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An Iowa Interstate Nail-Biter

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I am no stranger to crazy road interchanges. Where I am from, there are a few exits and on-ramps that make me question what drugs the engineers were on when they planned them. Even me living there all my life didn’t make it any easier for me to traverse some of these nightmarish streetscapes unencumbered by fear. That being said, as a new Iowan who isn’t used to the way things are here, there is one particular interstate exchange that makes me clench butt cheeks the whole way through.

Every day for work, I travel from Tiffin to Cedar Rapids. I take I-80 E to I-380 N to Cedar Rapids. At that very on-ramp/off-ramp mash-up is where I see the faces of my departed loved ones beckoning me to walk towards the light. It isn’t bad enough that you only have about 25 feet to merge over into the exit lane to depart I-80 for 380, but simultaneously there are vehicles exiting I-380 for 80 at THE EXACT SAME PLACE. And I have so far never been the only car trying to squeeze my way into this melee of glass and steel. No…there’s always me in my matchbox sized compact car amidst other coupes, sedans, a couple minivans, and a truck that is hauling something the size of an apartment building.

Luckily, it seems that everyone who is going in and out of that asphalt meat grinder is aware that everyone’s life is flashing before their eyes, so they tend to let you squeeze in.

Except the lady in the red car behind me today. She got mad when I had the nerve to merge in front of her to exit 80 when she was trying to get onto 80, so she sped up and whipped around me to prove how miffed she was. Oh well… can’t please everyone. I still think she’s number one…I made sure to show her.

Now if you excuse me, I have to clean my upholstery.

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