So they reopened the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge today and somehow I managed to be at the front of the line. Well, what happened was, I was in the line for the alternate route, my car just idling while I perused the tabloids in the rack (btw, Kate Gosselin is pregnant with Roman Polanski’s baby) and I was the first to notice the Caltrans guy standing at the Bay Bridge entrance, waving people over as he opened the lane and booted his register.
I rushed over there, but, just before driving onto the bridge, I froze up. I looked left and right and all the lanes were blocked by drivers apparently as hesitant as I was. The guy next to me was glancing around too. We made socially awkward eye contact and then both rolled down our windows. The horns behind us were threatening, but we didn’t move.
“You gonna cross?” he asked.
“Yeah, but you can go first.”
He had both his hands extended, clutching the top of his steering wheel. He looked out at the bridge and pursed his lips, shaking his head slightly, side to side. “You know who fixed the bridge?”
“Same guys that fixed it last time. Same guys that installed that cable that fell off.”
“Anyone can make a mistake. These guys have to check and double check everything.”
He looked over at me again. “What do you do? I mean for a living.”
“I’m an accountant. CFO of a large professional firm.”
“So you’re an experienced, competent accountant. Ever make a mistake on a financial statement? – even after double checking it?”
“But the financial statement didn’t collapse, sending hundreds of people into the bay.”
“Right. That’s why I’m still sitting here. But you know what?”
“The guys behind me are thinking the same thing. If I take off, they are going to wait a bit to see what happens to me. If it’s not good, maybe they get a cool cell phone video to post on YouTube. Meanwhile, by itself, my little Ford Focus (**pardon the product placement **) probably won’t break the bridge. And, if it does, I figure I’ll be ahead of the collapse, so … see ya.”
Russell Daniels of the AP captured my sprint across the bay. Since I haven’t heard otherwise, I’m assuming those behind me made it okay.