Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Bay Bridge is Effed Up

You know it’s bad when you get emails from friends you haven’t spoken with in three years warning you to stay off the Bay Bridge. Especially when they don’t even live in San Francisco and therefore have no idea how effed up it really is. In lieu of typical sign-offs (like “Keep in touch” and “See you soon”), they write “Stay off the Bay Bridge!”

Eh hem…

From: Friend in Oregon
To: Meghan McCloskey
Date: Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Subject: Just want to say hi!

Hey Megs,

It’s so great to hear you’re doing well in SF! How is your job? And your blog? :) Work has been GREAT; for awhile it was quite busy and stressful, but now it has slowed down for the holidays. I’m loving the extra time on my hands! Matt & I are super excited to fly home TOMORROW for Turkey Day. Next time you’re in Portland, let’s get together for a drink. I know you must be extremely busy when you come home, but we could try, right?

Stay off the Bay Bridge!

Today, swapping the phrase with “hi” and “goodbye” is widely accepted. Soon (in San Francisco, at least) I believe it will be interchangeable with “thank you.” It’s like “aloha” or “cheers.” Shooting the breeze with strangers now means chattering about the overpass. There’s no more “looks pretty foggy out there today” or “how about them Giants.” It’s all about who drove off the bridge this morning and the size of the metal beam that fell off the structure and onto the Toyota Camry in yesterday’s rush hour traffic. At local pubs, during Trivia Night competitions, one of the questions usually goes something like this: “What was loaded in the truck that crashed and flew off the Bay Bridge on Monday?” If you don’t know, you’re not a real San Franciscan and ought to be ashamed of yourself and leave the bar. (Note: The answer last week was “pears.”)

Even my morning-time pals Matt Lauer and Meredith Viera report on the bridge’s fatal defects. That’s how I know it’s really bad. Because usually? The pair doesn’t whisper a word about West Coast happenings between the hours of 7am and 10am; I have to wait for Hoda and Kathy Lee to come on before I get the scoop on California. Usually the gossip revolves around celebrities, I admit. But one day it involved the bridge. (They said it was “effed up” and then took sips of their morning glasses of chardonnay.)

So all of you who sent me emails and text messages and voice messages and Google instant messages and hand-written letters and BBMs? Don’t worry. I’m way too effin’ scared to get on that bridge. (Plus it costs four bucks and takes you to Oakland. No thanks.)

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