Lisa Ricard Claro – Author

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Microfiction: Traffic Jam and Instant Retribution

Posted on Jun 27, 2011 by Lisa Ricard Claro   25 Comments | Posted in Grandma's Goulash · microfiction · Succinctly Yours

Grandma’s Goulash graciously hosts Succinctly Yours, the wonderful meme for those of us addicted to microfiction. The trick is to write a story in 140 characters or less using the photo below as inspiration. To add to the challenge is the word of the week, “tribute.”  My stories are below.

Traffic Jam
(135 characters)



“Crawling commuter traffic: A tribute to insanity,” she ranted.
“Complaining commuters: The definition of irony,” her passenger noted.

* * * * * * * * * *


Instant Retribution
(139 characters)



He cursed the traffic, rain and pokey drivers. He cursed the red light and sped through. After the semi T-boned him, he never cursed again.

Living in traffic-challenged Atlanta, the first microfiction is one I consider often. That I am a contributor to the problem, by virtue of my simple presence in the midst of it, never escapes me. Knowing this doesn’t prevent my whining about it, of course. Like most drivers, I wish everyone else would stay home, thereby enabling me to drive unimpeded to my destination.
As to the second—Just the other day a driver sped through a red turn signal. Our light was green, so traffic was already moving through the intersection. The driver who turned against the light missed being hit by a Hummer by a bare few inches. What in the world was so important that he would risk his life to get through that light? I suspect mere impatience. I hope he’s as lucky the next time he tempts fate and that no one is hurt by his foolishness.
Thanks for visiting. See you Wednesday!
Lisa

25 Responses to "Microfiction: Traffic Jam and Instant Retribution"

  1. Comment by Sarah
    June 27, 2011 at 6:57 am  

    I love coming here and reading your microfiction, Lisa. These are, as usual, very clever (and also very thought-provoking–I have a rough commute myself).

  2. Comment by Anonymous
    June 27, 2011 at 7:22 am  

    How true, we always assume it is the other person causing the problem. Arkansas Patti

  3. Comment by Linda O'Connell
    June 27, 2011 at 7:34 am  

    Your micrtofiction is an art, Lisa. You can do so much with few words. By the way, we are heading your way through Atlanta in a couple weeks. Not looking forward to that traffic.

  4. Comment by Sioux
    June 27, 2011 at 9:55 am  

    Hey, Lisa. I think you and Linda should hook up somewhere in Atlanta for a cup of coffee. How many times can bloggers meet face to face?Okay, back on track…I loved the image of getting t-boned and the end of cursing. There's someone in St. Louis who just got a ticket for "giving the finger" to someone who ran a light and then blocked everyone else from turning. He has to go to court because there is no law he broke, except sticking a body part out of the window. However, in this municipality, people ARE allowed to stick out their arm/hand to "signal." He has to go to court, and I think his lawyer is claiming his client was indeed "signaling."

  5. Comment by Jane
    June 27, 2011 at 10:03 am  

    I have been looking for Microfiction as the last blog that hosted it is apparently now gone from blog land. Love your words!Jane

  6. Comment by Laraine Eddington
    June 27, 2011 at 10:10 am  

    As always, your microfiction has magno impact.

  7. Comment by Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy
    June 27, 2011 at 11:00 am  

    Hi Lisa,Number 1 is really incredible, and I like how you think of it often. We don't have much traffic where I live, unless there is an accident or road construction. But when we were in Seattle at "the curves" I was reminded what a frustrating mess that being stuck in traffic can be.As for the second one, I'm glad that nobody was hurt. I don't know why people do that.Have a wonderful week,Kathy M.

  8. Comment by Pat
    June 27, 2011 at 12:06 pm  

    Both are excellent, as usual, Lisa! I like the parallel comments of the passengers in the car…I've thought of that irony before when I was a commuter!I like the dark humor of the second one…makes you think! The awful part about red-light runners is that they endanger innocent people as well as themselves.

