Elbow Room

I’m not sure what my best life is, but I know that it doesn’t involve sitting in a car by myself stopped in relentless traffic.  But that’s where I found myself twice in the last 24 hours.  Friday getaway traffic in the rain was understandable.  Saturday logjam on two different highways was less expected.

The older I get, the less I want to participate in the engineered world we’ve built around us in the United States.  I’m not particularly interested in sitting on a crowded beach, or going to the Esplanade on the 4th of July, or shopping on Black Friday, or commuting to anywhere on Route 128, or the Financial District, or really anywhere a lot of people are trying to congregate.  I don’t like traffic lights all that much, especially the ones that aren’t synced to have traffic flow logically.

Crowded attractions aren’t my scene. Going to a Patriots game or a concert at Gillette Stadium is wonderful when you’re tailgating or in your seat watching the action.  Shuffling through security lines, lining up to go to the bathroom, shuffling back to your car to wait in traffic on Route 1?  I think not.  Irish Cottage on St. Patrick’s Day?  No Way.  Hampton Beach on a hot July Saturday?  Rain check.  Disney in peak summer crowds?  Been there, never doing it again.  Standing in line to get the best picture of St Mark’s Campanile in Venice?  No thanks.  Times Square?  I’ll walk three blocks around to avoid it.  Stand in a cue to summit Mount Everest?  You’ve got to be kidding me.  No, I’m an off-season kind of guy.  If I can’t get away with off-season, then you’ll find me up early before the crowds blow up your day.

The planet is getting more crowded.  More people have disposable income that allows them to travel to the top sites in the world.  And I’ve got my own bucket list that includes some pretty popular places; Hawaii, London, Paris, Rome, and yes, Venice.  But I’ll find off-season if at all possible, thank you.  I’m not a hermit, I love a great conversation, a boisterous party, and the energy of a great concert.  But there’s no solitude in a line, and there’s great upside in a little elbow room.  So tell me how it goes at the opening weekend for the Encore Casino in Everett.  Expecting 50,000?  Lovely – I promise I won’t make it 50,001.  If there’s any upside to that, it’s that I’m giving someone else a little more elbow room at the slots.  You’re welcome.



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