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Just Wait Until You Get To The 420

, , , , , , | Romantic | November 14, 2020

My husband and I are driving along Highway 520 near Seattle. I grew up in the area and he didn’t, so I’m not sure if he knows that once we pass by the interchange with Interstate 405, the high-occupancy vehicle lane — carpool lane — switches from two or more people in the car to three or more. As it’s only the two of us, we won’t be able to drive in the carpool lane past that point.

He’s driving and hasn’t made any indication that he’s going to move to one of the regular lanes. Thinking he doesn’t know about the three or more oddity, I tell him. In the Seattle area, we usually call interstates by their numbers only, so 405 is “four-oh-five.”

Me: “After 405, you’ll need to move to another lane. It becomes a three or more HOV lane.”

Husband: “What? That’s so arbitrary. How can they possibly enforce that?”

Me: “Arbitrary or not, it’s the law.”

Husband: “But that’s just ridiculous!”

Me: “Okay, but you should move over; a friend of mine got a ticket last month.”

Husband: “It’s crazy!”

Me: “That doesn’t matter! You’d still get a ticket if the state patrol catches you!”

Husband: “What, are they just waiting with their watches synchronized?”

Confused by his last comment and how annoyed he’s getting, I notice the time. It’s 3:59.

Me: “Wait… Do you think I’m saying that when the time is five minutes after four, the number of people needed to be in the HOV lane changes?”

Husband: “Isn’t that what you said?”

Me: “No, after we go past Interstate 405, you need three in the car to stay in the HOV lane.”

Husband: “That makes way more sense! I couldn’t believe the number of people was dependent on the time of day, and that the time would be 4:05 rather than 4:00 or 4:30!”

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