What To Do: in a traffic jam

So you're in a traffic jam (transportation, amirite?) and you want to know what do. This isn't surprising; even though traffic jams are endemic to modern urban and suburban and exurban and semi-rural and rural living, many motorists still aren't sure how to proceed when bumpers start nestling up against bumpers and hundreds of drivers slowly realize that they're not going to make it on time to work/home/their cousin's bat mitzvah party. Here are some handy tips.

Photo from State Farm on Flickr

Photo from State Farm on Flickr

Realize that it's not your fault. Unless you're at the head of the jam or you've blown up a bridge, this traffic jam you're in is not your responsibility. Traffic jams are hybrid beasts of metal and misery and farts, and you're the morsel being digested in its fancy leather interior.

Do not despair. Traffic jams shrink space and slow time until nothing exists but the interior of your car. Meanwhile, you go from wondering whether or not new car smell is carcinogenic to exactly how carcinogenic it might be. Eventually you forget your former life and turn into an organic element of your vehicle, an unfeeling brain with vestigial connections for manipulating the True Body of the machine. Try not to let that happen.

Do not get out of your car. What are you doing? Where are you going? You think there's something out there? There is nothing out there. We've built a world of interiors rudely interrupted by outside spaces. Don't play outside's game. Get back in your vehicle.

Play the latest video games. You're in for the duration, so make sure you've brought along your video game console, HDTV, 7.1 Surround Sound speakers, microwave popcorn, microwave oven, broadband Internet router (in the likely event that your system and game will need to download updates), beer cooler or mini-fridge stocked with energy drinks. And don't forget extension cords, which you can use to plug your various appliances into a nearby home or business. You're all set for gaming fun!

Work on your screenplay. Insert a scene where your protagonist is stuck in a traffic jam so he goes "HELL NO" and blows up a bunch of cars in front of him and when he drives through the wreckage he locks eyes with a group of stunned Japanese tourists and says "Traffic is a bitch" and I guess I just gave you my million-dollar Hollywood idea, didn't I?

Check the sidewalks. Are the sidewalks relatively empty? Are they wide? Sidewalks are the new roads, you know. Hint.

Just stay home. Don't even get out of bed. You're only going to end up stuck in a traffic jam.