Yes, I know you know it. Everyone who drives knows it. The eternal hurry up to wait in the car for the traffic to flow scene. Every time I am on the road, driving a long distance, it seems that this is my life.
At Christmastime when I travel north to South Carolina it’s not that bad going to the northern state, but on the way coming south — oh, I know there will be a bottleneck not once, not twice, but three times. There is the heavy traffic, then there is the stopped traffic, the bottleneck, the let’s go a mile an hour traffic, the traffic where you wonder what is the delay to only find nothing once the traffic starts to flow. No sign as to what the problem was, simply going so far as a snail, and then the road clears and walla! everyone is breaking their backs to get on track, to get that pedal to the metal.
I never expected this scenario this summer when I traveled to Illinois. Okay, I fib a little. I know it is going to be congested in Florida on the interstates, which is really an understatement, and I expected it around Atlanta, but I never expected what I saw and went through past Atlanta. The picture above is an indication of what I experienced from Atlanta to well into Illinois on the major interstates. It was an endless, never give me a break, always one car behind another, kind of road trip. Of course, there is that fool who thinks he is going to get a car ahead, trying to pass everyone to find out that is exactly what he is — a car ahead. Go for it if you are in that big of a hurry, I have my eye out for you.
Makes me want to drink. A nice bottle of wine.
Then there is the other bottleneck — that part of the bottle where the wine flows through a channel before it reaches the wine glass. Did you ever wonder why the bottle was shaped that way? It all has to do with when and how the first bottles were made. In the beginning of the glass wine bottle, that glass was blown by a glass blower, and knowing a bit or two about glass, it would seem to reason that a piece of glass would have a “neck” if there were going to be fluids kept inside. (As a sidebar, according to Theoxfordwineblog,wordpress.com the reason the bottle is basically 750mL is roughly the average exhalation volume of the human lungs — Jeopardy, anyone?!). Anyway, where I grab that bottle of wine is called the bottleneck, nothing like the congested traffic, but still the same word, completely different meaning.
Then, there is the music form of bottleneck. This is when a guitarist plays the slide guitar. The musician has a tube type of slide (the bottleneck) on his fingers. This photo taken by Carol Cain, wife of Brian Cober, a Canadian slide guitarist, shows the device referred to as a bottleneck. It is used to get a different sound effect on the guitar. If you want to hear the difference, you can listen to many rock guitarists, such as the Allman Brothers Band, Led Zepplin, and ZZ Top to name a few. Also, Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones played the slide guitar during most of Let It Bleed. I have expanded my music listening through the years, but still rock ‘n roll is my favorite and I can hear that slide at any time. I am sure you can listen to Keith Richards play it on a YouTube video, if you are so inclined.
Bottleneck — one word, three totally different ways we Americans use one 10 letter word.
For me, I am out of the traffic, the bottleneck, but I think I will go grab that half empty bottleneck of wine out of the frig and put on some Rolling Stones (yes, I still have the vinyls!) and listen to that guitarist play a little bottleneck…
Until next time…have a great one…