In Suzi's Words

A little bit of laughter, inspiration, & encouragement

The 5 P’s to Surviving Gridlock ~Or~ Why You Should Always Carry Extra Tennis Racquets in Your Car

Hey L.A., Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego, Boston, Atlanta, and NYC; how do you spend your down time while sitting in motionless traffic? Laying on the horn, yelling at the cars in front of you to “move it”, untying your tie or scarf as your blood pressure begins to rise, or watching the minutes tick away that you could be using doing something fun or productive instead?

gridlock, traffic, tennis racquets, tennis balls, L.A., Chicago, SF, Atlanta, Boston

Stop the Madness!!

It’s time to stop the madness! Look, you drive the same route day in and day out, and the traffic is the same day in and day out; you know it’s coming, yet you still pitch a fit about something you have no control over. Let’s try something new and turn wasted minutes or hours into productive, fun time with just a little bit of pre gridlock planning; because we all know it isn’t going to get any better.

gridlock, traffic

As a matter of fact, the Associated Press reported that, although the U.S. population has only grown 20% since 1982, the time we spend in traffic has increased an alarming    236 %! In major US cities, the average driver now spends almost a full workweek each year stuck in traffic.

Now, I realize that most “rush hour” traffic does actually move, at a snail’s pace, but it does move,

and if you’re lucky, you are blessed with a 5-10 mile an hour sprint now and then to give you a glimmer of hope, fleeting as it may be.

The kind of traffic I’m talking about here, however, is pure, unmoving, water boiling gridlock that makes you forget you’re a lady, or gentleman. Expected or not, call it what you will, traffic jam, snarl-up, deadlock, stalemate, standstill, or %!#@$! You, my friend, are not going anywhere.

Arriving at your destination in a bad mood or good mood all depends on the journey, or in this case, how you spent your gridlock adventure. Now, you can choose to spend the time being productive and make some calls, read reports, make a grocery list, or put on your make-up, and you will arrive with a sense of accomplishment, but you probably won’t have a smile on your face. So, let’s take the fun route shall we? You can be productive at work or home.

Gridlock fun!

First of all, turn the car off and save that expensive gasoline, then take a good look around you, pick a buddy or two, and let the fun begin! Keep in mind;  these ideas are not for moving or sometimes moving traffic. Make sure you have planned ahead and packed your car with the essential, fun gridlock gear.

1)    Picnic with your neighbors ~ pack your car with paper goods and perishable snacks to share; then invite the people in the few cars around you to join you.

2)    Practice your volley ~ never leave home without a couple of spare tennis racquets and tennis balls; you never know when you can get in a little practice.

3)    Put your radio on an oldies station, crank up the volume, sit on your hood, and invite everyone around you to sing along ~ instant party; especially if someone has snacks! A favorite of convertible owners and sure to put even the grumpiest person around you in a good mood!

games, hangman, car, traffic, gridlock, fun

4)    Pull out the whiteboard and invite someone to play Hangman or Tic-Tac-Toe.

5)    Pity party-line. Call, email, text, or tweet all your contacts, tell them you are stuck in gridlock, and to please send clean, silly jokes; then share one at a time with the person in the car next to you and ask them to pass the joke on with the request to pass it on to the next car; remember, laughter is contagious.

Pick one; make it your signature gridlock custom. Heck, use a different one each time and mix it up! The fun will never end and just think of the new friends you will make.

Photo Courtesy:

Photo, stop sign by donkey hotey, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike-Generic 2.0  license

Photo, Freeway Gridlock, by fihliwe, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution  Share-Alike-Generic 2.0  license

Photo, Hangman-5.png by en:User:Demi, licensed  under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

Client: Do It Tennis


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2 thoughts on “The 5 P’s to Surviving Gridlock ~Or~ Why You Should Always Carry Extra Tennis Racquets in Your Car

  1. I usually take option #5, but I much prefer numbers 1 through 4. I am going to try the whiteboard trick next time and see if the cars next to me will play.

    • I have had fun with #1 (picnic) when I was stuck at the beginning of the San Mateo Bridge in No. Cal. What a blast. It was unplanned, I happened to have some grapes in the car, someone else had crackers – one of the best picnics ever!

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