Breasts, Spaghetti, and the distance to Pluto

Well here it is, my much demanded post on breasts.

A while ago I suggested Auckland should affectionately adopt Spaghetti Junction as the city’s new logo. I have not yet had much success with this, although at Dave’s suggestion was considering printing some T-shirts to jump-start my marketing campaign.

So I will now revitalise this by injecting a healthy dose of nakedness into Spaghetti Junction.

While I was working on The Shore (and living in Onehunga), I would negotiate The Junction daily as part of my commute. It wasn’t unusual to spend more than two hours a day in traffic, and at least 20 minutes rombling through the CMJ.

Now, in summer this was particularly unpleasant. I was driving a car built before air-conditioning was invented. So, sitting in a stifling muggy 40C tin box surrounded by vehicles moving at a grand speed of 1 kph, The Junction was rather stressful. This would be exacerbated by wearing my usual woolly attire to cope with the 18C air-conditioned work-place environment.

As the heat would start impairing my ability to think clearly, I’d entertain the notion of removing my clothes. Fortunately some realms of sanity would stop me, usually by injecting a myriad of questions.

“What if I get pulled over for the broken tail-light?”

“What if I get rear-ended?”

“What if the woman in the car next to mine notices my bra and panties don’t
match?”

But one day, on a Friday, with yet another incident down at Drury causing a backlog of queues all the way to Takapuna, I thought (#)#* it. If I don’t strip my top off I’m likely to have an accident caused by a heat induced brain-malfunction. So while queuing just after the Cook Street off ramp I turned off the engine and applied the hand-brake.

Off came the shoes, socks, pants and top, I stopped at my bra and knickers reasoning that removing them would unlikely aid my discomfort.

What happened next was rather profound.

No-one noticed. No-one. Not the truck-driver to my right, not the middle-aged woman chattering on her cellphone behind me, nor the sweating, business clad chap to my left. They were all blankly staring ahead, absorbed in their own problems, worrying about the broken coffee machine at home, speculating whether their partner was still emailing their ex, or wondering how to bed the cute new receptionist.

It’s only after you’ve sat mostly naked in traffic, and realise everyone around you is too absorbed in their own trivial insecurities to even notice yours, that you come to understand just how insignificant you are, how big the world is, and just how far it really is to Pluto*.

In 10, 100, or 1000 years time that report you’re stressing about will be completely irrelevant, the way your boss looked at you in the morning meeting will be meaningless, and whether or not you pass the comp-sci 403 – Advanced Data Structures exam probably will not alter the course of the universe.

It was enlightening. And so, thereafter my breast revealing commute became a semi-regular summer evening event.

Coming up to the queue at Cook Street, I would promptly turn of the ignition, and remove my clothes.

And for two summers, until I finally changed jobs, no-one ever noticed (but it did intrigue Beau).


* The distance and size of Pluto is perhaps best described by Bill Bryson in A Brief History of Nearly Everything:

On a diagram of the solar system to scale, with Earth reduced to about the diameter of a pea, Jupiter would be over 300 meters away and Pluto would be two and a half kilometers distant (and about the size of a bacterium, so you wouldn’t be able to see it anyway). On the same scale, Proxima Centauri, our nearest star, would be almost sixteen thousand kilometers away. Even if you shrank down everything so that Jupiter was as small as the period at the end of this sentence, and Pluto was no bigger than a molecule, Pluto would still be over 10 meters away

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2 Responses to Breasts, Spaghetti, and the distance to Pluto

  1. Simon says:

    You realise this post would have a lot more impact with pictures :) Like the one I sent you the other day:

    http://www.metro.co.uk/weird/article.html?in_article_id=209737&in_page_id=2

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