I take one, one, one cuz you left me

Music – Nightmares on Wax – Mind Eye

I drove through Berkeley in a foul mood.  Traffic there coagulates in arbitrary and unpredictable ways, often leaving even the most agile and creative of drivers stuck for twenty minutes at a fucking yield sign south of Cedar.  Seventy year old bicyclists and assholes in diesel Volvos doing 15 in a 35 cause endless backups and blockages.  Militant pedestrians cross streets with deliberate plodding slowness, a form of subtle protest against those universally reviled oppressors known as People With Real Jobs and Shit To Do.  Residents double-park their Minis on one-lane winding roads in the hills while they load and unload their bratty children.  All this, combined with Berkeley’s completely arbitrary and schizophrenic street layout, makes it a nightmarish place to get anywhere quickly.

I watched a light change three times at 2nd and Gilman without moving more than a foot, and when I finally got through the intersection I floored it up the hills towards Wes’s place.  A woman loading her kids’ bikes on to the rack of her MDX was stopped, perpendicular, in the middle of Marin so as to cause the maximum possible amount of frustrating backup.  I gunned it around her into the oncoming lane as she screamed “SLOW DOWN!” in to my open window.  I gave her the one-finger salute, shouting ‘Fuck you and your ugly kids you inconsiderate whorebag’ back over my shoulder.  Probably a bit of an overreaction, but tempers were running high in my truck and Plastic Jesus and I had had quite enough of these tards.

Within the next six blocks I was stopped eleven times by pedestrians, bikers, two Subarus driven by people old enough to have fought in World War 1, and one fat dude on a Segue.  Shouting obsceneties and weaving recklessly, I wished them all horrible and lingering deaths for their blatant disregard of common goddamn road etiquette.  ‘Fuck off and die, Berkeley drivers’ I shouted to the winds.  Four straight years on the kill-or-be-killed streets of SF has sharpened my driving instincts to a razor’s edge and I have no time for your bullshit.

The sad truth of it is that Berkeley’s automotive incompetence is but one aspect of a much larger affliction.  The seeds of revolution planted there by our parents’ generation have blossomed into weeds of whining discontent.  The hippies long ago lost their last shred of credibility and have become self-righteous grey-haired assholes, unbearable in every way.  Their grand and glorious plans to change the world have devolved into pathetic squabbles over parking spots and community landscaping.  The fight for the Greater Good of Mankind has been abandoned, and the Berkeley residents turn their not-inconsiderable grassroots power to combat evils like Target and noise violations and non-organic produce in the school system.

I see their kids walking around with rolling backpacks and cellphones and lunchboxes full of sushi and polenta.  I hate to break it to you motherfuckers, but all the Whole Foods products in the world won’t make your snot-nosed fifth-grader any better at youth soccer.  While your kid eats a thirty-dollar school lunch free of hydrogenated fats and high fructose corn syrup, the best athletes in the world are growing up in fucking Nigeria eating nothing but dirt and mealworms once a day before they go out and run four minute miles.  Maybe if you spoiled your kids less they’d get fast and it wouldn’t take your family of four TWENTY FUCKING MINUTES TO CROSS SOLANO WHILE I’M STOPPED THERE REVVING MY ENGINE AND HATING YOU SO MUCH.


Berkeley jumped the shark back when I was about eleven and has gotten progressively more awful every year since.  The residents, the crazy local politicos, the traffic, the unbearable snobbery…  That shit with the protesters living in the trees, the twenty-five year old planted-by-the-school oaks is just the cherry on top of the shit sundae.  My god, you fuckers.  Get ahold of yourselves.  And stay off the roads for fuck’s sake.


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