  9. Comment by jabblog
    June 27, 2011 at 3:44 pm  

    I can relate to your second. There are so many accidents speeding to happen – usually, the ones that jump the lights or otherwise drive dangerously just cause the accidents but are not caught themselves.

  10. Comment by SJerZGirl
    June 27, 2011 at 4:21 pm  

    I was several cars behind someone who did just that. *POOF* Gone in a cloud of blue smoke from the crushed engine. Nothing anyone could do.

  11. Comment by Debra Mayhew
    June 27, 2011 at 6:51 pm  

    Excellent microfiction, Lisa! Here's hoping you get to cruise to all your destinations completely unimpeded – by traffic, that is. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Comment by Sonia Lal
    June 27, 2011 at 7:49 pm  

    Hehe I have to agree with the passenger. LOL As for the second – speeding like that through heavy traffic are accidents waiting to happen.

  13. Comment by Helen
    June 27, 2011 at 8:42 pm  

    Very clever, I particularly liked the second one.

  14. Comment by Susan Fobes
    June 27, 2011 at 10:19 pm  

    Lisa, you always have the best microfictions! I loved #2, but like you I don't understand the risk of life for a few measly minutes…

  15. Comment by Steve E
    June 28, 2011 at 12:28 am  

    "…and he never cursed again." says it all about traffic. My transportation is a motor scooter, and I enjoy that unobstructed view. However, I find it is easier to go 70-80 mph than the marked 45.The miracle IS: How so MANY Peeps are driving like crazy, and so few pile-ups in comparison.BUT…your 140 pieces are good, I may join next week, I like micro (can get away with a lot–grin!). What day is the topic picture posted?PEACE!

  16. Comment by Jim
    June 28, 2011 at 12:38 am  

    I like your ยต-fiction, Lisa. I had to think a little on the second passenger's comment.And of course I agree with you about the horrible Atlanta traffic. Your freeways are awful too. Our Houston is a jewel compared with what you have to put up with…

  17. Comment by Kay L. Davies
    June 28, 2011 at 1:50 am  

    Both very well done, Lisa. The first made me laugh, the second made me cringe.

  18. Comment by Tony Benson
    June 28, 2011 at 4:35 am  

    Great observations, Lisa. I like both, although the second one brought me up short. Is it my imagination or are peoples' driving habits getting generally more dangerous these days?

  19. Comment by Akelamalu
    June 28, 2011 at 9:09 am  

    There's always two sides to a story! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  20. Comment by Katie Gates
    June 28, 2011 at 10:42 am  

    Both great; especially loved the second one. I am always amazed, when I feel I've just made it through the yellow light, to look in my rearview mirror and notice how many cars are still crossing the intersection.

  21. Comment by Grandma's Goulash
    June 28, 2011 at 11:16 am  

    Those are both excellent, Lisa. Having been one of Atlanta's complaining commuters for twelve years, I could truly relate.

  22. Comment by Carmen @ Life Lines
    June 28, 2011 at 1:37 pm  

    Lisa, you give some witty food-for-thought in the first one. I have lived in a rural area for several years. During the occasional trip to the city, I find myself (a)keeping a eye on drivers on the sides, behind, and ahead of me—never know when someone will do the unexpected and (b)complaining (often to myself since I am usually alone in my car) about slow drivers ahead. On a serious note; my nephew was a passenger when a car slammed right into his door. The driver had run a red light. It took a lot of effort by rescuers to extract my nephew and a flight-for-life to get him to the hospital. Thankfully, he lived and has recovered.

  23. Comment by K9friend
    June 28, 2011 at 6:19 pm  

    The second one could be used as a voiceover in a campaign against dumb driving.Patwww.critteralley.blogspot.com

  24. Comment by Pooch
    June 28, 2011 at 9:45 pm  

    Great commentary and quite a shocker! You've got range!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  25. Comment by Tammy
    June 28, 2011 at 11:38 pm  

    Anybody who drives much can appreciate either of those! Great work yet again.


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