Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Traffic Jam? Here I am!

          I was stuck in one of those traffic jams that just seem to happen, like bees swarming. There’s no crash ahead, no construction. Just all of a sudden, traffic is tied in knots. Usually there’s a pokey driver up in front, holding up hundreds of others.

          Granted, I drive a tad faster than I should. So I sometimes wonder why we can’t just suddenly stampede? If everyone simultaneously pressed on the gas pedal, we’d all get where we want to go, right?

          Animals do this all the time. Okay, usually when they’re frightened or they want to escape a predator. Either way, they perceive a threat.  And I, humbly driving along on the freeway, perceive the threat that I will be late if we don’t get a move-on.

          This piqued my interest, so I looked it up.  The kinds of animals that stampede are usually herbivores, which is curious. This list includes buffalo, zebras, cattle, elephants, reindeer, sheep, pigs, goats, blue wildebeests, wild horses, rhinoceroses, and—get this: Walruses!  Whaat?

          If you couldn’t run any better than a walrus, would you stampede? I imagine I’d just sit my chubby ol’ self down on the sand, enjoy the sun, and await a fish dinner. Not only that, but they trample one another, so it’s a bad idea all the way around.

          And, I guess that would happen if someone in a helicopter shouted down through a bullhorn: Okay, drivers, GUN IT!  Maybe it’s because, like walruses, we aren’t really true herbivores.

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