the strike

June 5, 2008
New Jersey toll booth 12 am. A sleepy toll collector reminisced about his low wages and poor working conditions. The only reason he put up with his crappy job was that he had kids to feed. and a toll collector was the only work around. Between the passing cars he would get in parts of conversations with a friend and coworker who worked in the next booth over. All of their conversations led to one thing, the fact that their was no way that they got paid enough for what they did. It was a common consensus that the job just sucked.

The next morning the papers read “In the early hours of the morning some toll workers from New Jersey formed a strike. This strike is spreading like wildfire through the united states causing what people are calling most wide spread traffic jam in us history.”

Last night Jo Smo had gone to a Rock party, were he was given some shades and a string of read beads. When he was drunk and wearing his beads and shades he would look in to the mirror and say to himself “I could be a rock star”. He was the typical American, working, partying, drunk, sober, in debt out of debt. All he wanted in life was a bigger house, car, tv. One could almost envy his perfectly simple way of life.
The sun relentlessly beat down on the hood of Jo’s old sports car as he pulled on to the freeway. Jo’s car was Farley undescript, a standard four door sports car that was painted white. Including his work boots Jo weighed about 260 pounds the number was unclear because he did not often weigh himself. Jo had a beer belly. In the right season, wearing the right clothes, Jo could pass as a grumpy Sainta clause.

He blared fogy music from speakers that had Sean better days, as he speeded down the free way. With a cool breeze in his face he felt like it would be a great day. Then everything changed. Traffic, the worst kind, the kind that did not move. Jo barked some words that would have to be deleted punching the wheel causing the horn to admit a meager bleep. Drivers equally frustrated with the situation honked back.

Jo glared at the clock willing it to tell him that the car in front of him would start moving. But all it did was say to his face that it was 10am. Fumbling with his door he thought that if he looked around the cars he might be able to see what the problem was. Stepping out of his car and peering around the other vehicles he was just able to make out a toll both with only one lane functioning. Cars and trucks filed and fought to get to this one door of freedom and the open road.

With a deep sigh, followed buy a belch Jo leaned back on the hood of his car. Soaking up the sunlight. The smell of august was bearable after a few minutes. The overwhelming sound of honking and cursing of people who were in a rush seamed to fade in comparison with the overwhelming heat from the sun. Jo leaned back on the scorching hood of his car, hoping to pass some time.

“HONK HONK” a rod awakening from his dreams, he must have drifted off. He had been dreaming of sitting back stage before a rock concert tuning his guitar. Jo peered at his huge audience through a gap in the back stage wall. “Back to reality” exclaimed Jo. The car in fount of him had started to move. He plopped down in to his driver seat and started the engine. Hitting the gas he zoomed towards freedom. Within five minutes he was through the toll and on his way to freedom. Soon after there was a meeting amongst the New Jersey tool staff and there Toll workers. Within a week there was a peaceful resolution. That being increased pay, longer worker breaks, and extended holiday hours. Before long the roads were running smoothly and traffic free.

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