I’ve been living in southeastern Pennsylvania for going on three years, and while I’ve acclimated to the particulars of the region, there are some things that never cease to amaze and confuse the hell out of me, especially when it combines packing a street in Philadelphia with enough feathers, sequins, and elaborate costumes with massive backpieces as possible. No, it’s not the annual Gay Pride Parade – I’m talking about that particularly bizarre, garish, and unintentionally entertaining idiosyncratic piece of Philadelphia culture: the New Year’s Day Mummer’s Parade.
Yesterday, the fiancée and I spent about 7 and a half hours out of the house, doing a favor for some friends. Four of those hours were spent driving both to and from southern New Jersey in order to accomplish this.
The only way from where we live to where we were going was straight through Philadelphia. This normally wouldn’t be much of a problem, considering nothing can beat Manhattan drivers for pure unmitigated douchebaggery, but the only way in or out of Philly involves taking a stretch of Interstate 76 known as the Schuylkill Expressway – a highway that makes the Long Island Expressway look like the fucking Autobahn during rush hour.
I have nothing good to say about that piece of road. Nothing at all. In fact, if I was tasked with exhuming the bodies of the engineers that originally designed that abortion of a road in order to defile their corpses, I would pay for the privilege.
On the bright side, the ride back was relatively uneventful. Of course, we did leave at somewhere around 11:00 at night in order to get back home, which might have had something to do with it. Even then it was a pretty miserable experience over the bridge and back over the Schuylkill. It was for a good cause, though, so it was worth it. Still, the hell with that goddamn road; it makes my teeth hurt.