If the interstate highway held a family reunion, here is how it would likely play out.
INTERSTATES 80, 90, and 10 would be the worldly, sophisticated types who believe they know everything because they have traveled coast-to-coast. They would likely look down on the shorter interstates as uneducated, judgmental morons. Everyone else would notice the work they’ve had done to look modern, but they would dismiss it as a “cost of doing business.” They would be drinking $50 a bottle red wine.
INTERSTATES 29, 94, 35, 40, 70, 25, 71, 15 and 75 would be at the picnic table, talking about their kids, their families, and the next vacation they are taking. Also mentioned in the discussion are Super Bowls, World Series and who won the NBA Finals and the Stanley Cup. Everyone is at least 40 years old, loaded with debt, and whining about the government doesn’t give a shit about their problems.
INTERSTATE 76 would be the hipster cousin hanging out by the dog house, holding a craft beer in one hand and a cheesesteak in the other. He’s going to Pittsburgh afterwards to get a grinder.
INTERSTATE 84 would be wearing a UConn Huskies shirt, talking to 76 and offering him a joint, then bitching about how people don’t understand his lifestyle choices, and the hiking trip he’s getting to take through the Cascades.
INTERSTATE 4 would be swacked on a enough tequila and cheap beer to light up Orlando, and smoking a cigar the size of Tampa. She would be complaining how she’s never been able to get to the west coast of Florida to see a sunset.
INTERSTATES 5, 55, and 95 would be arguing about how the West Coast is better than the East Coast, and how the Midwest is better than either one. 5 brings sushi and Napa Valley wine, 55 brings St. Louis and Memphis barbecue and Budweiser, and 95 brings New York Pizza and Florida orange juice. All three have had major plastic surgery done.
INTERSTATES 85, 59, 24, 26 and 74 are all inside watching SEC football, drinking Jack and Coke, and talking about their next fishing trips. Traffic in Atlanta is a sore spot, and nobody dares to mention the ACC or New York Yankees. They leave early so they can make it church on Sunday.
INTERSTATES 77, 81, and 64 arrive together. They were late because their car, a late model General Motors sedan, broke down and they had walk to the auto parts store to buy WD 40 to take the rust off the busted part.
INTERSTATE 12 would have made it on time, but it got drunk and forgot to turn left and ended up in Baton Rouge. When it turned around, it forgot to turn right and ended up back in Biloxi.
INTERSTATE 83 forgets to come to the reunion because it’s too busy deciding if it wants to live in Pennsylvania or Maryland.
INTERSTATE 86 sends its regrets, saying that it can’t come because it’s saving up to buy a house now that moved from Connecticut to New York.
INTERSTATES 89, 91, and 93 forgo the reunion and instead spend the weekend hiking through Vermont, snarfing mass quantities of Ben & Jerry’s. They all have Bernie Sanders bumper stickers on the back of their luxury cars.
INTERSTATE 87 is stuck in traffic in New York and arrives late. It spends the whole time bitching about how French Canadians are ruining the neighborhood it lives in. It suffers from a mild strain of bi-polar disorder.
INTERSTATES H1, H2 and H3 are manning the grill, cooking killer Hawaiian-style barbecue and bitching about traffic and the high cost of living. Two of them are retirees from the mainland, while one is retired from the Navy.
INTERSTATES 69, 2, 73 and 22 are sitting at the children’s table, looking at their cellphones and trying to figure out ways to hack into digital highway signs to order to post obscene or racist messages.
INTERSTATE 27 would be at the grill too, but cooking 2 lb steaks. He’s wearing a red cowboy hat, Texas Tech shirt and singing “Amarillo by Morning”
INTERSTATES 44, 57, 72, and 96 would talking about looming strikes, eating burgers and hot dogs, and drinking beer.
INTERSTATE 65 would be bouncing around all the groups, being a social butterfly. Deep down, it feels like a rock star trapped in a country singer’s body.
INTERSTATES 16 and 37 would be floating in the pool, wearing sunglasses and relaxing. 16 would be wearing a Georgia Southern shirt, while 37 is wearing a Dallas Cowboys shirt. Neither has any clue if their team won last week.
INTERSTATES 8, 17 and 19 arrive from Phoenix and tell everyone complaining about the heat how they are lightweights, that it’s 120 degree in the shade with no rain for at least three months. All three are retirees.
INTERSTATES 66, 68, 78, 79 and 99 are yelling at each other about politics. 68 and 99 are accusing 66, 78 and 79 of being tax-and-spend liberals, while 66 and 79 call 68 and 99 conservative neanderthals. 78 is a billionaire who own a ton of buildings in New York and announces his plans to run for President while at the reunion. Nobody takes 78 seriously at first mainly because his main base of popularity is suburban New Jersey.
INTERSTATES 30 and 49 are walking around, discussing business deals and how they plan to spend their billions and oursourcing jobs. They constantly bitch about big government, but brag about how they got huge tax breaks for opening new stores. They argue about who is going to win the Arkansas-Texas A&M game.
All the non-beltway 3 digit interstates are playing on the jungle gym, having fun but not really knowing what to do. Several run off and have to be corralled, but most return to their parents when it’s time to go home.
The beltway 3 digit interstates are all teenagers droning endlessly about how their lives are so complicated, how they have nowhere to go and would love to just break away and go somewhere when they grow up. A couple of them are very fast runners, while most prefer to just walk.
INTERSTATE 238 is an adopted child of Interstates 80 and 5. Nobody likes it because it’s short, stubby and looks weird, but they accept it because its parents love it with all their hearts.
INTERSTATES 35W and 35E are identical twin sisters. One has a Texas accent, while the other prefers scandinavian food and cold winters. Both gripes about nobody cares about them.
INTERSTATES A1, A2, A3, A4, and PR1 and PR2 haven’t been heard from in 60 years. Everyone believes they are in witness protection.
INTERSTATES 82, 43 and 41 organized the whole damned thing because, dammit, they wants to feel like they actually belongs!