Code, nerd culture and humor from Greg Knauss.

So I drive something like 600 miles a week. I live in Manhattan Beach and I work in Irvine and Joanne lives in Santa Monica and I see a hell of a lot of the 405. My little $700 car has over 212,000 miles on it; no heater and no air conditioning and the passenger window doesn't roll down and the right half the LEDs on the radio don't work, so I can only tell what hour it is, or what general frequency I'm listening to.

This is what my drive is like.


Part I: Stark Terror (0.1%)

So I'm driving home and it's late and my eyes are drooping a little more than they should be. The freeway's just about empty, except for this guy in a Trans Am in front of me. We're both scooting along in the slow lane, about eight or nine car lengths apart.

Suddenly, he cuts sharp to the right, into the shoulder. My eyes snap open, and I think wildly that there's something big, in my lane, that I'm going to have to get around.

This plastic bag comes whipping around the Trans Am. Just a plastic bag. He must have been dropping off to sleep, and when he looked up and saw it, he over-reacted.

But now he's over-reacting the other way. He swerves back to the left and he loses his back tires.

His car is spinning, now facing east, now north -- the wrong way -- one lane to my left. You can smell his tires.

He manages to stop before his rear hits the center divider, but he can see the headlights of people cresting the hill and bearing down on him at seventy miles an hour. He revs up quickly and exits at the next off-ramp. He probably spent the next half an hour in a Denny's parking lot, shaking.

I didn't blink the rest of the way home.


Part II: Mind-Deadening Boredom (99.9%)

So I'm driving to work and I've flipped around all the radio stations my car gets and looked at all the billboards I can stomach and the road is giving off a buzz, this tedious hum.

I jump lanes to catch up to a car so I can read the bumper sticker, but it's just one of those "Harvest Crusade" ones, rife throughout Orange County, proclaiming that the owner of the car is saved and is loved and is a better person than I am.

I pass the 605. Only half way.

The traction-grooves in the road occasionally leave the lanes, zipping off into the divider or over to the right and I have to fight to automatic tendency to follow them.

I pass this truck, an aging flat-bed, loaded with 24 full-size refrigerators. They tower over the cab and hang off the sides and threaten and strain to bust loose and scatter and create a traffic nightmare.

And the only think I manage to think is:

"Whoa, that's a lot of refrigerators."


And that's what my drive is like.

Hi there! My name's GREG KNAUSS and I like to make things.

Some of those things are software (like Romantimatic and Buzz Clock), Web sites (like the Webby-nominated Metababy and The American People) and stories (for Web sites like Suck and Fray, print magazines like Worth and Macworld, and books like "Things I Learned About My Dad" and "Rainy Day Fun and Games for Toddler and Total Bastard").

My e-mail address is greg@eod.com. I'd love to hear from you!

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