In case road rage doesn't have enough causal factors, the State of NH has finally opened their long-awaited and long-overdue EZ Pass system. As a dedicated carpooler and commuter, I signed up as quickly as I could remember all my license plate numbers (not that quickly). As the time approached for the grand opening, I began to hear of others who had already received their transponders. By last Friday, I was getting very anxious - EZ Pass was scheduled to start Monday (today) and I hadn't received my transponders. It was with great relief that I found the magic package had arrived Friday night. Of course, they only sent me 3 of the 4 that I ordered (funny how they knew to charge me for all four), which means I'll get a chance to interact with their humanless customer service (voice menu hell or email, take your pick). The transponders were quickly installed on all my vehicles and as I traveled through the tolls over the weekend, I dreamed of a day (Monday, in fact), when I would whisk quickly through the tolls, the envy of all the other drivers.
It was with great excitement and anticipation that I hopped in the car today, anxious to show off my new EZ Pass transponder to my fellow carpoolers. Unfortunately, it turned out to be bad karpool karma Monday. Seacoast Perspective called in kid sick and Kreblog showed up at the usual meeting place, but was unable to remove the key from his car. I think his car was jealous of my car and its shiny new transponder and retaliated by not letting him get out with the key. So, as Kreblog headed out to get his car fixed, I headed off to my first tollbooth, the luster of the moment dimming, yet not extinguished.
The ManchVegas merge was unusually bad this morning. People can't seem to get the hang of three gazinta two, no matter how long it's been going on. As I got through that mess without any changes to the exterior dimensions of my vehicle, I started getting excited: no more would I crawl throught the tollbooths. I was going EeeeZeee. Rounding the curve off of 101W to the Everett Turnpike south, images of flying began crowd my thoughts until I came crashing back to earth. The whole damn highway was stopped! Now, this has happened off and on over the past several years as they reconstructed the Bedford tollboths, but it wasn't supposed to happen today. Not on MY EZ day. We crawled, LA freeway style, minutes passing us by like sands through the hourglass or something like that. Signs continued to urge me left towards the EZ Pass lane, but the traffic never sped up. I was depressed right up until I could see the toll plaza and there it was!
A glow filled the horizon over the tollbooth. I could see the big sign over MY EZ Pass lane, at once inviting and taunting. But I couldn't get there as driver after driver zigged left and right in front of me. Could it be they had seen my transponder and were conspiring to keep me from sailing through? Were they all jealous because they still had to hold the heavy metal of the tokens while I electronically paid without ever rolling down my window? Could they just be a bunch of dopes completely unable to figure out how to deal with the changed traffic patterns?
Passing under the EZ arches was anticlimactic. The lane, once I could get to it, was completely empty. I found myself speeding up to 25 mph, although the recommendation was 10 mph. Not wanting to be the first EZ Passer to be arrested for blowing through the tollbooth, I tapped the brakes and there it was: "Go EZ Pass". Need I say more?