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I think I saw a hit and run yesterday...

Yesterday after work I made the foolish decision to try taking I-5 home. I-5 itself wasn't really the mistake, though, trying to take the Mercer St exit off Aurora (Hwy 99) was. It was hideously backed up, because the Great Mercer Fixit Project, which has been going for roughly a million years by now, is such a miserable failure. I don't know who thought it was a good idea to turn Mercer, which had been a large one-way with all lanes going toward the freeway, into a two-way road, but I hope they get bludgeoned to death with a trash can full of used cat litter.

Further, they screwed up the lights, so now all the traffic going through this particular intersection before Mercer gets horribly snarled up. The exit coming off of Aurora has a light that lasts approximately 10 seconds (I'm not kidding), and so many people run the red light on Mercer that there isn't any room for exiting cars anyway. Every time the light cycle repeated, we were lucky to get 1-2 cars out of the lineup. I spent a lot of time sighing.

Anyway, I was sitting there on Aurora, not even to the exit yet, when I happened to see someone being a douchebag. Two carlengths ahead of me, from the lane to my left, he had wedged his SUV into my lane, and since he hadn't managed to get very far in due to the heinous traffic, he was blocking all the cars behind him in the lane to my left. This apparently did not sit very well with whomever was driving the car behind him. I don't blame the guy for being pissed, since this kind of behavior makes me scream incoherently in my head at whomever's doing it, but he seemed a little overly irate.

I was staring in boredom straight at the two vehicles when the SUV finally crept over a bit into my lane (the light had turned and we'd moved up by a car or two, whee). Mind you, the exit lane is a single, not a double, although it does later split into two lanes. The guy driving the car behind the SUV had evidently reached the boiling point, and made as if to go around him to get onto the exit, but there wasn't enough room, so he kind of smashed along the left side of the SUV as he went around the guy and I guess cut him off? I don't know what happened. The SUV juddered a bit from the car banging into it repeatedly, and then after the car had disappeared I saw the SUV's door open and the guy inside it kind of half step out, then he rapidly got back in and slammed the door, and went... somewhere. I cannot fathom where.

There was nowhere to go in those exit lanes, unless the tiny parking lot to the right of them had an outlet. The whole problem with the backup was that the exit was gridlocked from the awful traffic. There was no way to go forward (unless Psycho Dude just drove OVER all the cars in his way, but I didn't see a string of smashed vehicles), and I didn't see them in the parking lot when I got up there. So either there is an exit from the parking lot and the hit-and-run guy managed to get into it and then flee from it, chased by the other guy in the SUV, or they both disappeared into thin air. I have no idea. At any rate, it was very exciting.

We had a really dedicated hobo at that exit. Usually the hobos will remember whether traffic is really moving or not, and won't bother canvassing the same cars multiple times, but this particular hobo was very motivated (or couldn't tell that we were still the same vehicles owing to the gridlock), and he went back and forth probably 5 times before finally giving up on us. I was kind of impressed. Not impressed enough to offer anything, but still. I suppose that makes me sound uncharitable, but it's hard to care when I've read articles about how the hobos are making more than I am and I can actually see them wearing shoes and coats that are nicer than mine. So no, I'm not supporting your chosen career of panhandler. Buskers are different. I have no problem with people who actually do something for their money, like those who play instruments in the market (and do it well).

In other news, a few days ago when I was dropping Patrick off for work, I happened to notice that since the light had been getting lower and lower (autumn does that in the north), the outside lights on this building in Pioneer Square were still on, and they looked pretty cool. I asked him to take a picture or two of it for me, and this is what resulted. See why we worry when it doesn't rain? We have plants everywhere here.

As usual, click for bigger ones. I love how the ivy climbs over everything. Even in the city, you can feel like you're inside a forest. Yay, plants!
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