When You Have To Commute Home After a Big Ten Sportsball Game (ugh)!

Recently I had the bad luck of having my work shift end around the same time that college football crowds were leaving my town. While I was super happy they were leaving town (good riddance), that made for some navigational challenges on my ride home from work!

First off, I had it in my head that in no short order would I want to take any highways home from work. Why? I honestly don’t know. It probably took longer going home the way I did, but I found some ways to enjoy it!

It all helps the economy, doesn’t it?

Just to clarify, the Big Ten game traffic I battled a few days ago was in the town of Ann Arbor, MI. You know that town that is on so many “Best towns to live in” lists you probably see in your social media news feed? Well, I don’t happen to live in it, though I did for two years. Ann Arbor would literally fall apart if not for a school called the University of Michigan. I would add Pfizer to that list, but they escaped town a couple of decades ago. All of that said…

I actually referred to a paper map in my car while I was stopped (I am old school).

How about trying surface roads? OK! My first attempt at this was disastrous. I attempted to leave my work place (Briarwood Shopping Center, which is about a mile or so from the so-called sportsball emporium called “The Big House” by locals). So I tried eastbound Eisenhower, which was backed up more than a constipated James Gandolfini. James Coco? Is that too old of a pop culture reference for you?

I think he was in a movie called Only When I Laugh with Kristy McNichol (which I never saw).

So I turned around and tried the westbound lanes, which proved to be smooth sailing – until I hit the “campus” area. No problem, I “sort of” know the roads, and I would probably enjoy the people watching experiences of this route more than I would by being in crawling traffic on the highways. And since I was stone cold sober, I wouldn’t have to worry about hitting any clueless pedestrians, would I? Pedestrians have so many rights these days, I guess they get full run of the crosswalks now (pfft). If you don’t like my driving, stay out of the crosswalk? No? I can’t get away with that anymore? Darn! I’ll have to take that bumper sticker off my car (JK, I do not believe in bumper stickers).

So I took the left turn on Eisenhower, when I could clearly see that turning right was angrying up my blood – and fast. I tried keeping myself calm – reclined my seat, put a cushy thing behind my neck, pretended I had a self-driving car and pretended to take a nap. Then I just said…

The FUCK with this!

me shaking my fist at football traffic

The left turn idea actually worked! Smooth sailing along Eisenhower, and a good way up Main Street. “Hey,” I told myself, “I’m driving toward the football stadium and everyone else is driving AWAY from it! I am so smart (affixes gold star to my forehead). ” Yeah, not so much. I met up with some congestion once I took a right turn on Madison. If I turned left on Madison, I could get ice cream at the Washtenaw Dairy! Was I living in my own “Choose your own adventure” world?

I couldn’t just mosey along Main Street, since some of it is closed off for outdoor dining. So I pretended I was going to try finding this magical road called “Pontiac Trail,” which would take me north of town and then east to my home. While I did not end up finding this magical road, I rather enjoyed the people watching experiences offered by heading north on Division Street. Don’t ask me what the “Division” in the name means, I have no idea what the street divides. Ask a historian!

Eventually Division Street turned into Broadway, which was quite fitting, since I was belting out tunes in my car! My mp3 shuffler picked a song called “What Have I Done To Deserve This,” which is a duet between the Pet Shop Boys and Dusty Springfield. One of the refrains in the song goes like this:

I don’t know oh…how I’m going to get through…how I’m going to get through…

Lyrics, “what have I done to deserve this”

Eventually I figured out exactly how I was going to get through the post game traffic and go home! And that was to drive right into the heart of madness and come out on the other side! Even if I had to backtrack a little…

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