Friday, June 24, 2005
I am not even sure how to describe the night I just had.
To put things in their proper order, it started out innocently enough, with a meeting of people I knew only through the internet. Which sounds creepy, but it isn't, honest, because these were Red Sox internet people! A whole other breed entirely!
Yes, it was a dinner party hosted by Kristen and attended by your local blogging gremlin (that being me), Beth, Steve, Annette, and Caitriona (the last two are denizens of the SG messageboard).
Having met them I can now state with certainty that they are all as lovely as you imagine and I've no idea why they won't allow me to put up the photo I have of them all. Paranoid, the lot of 'em. Still, they were tolerant of me when I felt the irresistable need to break out the Dead Sea Lamprey story over dinner (it was huge! and sticky! and those rasping teeth! this is what you get when I come to dinner) so I guess I'll have to cater to their absurd whims.
As one would expect from a meeting of Sox internet people, the conversation (when not dwelling fondly on deceased marine petromyzontiformes) kept turning back to the internet and the Red Sox. Many and varied were the topics discussed, from Dan Shaughnessy (universally hated) to Mark Bellhorn (Steve explaining his prowess with logic, Beth reflecting on the creepy obsessive fan following he's developed in certain corners), from the ways different message boards attract different populations (SoSH-mostly male. Our own SG board-mostly female. No idea why) to how funny we all thought Amy was likely to be in person (very).
Afterwards, though. Ah, afterwards. I was going to take the T back to Wonderland, where my car was parked, and since Beth was driving north as well she very kindly offered to give me a ride.
Did you kids know that, sometime around midnight, the city of Boston shuts off every single access ramp to Rt. 93 South/Rt. 1A North to do some unfathomable construction on them? We did not know this. We rapidly discovered this, but it was too late. Because does the city admit that it has made Rt.s 93 and 1A completely inaccessible? No. Of course not. The city instead puts up a series of detour signs.
So we detoured. Can't get 93 from Storrow Drive? OK, head up to next hookup point. Oh wait, that's blocked off too. How about the big hookup down by the waterfront? Oh look, flashing lights to tell us we can't go that way. So we'll try the other hookup. Ooops, trucks doing construction. Oh, this looks promising, that's.... uh, we just saw that, didn't we? I think we're going around in a circle. Head over across town. Wait, we were already here too. We're in a different circle. Oh no.
We've entered Boston Detour Hell.
The detours sent us back 'round in circles. Literally. Occasionally we would temporarily break out of the circle and end up by Mass General hospital or Mass Ave. (fuck knows how), but in the end, right back to the waterfront and Atlantic Ave. we would go, merging irritably with the reams of other drivers attempting to reach Rt. 93 and failing miserably, blinking police lights giving us headaches, Beth stressed-ly chain-smoking out the window. After we passed the Aquarium for the 3rd or 4th time, I began to have a few small concerns.
Firstly, I was afraid that we were never going to be able to leave the city, and the car would run out of gas, and we would have to stop, and we would be eaten by ravenous bears. You think this is not likely to happen? The Boston Bruins are all out of work these days! And you cannot fool me, I know what bruins are. BEARS. Boston is filled with out-of-work, hungry bears. We were in imminent danger of ursine consumption!
Secondly, Beth was going through cigarettes at an alarming pace. I started to worry about what would happen if she ran out of cigarettes. Would she go mad and drive through several sets of concrete barriers? Would she pass out at the wheel? Would she turn into a bear and eat me?
Thirdly, each time we went around the same places again, we got more and more hysterical. If we did this often enough I feared we would lose our minds entirely and become unfit for human society, going to live instead among roving packs of rabid wild bears, or Yankees. Whichever was closer to hand, I guess.
I've worked up a little tracker of where we were at least some of the time. Doesn't cover all the streets, just one's I'm relatively certain we went down. We almost certainly covered far more than this. I know we were on Mass Ave. at one point, and I know at various times we were driving alongside Chinatown or Mass General Hospital. I know we were on Storrow Drive for a while. I know we passed Government Center, the Aquarium, and Rowes Wharf more times than my tired mind can count. You'll note the extra-red blotch on the right near Rowes Wharf, that was the worst circle we got stuck in, although there were several larger loops we also found ourselves in a couple of times.
By this point I was on the phone with my mother, who was puzzling over routes and trying to figure out how to get us out of town. She suggested we try Rt. 1 North. OK. Sounds good. So we suffer through the Aquarium loop one more time, with its attendant red lights and burgeoning traffic and annoyed cops. We drive and drive and drive. We see signs for Route 1. We get to the exit ramp.
Closed for construction.
Suffice it to say, we left Kristen's around, what, 11:20? 11:30 pm? We did not manage to get out of the city until around 1:30 am, and even then it was only by driving through Everett and halfway to Medford on Rt.s 99 and 16, respectively, that we managed to escape. I only wish I was exaggerating.
Plus side? Beth and I now know each other much better, and having spent such quality time with her, let me assure you kids, the Sox blogosphere is in capable hands.
In any event, I think the moral of the story is twofold.
1. Never attempt to drive out of Boston by major roads after midnight, and
2. Never offer to give anyone a ride back to Wonderland.