I'm not a huge fan of bridges. You know, the type where you can't see the bottom and you pray the maniac driving behind you listening to thrash metal has the same type of fear you do. Most of the time, as he drives his 1987 Z-28, he doesn't. And then you can feel his angry eyes fixed on your bumper as you plod along 20 miles slower than the rest of humanity. This happens to me at least on a bi-monthly basis as I drive back and forth to Michigan, via the illustrious Grand Island bridge outside of Canada. Four years ago this month, I decided to accept a great journalism job in Lansing, Michigan, and since I still have a life there (girlfriend, friends, etc.) and my family lives in New York, I must travel through Canada to see them. They might as well have put a flaming moat in between them filled with vodka and cranberries.
The road from New York to Michigan, by way of Canada is set-up with countless roadblocks to haunt you. If it's not the traffic, it's the border where grown men have been known to wait for five hours in blazing heat or abhorrent weather in vain attempts to show their passports to the customs jockeys. I've been literally pulled over for having nothing in my trunk expect a pair of swimming trunks and Hostess cupcake. Not exactly part of the terrorist tool kit.
Then you can deal with construction, black traffic cones, and wild chappies from Ontario in minivans with lead feet. The latter will get you every time, because there's a deadly game they secretly like to play. It's called, "Don't Let the Americans Merge." The winner gets four tickets to a Tuesday night Maple Leafs game.
Each time I travel, I bring a few new CDs to get my brain off things, but it doesn't work. I get caught in traffic and Canadians yell at me. This week, I rocked the new Dead Weather CD. Musical pundits have told me Jack White can do no wrong and at this point in my evolution, I have to agree.
There is though, only one thing that bothers me more than Canada: no return phone calls from job prospects. Between freelancing, drinking large amounts of dark roast coffee and looking for a job, I don't have time to convince the cat that peeing in my sandal is not a good idea.
I recently applied to a job about 20 miles away from my parents' house. I was qualified. I was familiar with their business. I followed up twice. You know, the basic "did you get my information" deal. Maybe leaving a message wasn't the best idea. My days as a reporter have taught me to be persistent, be nice and leave strong messages. Still, no return phone call ever came. But being a reporter taught me to never stop until you get your story. So now I approach getting a job like trying to get a scoop. Even if you don't call me, I'll call you.
And if you do call back, I'll even answer my phone on the big blue bridge to Canada with the Slayer fan on my tail.
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