Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Moron at Crossroads

This post is for those of you who have ever gotten miserably lost driving in San Francisco.  If you've ever pulled out a clump of your own hair in frustration because you can't find the on ramp to the 280, you'll relate to this.

Last week, I drove from my office in the Peninsula to the eastern waterfront area of San Francisco (aka the Embarcadero) for a big, morale-building lunch with co-workers.  I came away feeling great, but that soon soured.  Despite the fact that I got myself there and despite the fact I had a GPS enabled navigating device in my hand, I got terribly lost heading back.

Consider the aggravating circumstances I was facing at that time:
  1. Three highways (the 80, 101, and 280) converging in the same area.  
  2. A maze of one way streets and general ban on left turns
  3. The beginning of rush hour.
  4. Ambiguously placed street signs indicating that perhaps one should turn left immediately in front of the sign or perhaps several blocks down the street.
  5. A full bladder
  6. The misguided belief that I am not a moron at all times.
The outcome?  I spent 10 minutes hunting for the southbound entrance of either the 101 or the 280.  I  made two U-turns,  one highly questionable left turn, and nearly ran down a pedestrian.  I soundly banged my head against the steering wheel.  But, the lowest moment came when I inadvertently ramped onto the 80 east heading to Oakland.  Because I ramped at the last exit point, I locked myself into crossing the full length of the Bay Bridge.  I spent the next 4.5 miles in gridlock wondering if my mounting frustration could provoke an early-age stroke.


  1. your story is remarkable and reminds me of when the mother ships legal group was small enough that we all went to nob hill for an offsite, and instead of taking the bauers bus, i decided to drive with a friend, only to get lost, and have to ask for a directions from a lady of the night who had seeped into the day, who then promptly asked us for $5 for her efforts. my weaker co-driver obliged.

  2. It's funny, but I saw another "lady of the night" give directions to a guy in San Francisco. Maybe that's a secondary career function.