Bridget Hoida on: Traffic Stop

This post originally appeared as a “Traffic Stop” on the TLC Literary Tour:

Some might say, that beyond the sun-struck streets of the Sunset Strip, or the well worn glitter-specked cement of Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles is best known for its cantankerous traffic. And this is mostly true. The freeways of L.A. shift and snake their way across the city like congested arteries. But what’s surprising is that even when stuck in rush hour (which has no real set hour, but rather runs all day and well into the night, because in L.A. everyone is always in a rush to go someplace they’re already not…) even when stuck, bumper to bumper, Angelinos do manage to have a little fun. Like in this true-to-life excerpt from So L.A.:

WHEN WE first moved to L.A. my favorite thing to say was, That’s so L.A. I used it to describe just about everything from fake boobs to traffic. Then I got implants and started to drive. Drive not to go someplace, but as sport. On the 10 you can pick out the regulars from the tourists. Those who merge left just before the lane ends and then have to merge back right again versus those who know the La Brea shortcut: exit but don’t ever get off. During a crunch you can save five minutes plus if there’s a pile-up. My favorite time to drive is early morning and right before dark. I like the added thrill of the sun in your eyes. It throws mirage into the game and the DJs are at their prime.

Sig alert on the Santa Monica Freeway West, the Shady Lady hums through my speakers. Since nobody’s going anywhere anyhow I’ll take caller number nine for some naked rush hour bingo.

I kid you not. Bingo. Naked. In rush hour.

Shady Lady here. Name, make and license plate, please.

Oh hi-yee! I’m Alyson, with a y, and I’m in a silver 325i on the 10 West, wearing pink and black—

Which, as you may realize, is the physical description of a gazillion people on the 10, but everyone plays along.

Okay listeners we’re on the prowl for a silver Beemer license 1MY325I. If you see her, honk. And Alyson, you know the rules: you lose a piece of clothing for every honk you hear.

As if there isn’t enough honking on the 10. As if taking your clothes off while stuck in traffic weren’t so L.A.

To read more about Magdalena, the six-foot tall blonde protagonist of So L.A. , and her adventures in love, loss, infidelity and self transformation in Los Angeles pick up a copy of So L.A.

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