Once Upon A Traffic Jam …

I had been listening to Quilly telling me about drivers in Waikiki who were celebrating aloha in what I’ve come to call (my apologies) the anti-shaka.

So when I hit the snarl about halfway on my bicycle ride home, at an hour considerably later than usual for stopped traffic, I figured that I was about to have my turn at highway high anxiety.

I soon came upon the source of the difficulty. A car had come to a stop smack in the middle of the one access ramp from the Kahala Mall area to the main road (the Kalaniana‘ole Highway – go ahead, say that three times fast, I dare you). As I rode up to the car (bicycles do have their advantages), a gentleman who’d obviously seen both many days and better ones stepped unsteadily out, jumper cables in hand. His car had also seen both many days and better ones, and its battery had evidently been taking bets with the man on which of them would pass away first. The battery had just won.

There was a gas station half a block away, and the fellow had come up with no better alternative than to try to walk there and see if he could get the folk there to start his car.

I pulled over, and was reaching for my cell phone to call 911, when another car pulled up to the first, with the obvious intention of providing the necessary boost. Clearly the problem would soon be solved. If the old gentleman and his Samaritan could be protected from the masses of steel and humanity piling up behind them.

I put away the phone, walked down the street about fifty yards or so, and started guiding cars, trucks, and buses from the three lanes that were emptying into the jam into the one lane that was clear. Fully expecting that, at some point, I’d be playing dodge ball with all these vehicles. As the ball.

To my surprise, that didn’t happen. Obviously; I’m still here to write this post, eh? But people quickly got the idea, and soon traffic was moving around the jam.

There were a lot of cars, though, and it took some concentration to keep folks moving without bending fenders or tempers. So I was standing there, getting people to come here and go that way, when I happened to glance behind me and –

The old guy was gone.

“Oh, Jillian girl, you no believe what I just saw!”

“What you see, Ko?”

“One crazy haole in da middle of de road by de mall, wavin’ his arms like one dumb traffic cop, and for nothin’!

“Maybe he go for mayor, yeah?”

Grateful for both the beard I’ve grown lately and the gathering darkness to hide my blushes, I got out of the middle of the road and back on the bicycle to resume my delayed journey home.

But as I was riding in the bike lane, passing cars stopped for red lights and road construction, one fellow called out:

“Hey, thanks for directing traffic! Good job!”

Even a blind pig finds an ‘uala patch every once in awhile.

  – O Ceallaigh
Copyright © 2009 Felloffatruck Publications. All wrongs deplored.
All opinions are mine as a private citizen.


  1. Haha! I’ve been chuckling for the last five minutes about you directing traffic around a stalled car that wasn’t there.

    Quilly, you keep an eye on him, okay? If he starts directing the band when he’s at home, I’d get him in to see the doc for a brain scan.

    Nice that the guy thanked you, though.

  2. <———— laughing hysterically…I can so just picture this. OC for Mayor 🙂 The aloha spirit is alive and well.

  3. So, instead of being upset that you were so late getting home, I should have been happy I wasn’t fishing you out of intensive care or the psych ward!

    “Okay, lady, but if we sign him out to you, you have to promise not to let him play in the middle of the highway.”

  4. No brain scans, Lisa. I’m afraid they’d look and find nothing.

    Thom, I’m just glad that the bus I waved through wasn’t yours.

    And yes, Quilly, my mother did tell me not to play in the street.

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