Friday, July 14, 2006

The Big Dig-saster

I was in Boston this week for the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference. I got there on Monday evening, and a few hours later the connector to the Ted Williams Tunnel collapsed. Three things about that.

1. I appreciate that people tell me "Thank god you weren't in the tunnel at the time." Yeah. I join that small group of 6.5 billion people who weren't.

2. It was a terrible tragedy how a mother of three had her life snuffed out in an instant by a cascade of three-ton concrete slabs. We all weep for her family's loss.

3. It was pretty sweet for me personally!

I booked late for the conference, and all the hotels in mid-Boston were packed solid. My choices were Newton to the west or Revere to the east. I have stayed in the Newton hotel in the past, and while it has its charm (hovering over I-90 as if in space), I chose the Comfort Inn in Revere. While the T didn't run right next to the hotel (so I couldn't pretend I was in a futuristic SpacePort like I could in Newton), it did have the advantage of a location right next to the Necco Candy factory. If I felt peckish in the middle of the night, I could slip over and buy a few rolls of those shitty, shitty chalk wafers.

I drove up on Monday. I must have taken the wrong exit off I-93, because I ended up doing loop-de-loops in the North End for about 45 minutes before I finally found the entrance to the Callahan Tunnel and Rt. 1A. It was conveniently located between two Jersey barriers in the middle of a street, marked only with a chalk outline on the ground.

I got to the hotel, and the snack situation consisted of a Good Humor machine featuring ice cream sandwiches, crusted in frost like Santa's beard, for $3.00. Or a packet of Clamato flavored tortilla chips. Clamato flavored tortilla chips. The person who came up with that idea should be shot in the butt, and then his corpse should be stuffed with Clamato flavored tortilla chips.

Three hours later, the Williams tunnel bit it. This is the extension of I-90 that goes to Logan.

On Tuesday morning, the traffic on I-90 was backed up past Newton, all the way to Cleveland. Had I been in Newton, it would've taken me hours to get to the convention center. The traffic coming from Revere, on the other hand, was not a big problem.

On Tuesday night, I started back for the hotel. By now, they had set up the detour signs everywhere. Anywhere near I-90, you were now redirected to the 1A tunnel with readable, well-placed signage. I had no problem at all for the rest of the week. This tragic collapse was so awesome for me!

And yeah, tsk tsk on the shoddy workmanship and cost overruns, more condolences for the victim's family, etc. But thanks for making my life just a bit easier.


Dara said...

"Well, I've discovered why it hurts when you pee - you've got clamato."

Clamato flavored tortilla chips. I thought for sure you were making that up, but drunk and surly Jesus help me, you're not.

Skip said...

But on more important topics, how about those Islanders! Great management move!