Tuesday, July 23, 2013

We'll cross that bridge...

It was just the other day that I was talking to a friend who suffers from gephyrophobia, the fear of crossing bridges.  It can be a very big problem around here, because the Chesapeake Bay almost cuts Maryland in two, and in the summer many people want to be on the other side, where there's an ocean with high tides and french fries and amusement rides and fewer homicides where the fun never subsides and it's far from the Continental Divide.

With my usual poor sense of foreboding, I told my friend to just drive the car over the bridge and not to look to either side. This tunnel vision works well on a bridge but not so much in the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel, a huge tube that connects one side of Baltimore to the other by taking drivers under the harbor.  Fun thing to do while driving through it is to hit the windshield spray ever so lightly and then say, "Oh!  I thought they patched up that leak!"

The timing was bad because last Friday night at the peak of the oceanward migration, a car being driven by a 22-year-old woman from Calvert County was hit by a tractor trailer, and forced over the parapet wall of the bridge into the Bay, 40 feet below.  Amazingly, the woman survived, probably because she was still near the shallow end of the water.  She got out of the car once it was in the Bay and swam to safety on a some rocks, where a rescue vessel picked her up.

But for those who suffer from fear of driving over a bridge, the best advice is to get help.  There is counseling available, and it has helped some people, and there is a service that, for 25 smackers, will drive you in your car over the bridge.

Imagine, you're driving along and a truck hits your car and you and the car career off the bridge and into the drink...and you still have the moxie to get out of that car and swim to safety!

I don't think there's going to me too much in her future that will scare Ms Morgan Lake.

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