The Illinois Highway Massacre

Wednesday September 4th, 2013 – Rockford, IL/Chicago, IL

   My worst fears came true and then some today as I got sucked deep into a traffic black hole on my way to host the radio show at WNTA in Rockford, IL. I ended up taking I-90 which I hadn’t been on in quite a while, and that was a constipated convoluted construction clogged nightmare.

   I left a little later than I wanted to today, and that’s often my problem when I do the fill in work at the station. It’s not all that far physically, but there’s no fast way to get there. If I end up taking one of a few possible routes from where I live, it’s about 65 miles one way. If I take the Tollway on I-90 it’s about 80 miles one way but it’s technically faster because it’s a freeway. Technically.

   There was nothing free about it today, as it’s being hacked up like a serial killer’s victim. They should call this project The Illinois Highway Massacre, as there is literally forty miles of horrific conditions that made me wish I was dead just a few minutes after I got on. It was constant stress as I clutched the steering wheel in my hands and tap danced on my brake pedal the entire trip.

   There was a construction zone for forty miles, and that’s longer than I’ve ever seen. The speed limit the whole way was 45, and it was loaded with trucks hauling everything from wide loads to hay bales that made passing anyone next to impossible. I almost had a heart attack, aneurism and stroke all on the same day trying to twist my Toyota through the two lane trail of traffic torture.

   I’ve never been a fan of toll roads anyway, but this sent me over the edge. Who has any idea of where any of that money goes? I don’t trust anyone in government as it is, but the state of Illinois is in a class by themselves when it comes to corruption. It’s one of the only states that has a three headed monster of toll roads, casino gambling and a lottery yet they’re constantly out of money.

   I called Jim Stone from the radio station to tell him I’d be cutting it close, and I ended up doing exactly that. I made it with about fifteen seconds to spare as the last commercial was ending, and I thought I was going to explode the last five miles as I raced through city streets to arrive before I was to go on. This is not how life is supposed to be, but I’ve been in this situation many times.

   When I got on the air I teed off on the toll road system and all the corrupt idiots behind it, and I got a couple of calls agreeing with me wholeheartedly. People have often told me I’m at my very funniest when I’m at my angriest, but that’s when I fail to see humor as I am too busy venting.

   I really went off on several topics today, and I saw people from the station walk past the studio and look in at me through the glass to see if I was alright. Jim Stone walked past and had a smile on his face, and I could tell he was digging what I was doing. Or maybe I got the wrong message and he was just glad I showed up on time or he’d have to do the show. Either way, I did the job.

   After the show I needed to be in Chicago for a fantasy football draft that some comedians were having. That was the last thing I wanted to do, but I made the commitment so I showed up. I was still stressing from the ride in, and it got higher as their computer crapped out halfway through it. I politely bugged out, and drove home to hopefully get a little sleep. Tomorrow is even busier.


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