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October 29, 2002: Don't try this at home

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Anyone who has ever had the misfortune to drive in the Bay area of California understands how bad the traffic can be. A distance of 5 miles might take you up to an hour to travel, depending on the time of day. Unless, of course, you happen to be trying to find some random mollusk handler office at o-dark thirty in the morning, like we were. At this time there will be absolutely no traffic to speak of, mainly because those of us familiar with this area's traffic did copious amounts of warning to those who hadn't yet experienced it, and so had to be made to look like we were lying through our teeth. I'd hoped to be vindicated on the way back to the hotel, but we finished the presentations early enough to beat the traffic on the freeway before rush hour. Of course Richard and I hit it in full force when we left the hotel later to go to his parents for dinner. We ended up literally parked on the onramp to 880 for half an hour because apparently (we found this out later), two vans of young men who appeared to be lacking that crucial thing called intelligence, decided it would be great fun to have a paintball war. Between their two cars. On the freeway. During rush hour. Someone called the police when they saw the guns (not knowing they were just paintball guns) and once they'd finally cleared the area and let us actually move again, we passed by a row of men seated against the freeway divider, surrounded by pretty much every police and highway patrol officer in the surrounding three counties. I'd be willing to guess that these particular young men will confine their paintball wars to more appropriate arenas in the future.

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