Tolls…And Why I Hate Their Guts
Did you notice in the title that I referred to tolls as “they” as if they are human?
That’s how much I hate them! They suck and they’ve sucked as long as I remember being alive. With the dirtbags who run the DRPA all over the news lately, I thought I would take a look back at the history of tolls in my life.
My first memory of tolls is my dad bitching about them. And we didn’t even own a car. Is that too much? Guess it was my dad’s way of sticking up for the working man. Lord knows what he would have thought of beach tags. My old man would sit in the kitchen drinking his Ballentine and listening to the news on the radio. “Goddamn tolls” he would bark when the traffic report would proclaim a “backup at the toll” on the Walt Whitman or the AC Expressway. This went on for years before I was ever even in a car going through a toll. Then some of the toll lanes went automated and that really flipped the old man out. “Taking a job away from a man!” To him tolls were just another arm of City Hall taking money out of your pocket. AND REMEMBER, HE DIDN’T OWN A CAR. [SIGNUP]
Well, then I started going down the Jersey Shore on my own (there was no other reason to enter New Jersey.) Before we discovered the back roads, there was the bridge toll, the AC Expressway toll, and then TWO Garden State Parkway tolls to get to Wildwood. What the fuck!? We barely had enough dough for gas money to begin with and we had to put up with this crap? Not to mention the backup. Oh, the backup. We’ve been putting up with that jam-up our entire lives. I’ve always heard that there are states where, when a backup reaches a certain point, they wave all the cars through WITHOUT PAYING till the backup chills out. Mind you, it’s a rumor, like Angelo Cataldi paying a check. No one has ever actually SEEN this happen. However, it is a great idea. Would it really kill the DRPA to let everyone though without stopping and paying from 11a.m. to 1:30 p.m. the afternoon of an Eagles game? Do they need every single last dime, those cheap bastards? It’s bad enough they literally ruin lives Monday through Friday at rush hour, they must insist on destroying your weekends also?
Remember the blizzard last winter? I was on the air that night. It ordinarily takes me 23 minutes to get from my house to WIP at 1 in the morning. I allowed TWO HOURS that night and believe you me, I needed every minute of it. Route 322 was a mess, 55 a disaster, 42 was a joke, and driving over the bridge? You took your life into your hands. Yet, there was that cocksucker with his hand out to grab your four dollars. The DRPA probably helicoptered him in.
I wish someone would organize a national UP YOURS TOLL DAY where everyone would just drive through without paying. They couldn’t possibly arrest all of us, could they? Believe it or not, I’m actually gonna close on a happy note. I’m going to share something with you that could help brighten up a summer day and also save you some coin. I have not paid a toll at any Garden State Parkway booth for over twenty five years. I go to the EXACT CHANGE lane, put my window down, PRETEND like I’m throwing money in the basket, and then drive on through. NOT ONCE have I ever been pulled over for this. Never. And that’s a fact. Try it. You have my permission.