I did not get stuck in the horrendous four hour delay north-bound traffic on the 101 this morning. Thank goodness. I got on at Carrillo, where the freeway resembled those 'welcome to LA in the 50s' idealized images of three lanes of pavement with a car or two in the distance. I sailed to work.
I did have chance to listen to the radio though, where the DJs were calling bosses on behalf of employees stuck in the traffic, to try and legitimize their lateness. Santa Barbara is a peculiar bubble in many ways, but geographically so because there's practically only one way in and one way out. If anything happens to either of these escape routes we're cut off from the world. This happened a couple of years ago when heavy rains and mudslides closed the freeways at either end of the town leaving us without fresh food and petrol for days. I called LK at the time from Trader Joes to say 'it's like Russia here, the shelves are completely empty and all I can find is organic milk' and he replied 'yeah Wrigs, it's like Russia when all you can buy is organic milk'. Good point.
Anyway I digress, nobody can afford to live in SB so everyone drives in from the south or the north, as a result, most of Santa Barbara's workforce was sitting in traffic this morning instead of keeping the town running. One of my staff was driving in from Ojai, and I knew she'd be listening to KTYD so as soon as I got to work I called her to see how stuck she was and to thank her for not calling in to the station to have them call me. To cut a very long story short, my phone rang ten minutes later and lo and behold I was on the air.
Everyone in SB listens to this radio station, not least because there is a dearth of radio stations in this town. I've never been live on air before and fortunately I didn't spack out completely. They dutifully told me that due to a big rig accident said employee wasn't going to be in til much much later, and I managed to squeak out that that was the second alleged big-rig-conflagration-closes-the-freeway excuse I'd heard that week and that she was fired. Not too funny in the re-telling but I thought I didn't sound like a complete muppet.
For about two hours after though, my heart was still hammering away like I'd had about fifteen cups of coffee, so apparently I am a muppet. A practically famous muppet.