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Palm Latitudes

On Ramp : All the Right Moves

October 31, 1993|Janet Fitch

L.A. drivers terrify out-of-towners, possibly because of some of our ingenious maneuvers:

Create-a-Space: There is always a parking space. Look for the imaginary space a the end of a row, or in front of a dumpster.

L.A. Left: Any driver who can get a portion of his bumper into an intersection is permitted to make the left without incident.

No Exit: A driver in a hurry moves left into a faster lane, and so misses his exit completely. A metaphor for life.

OMing the Traffic: You're cruising down a busy freeway, passing everything in sight, changing lanes in a rhythm, never having to brake or make a sudden move. Evidence of the existence of God.

Parking Guru: Individual who always finds a parking space. Find one, love one. Even if it's your mother-in-law, invite her to Zuma Beach on a Saturday.

Shooting the Curl: The lanes on the left and right are moving at a crawl, but somehow, your lane opens up and you glide effortlessly through. Karmic reward.

Under the Slab: Southern California's version of musical chairs. Drivers slow down or speed up in heavy traffic to avoid being caught under an overpass. Began with the San Francisco earthquake, when we saw what happens to a car when a freeway collapses on it.

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