One of the jokes in my stand-up routine is about the police directing traffic outside large churches on Sundays. When I first started at Star 102.1, I would regularly get stuck in the backups when trying to get to work at 1:00 p.m.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been driving to Nutcracker rehearsals in Oak Ridge on Sundays. In past years, I was only in the party scene and had to be at the Dance Centre by 3:00 p.m. This year, I am also in the battle scene. I’m supposed to be there by 12:45. I was on Middlebrook Pike when sheriff’s deputies stopped traffic in front of West Park Baptist Church. I took a picture, thinking I might be able to use it in the future.
On Pellissippi Parkway, sheriff’s deputies use rolling roadblocks to slow traffic approaching Faith Promise church. This week, I was one of the first cars behind such a roadblock. The patrol car normally drives slowly, straddling both lanes of traffic. This week, the deputy suddenly accelerated and caught up to the stopped traffic in front of the church.
As the other drivers and I got there, we could see that there was a multi-car crash. One automobile was in the median, pointed in the opposite direction. I later learned that one of the vehicles belonged to a family that was also headed to Oak Ridge for Nutcracker rehearsal.
After a couple of minutes of sitting still (and tweeting about it), I saw that if I could get the car in the right lane to move, I could get to the ramp for the church. I gestured to the driver but he didn’t look. I could see his passengers trying to tell him what I was indicating. I wanted him to also take the ramp, drive through the parking lot to the exit, which was on the other side of the wreck. Instead, he pulled forward, toward the wreck and past the ramp. I now had plenty of room to cut across the right lane and drive through the church lot.