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Friday night drive-through traffic jams


It is a full moon on a Friday night in Los Angeles. Although some scientists decry claims that crime and other deviant behaviors spike during a full moon, ask any emergency room technician, and they will tell you that full-moon nights are a zoo. Friday night full-moons doubly so.

The laundromat was quiet, though. I’m not a fan of laundromats, but if the hotel has no laundry facilities, there’s really no choice. And the fact is that I would rather spend an hour or two in a laundromat than in a bar or a restaurant. It’s relatively quiet, no one expects you to talk, and you can read. Or you can watch Spanish-language soccer on television.

I read some of Robert Conquest’s excellent history of Stalinist horror, “The Great Terror.” I may read it as a bedtime story to some young children I know. They’re so young, it wouldn’t matter what the subject was. It’s all in the tone of voice that you use, just like with animals. You can describe the show trials and executions of Soviet citizens in calm, soothing tones, and it will put the children right to sleep. And perhaps some of the lessons will stick with them, so they will remember not to vote Democrat when they grow up. Because the descendants of those Stalin-era Communists are today’s Democrats, and we don’t want The Great Terror to be repeated. Though it probably will anyway.

On the way home from the laundromat, I stopped at an In-N-Out, which is a local fast food hamburger chain. Their food is very good, but their service is typically very slow, because it’s always crowded. I don’t know what I expected on a Friday night, but the drive-through line snaked around the building into the street, and a crowd of teenagers milled around in front.

After five minutes of not moving, I cut out of the drive-through line and into the Wendy’s across the street. Where that drive-through line was just as long, and was also not moving.

After another five minutes of not moving, I decided I didn’t need to eat, and I went back to the hotel.

Presumably both those lines of cars are still sitting there. It will be a long night for them.

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