I'm a sissy. I chose to stay up on land and watch from there. I can't even drive a vehicle competently, I'm not about to drive a surf board in the night time.
Mr. Zoom and I left after that. There are only 2 main roads out of this little community and all of Southern California was on those two roads. We were sandwiched in there. Oh, and every foolio with a lighter and an explosive device of any kind was outside making with the shenanigans. I love shenanigans, but not when they land at my feet, go boom and scare the britches off of me.
When we finally got to the freeway, it was obvious we were in for a long ride home. We decided to grab the toll road as soon as we could.
I noted out loud that the UPS center we had tried so hard to get to earlier this year was all kinds of visible and lit up on our right. I said "LOOK HONEY! It's the UPS!" He gave them a wave with one finger and I giggled, secure in my ignorance of the revenge Brown would soon take out on us for so much as looking in their direction. Apparently they do not appreciate the single finger wave.
We pulled up to the lines forming at the exit gates. Neither one of us had seen the lines like this in all the times we've used the toll roads. It soon became obvious that we were in the lane marked retarded turtle, while everyone else was stuck in lanes simply marked regular turtle. We sat there for a good hour before it was our turn at the gate.
The problem only became obvious after we stuffed a $5 bill into the machine. The screen kept blinking "Toll is $3.75, no change available from this machine, exact payment only." You will note that the machine took our $5, but did not register that it had it, did not give it back, nor did it give change. At this point we figured "Aw hell, well, give it exact change, maybe it will let us out? Even though we just put $5 in the damn thing." So we put four quarters in. And it just kept blinking the same message at us.
At this point two things happened. A lady ran across all the lanes and yelled into the booth next to ours where an actual human was taking money. "Our machine isn't taking our money, and we've been here for an F-ing HOUR!" Mr. Zoom said to mad lady "Neither is ours!" and she said "See? Neither is theirs!" The lady in the toll booth looked scared, and she grabbed a telephone. At the same time, some guy in a car behind us kept yelling "Write a letter! run the thing! I'll pay your fine, let's just get this thing MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVING. C'MON DUDE!! I'll pay your fine!" He sounded exactly like that turtle in Finding Nemo.
We ran the gate and will probably get a ticket. Along with the 200 + other cars that probably had to run it. Or, the agency will just wipe out that block of tickets knowing that they\'ve got a lot more money in the box than they would have gotten by collecting the regular toll. Who knows.
We will now invest in one of those transponders that bills you as you drive through the gate marked "Fast Pass". If the toll roads can redeem themselves with us, this will do it.
My Formerly Amish Mom is terrified of the technology - especially the invisible technology. Credit cards were bad enough for her to accept. Those, you know, are the work of the beast. And Debit cards? Oh, those are only one of the beast's 6 heads.
I.CAN.NOT.WAIT. When our fast pass gets here, I'm going to find a reason to shuttle my Mom down south and jump on the toll road. Then when we go through the gates I'm going to cue up some Rob Zombie on the stereo and explain to Mom what that little bling noise she just heard was. I'll tell her that we are now just like supermarket items on a conveyer belt being scanned and that the grocery bag we are going home in has "Thank you for shopping at BeastMart" on it.
The only problem with my plan will be getting her to actually let me drive. I've come to a disturbing place in my life where both my Mom and I are equally scared of each other's driving. Any joint venture begins with an excuse off as to why one or the other should or should not drive.