I made it through another trip on the Massachusetts Turnpike in a school bus. For me that is no small feat. Knowing I have to drive through those toll booths is a great source of anxiety for me.
Now I am no longer that squeamish about driving in Boston. I am willing to drive just about anywhere, but put me on the Pike in a bus and I get nauseous, hyper ventilate, and break out in a cold sweat. All because of those toll booths. They are my windmills and I have been determined to conquer them. Until now.
This fear started a few years ago on a return trip from The Boston Marathon. As I approached the booths I could not find the correct one to go through. I ended up in the booth with no one handing out tickets. The ticket must be grabbed from the machine. Not a possibility when you are in a school bus. You see a school bus is quite a bit higher than a passenger car. That little ticket is not reachable from a school bus window and getting out of your vehicle is really frowned upon.
So there I sat. Honking my horn at the guy in the booth, waving at the people in the other lane to get their attention, and causing a major traffic jam. The man kept looking at me but would not give me the ticket. He was right there. All he had to do was reach out and hand it to me, but do you think he could do that? NO!!!! Guess it’s not in his contract. He let me sit there for what felt like an eternity. When the line behind me had stretched back as far as I could see he finally reached out, grabbed the ticket, and proceeded to yell at me. I WAS IN THE WRONG LANE!!!! Do you think I hadn’t figured that out the split second I became wedged in between the two booths with nowhere to go? To make matters worse, after receiving the ticket and a tongue lashing from this guy I got yelled at from the guy at the other end when I gave him the ticket. According to him I had purposely taken the wrong ticket and he would have to figure everything out. What the hell he had to figure out I didn’t know and I didn’t care. I just wanted to pay and get out of there.
That was my first toll booth horror story, but it certainly wasn’t the last.