I left work yesterday and settled in for my usual 40 minute commute home. Paul Butterfield was blowing a harp solo on the box and traffic was its usual rush hour pack of swift moving automobiles.
About 4 miles from the airport, traffic began to slow. I saw a few police cars blocking an exit and figured there was an accident. As I-40 swept up past the Wade Avenue exit, I saw that the opposite lanes of the Interstate, usually bumper to bumper this time of day, were empty. Not a car in sight. It was like a scene from On The Beach. Spooky.
Our westbound lanes continued on as usual. It was only the eastbound lanes that were abandoned of all commuter life. Then, lights flashing, two motorcycle cops came toward us. They were followed by more cops on bikes. Then an EMT truck. Behind that, a long line of black SUVs.
I got into the left lane, closest to the oncoming motorcade. I let the black SUVs get closer. I knew who was sitting behind one of those darkened windows and I knew I would never have this opportunity again.
As the motorcade pulled opposite, I held up my middle finger. It was only for a moment, but in that brief flash of the single digit, I got to tell George W. Bush, America's petite dauphin, exactly what I thought of the way he's handled his office.
And it felt good. It felt damn good.
When a regular guy, commuting home after a long week at work, gets to flip off the most powerful man in the world, it just reminds me why I fly the flag every 4th of July.
Damn, I love this country.
Have a good weekend.