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moveway | by helen sotiriadis
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[press 'L' if you must.]


i made a mistake while editing -- and my picture turned into the above... nevertheless, i decided that, while not a leading specimen of fine art photography, it was interesting enough to keep for a laugh.


but that's not the story here. the story lies behind the tentative description i keyed in last night, to caption my mistake:


i think i turned left when i should've turned right. this is just weird.

originally purple with yellow stamen.


'i turned left when i should've turned right'? what's steering a car got to do with anything?


well, it was my personal little giggle, an inside joke for a company of one, which no one else would understand, surely, as it's a reference to a dim memory of a short story i once read when i was a kid.


ok... still... so what?


well, this morning, my google reader's rss feed had, in the cool recommendations section, 3 items about a nine-day 100-km [60-mile for metrically challenged americans] traffic jam in beijing. [ah... beijing traffic -- i remember it well.]


the thing is, whenever i'm stuck in traffic, my mind escapes back to that elusive bit of science fiction.


so, this morning, since coincidence was slapping me in the face to conclusively satiate my curiosity and repair my failed memory, i embarked on a virtual search for the tale. it turns out others half-remembered this thing as well, because there is an actual page where people are discussing it and where was it from, and who wrote it, and does anybody else remember this?


so, i was triumphant in finding the great moveway jam, by john keefauver, originally published in omni magazine in 1979, with the description:


'for months they waited to be rescued from the mammoth traffic jam. then the copters came!'


uploaded in PDF format for your reading pleasure by the mysterious krewe du kat.


as i sleepily -- yet excitedly -- read this early this morning, i did a mental jig at locating the prized sentence:


'a little old lady, signaling for a right turn in ventura, made a left turn instead.'


are you still reading this?


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Taken on August 23, 2010