Sunday, September 19, 2010

I'm goin' back to Indiana

Traveling from just south of Minnesota's Twin Cities to just south of Fort Wayne, Indiana involves a number of decisions:

  • Should we leave Saturday morning, or right after work Friday...arriving at my folks' place (the home of SweaterGirl and FlatulenceKing) at 3:00 AM?
  • Should we go south through Illinois on I-39, avoiding the drive through Chicago, or cut 50 miles off the trip by braving the Windy City?
  • Which lane should we get into at the toll booth?

Having taken the second option on the first two decisions, I was faced with the third question repeatedly between 10:00 and 11:00 PM. And at the very first toll booth, I proved beyond the shadow of a doubt my ability to choose wrongly.

In an effort to get everyone to purchase an I-Pass that allows you to bypass stopping to pay individual tolls, all toll-paying on the Jane Adams Memorial Tollway is done by cash to a real, live, surly human being. That wouldn't be so bad, I reckon, except that the driver of the van in front of me apparently tried to pay the one dollar toll with a 100-dollar bill that had to be tested for authenticity by a specially-trained agent of the Treasury Department who had to be flown in from Denver.

While I was waiting for the van driver to get his very specific denominations of bills and coins...the thought struck me: JANE ADAMS MEMORIAL TOLLWAY????

Why would an actress who is, according to, "best remembered as the sympathetic hunchbacked nurse, Nina, in 1945's House of Dracula," have a tollway on the northwest side of Chicago named after her?

Or maybe the Illinois Department of Transportation is honoring the Jane Adams of the "dynamic, exciting, and empathetic speaker whose presentations illuminate contemporary trends in lifestyles and choices, provide tools and strategies to increase personal satisfaction & professional achievement, and motivate audiences to take control of their lives, expand their horizons, and fulfill their goals." (That retching sound you hear is me.)

Oh...never mind...the line is moving to you later.

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