February 16, 2012


While stopped at a red light on the way to the beach I took a photo, through the open window, of
something that caught my attention, a shaded yard at the side of a house with a pretty tree framed by an
open gate. No sooner had the light changed (I saw it out of the corner of my eye) than the chick behind
me hit her horn. I had held her up for no more than a second or two.

I suspect she was more put out by my breach in traffic protocol than in any real inconvenience it caused.
We were quickly on our way, but her rancor apparently persisted. She soon passed me, cell phone to her
ear, and I watched her weaving between lanes ahead, but gaining little additional headway. Halfway to
the beach she had acquired, despite her aggressive maneuvers, a little more than a block of extra ground. 

This confirmed for me a somewhat counter-intuitive phenomenon I’ve noticed, and experienced myself:
the dubious yield of haste, which seems to provide diminishing returns at best, and against a hard ceiling
whose upper limit (a few minutes approximately) doesn’t seem to vary much regardless of the time or
distance in which it operates. There’s probably an algorithm for this. By the time I drew near to the
bridge to the beach, I saw the white Toyota ahead. The distance between us had shrunk.