

If there was advance publicity on this event, it certainly didn't make it to my in-box.  And, how stupid are the promoters of this lunacy to schedule it on a Sunday where there is a Dodger game and 50,000 fans struggling to get to a venue so nearby?

Ecologically friendly?  Maybe for the shitheads pedaling around.  Not for the cars like mine that were burning up a gas tank like it was a bag of marshmallows at a Boy Scout retreat.

Just when you think things can't get crazier, oh, well, they sure do.

Dinner last night:  Stuffed tortellini and meatballs.

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