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Yes I Can
I’m always in search of the best way to get from point A to point B, particularly if 65,000+ other people are trying to arrive at point B at the same time. In New England, mass migrations of this sort happen no less than 10 times a year, as gridiron fans get into cars and head to the massive parking lots surrounding Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts, a town deprived of, among (many) other things, a name ending in a proper, silent u-g-h.
I enjoy observing these fall pilgrimages for how clearly they demonstrate your fellow man’s utter lack of imagination when it comes to tackling complicated journeys. Approximately ninety-seven percent of the trekkers (I’m eyeballing that estimate) opt to load into cars and inch along routes 1 or 95 for a couple hours – longer if they get a late start – for the privilege of paying upwards of $40 to park and eat chicken wings in a parking lot. Many people don’t even bother with the chicken wing business, leaving their cars two miles from the stadium (also in expensive lots) and hoofing it.
Some people – maybe 3% (it can’t even be that high) – take the Patriots train from Boston or Rhode Island. This train (from Boston, at least) is hilarious for how slow it travels at times. I kid you not when I say that there are some points in the ride when you can walk faster than the train moves. You’d think they’d compensate for this inconvenience by adding a couple of beer cars and maybe a barbershop quartet to the train, but I’m pretty sure there’s some weird Massachusetts law against beer and quartets on trains.
Last night, I made the trip to soggy Gillette myself, driving from Jamaica Plain to the town of Norfolk, MA via back roads, and dumping my car in a sleepy (nameless) neighborhood. From there, I deployed a bicycle, which took me to within a few hundred yards of the turnstiles. At one point, a pair of state policemen spotted me and yelled, “You can’t do that!” At that moment, they must have comprehended just how important traffic jams are to their livelihoods.
After the game, 65,000 people walked back to their cars and waited in long lines to get home, or sat on a train that inched along on ancient rails (still a better option). Meanwhile, I pedaled two and a half miles in roughly ten minutes, and was home 30 minutes later.
The obvious drawback to my scheme was that I was not able to consume chicken wings in a parking lot. Alas, sometimes you just have to take the bad with the good.