This is much like a true version of the "Eskimoes-have-200-words-for-snow" myth. Bourne residents are fully aware of at least 200 different styles of traffic, maybe more... I'm a washashore, and I learn a new one every day.
Why, just in the last few dozen months, I have been stuck in:
- Morning commute traffic
- Afternoon drive traffic
- Bridge traffic
- Bridge work traffic
- Rotary traffic
- Trying to even get to the rotary traffic pre-traffic
- Between bridges traffic, which occurs on the Scenic Highway and Sandwich Road
- Holiday lane-closure traffic (the Mother's Day Massacre was one of these)
- Labor Day traffic
- Memorial Day traffic
- Fireworks traffic
- Parade traffic
- Canaliversary traffic
- First snow of winter traffic
- Bicycle race traffic
- Road race traffic
- Scallop Festival traffic
- Cottage-turnover traffic
- Slowly weaving around fallen tree traffic
- Blizzard traffic
- Accident-up-ahead traffic
- First time a tourist ever saw a rotary traffic
- Funeral traffic
- School bus traffic
- School bus fire accidents
Well, you get the point.
Cottage-turnover traffic lasts from 11-3 PM, Saturday only. Fireworks traffic will clear up in a half-an-hour, first-snow traffic will clear up with the onset of the second snow event. Parade traffic closes Buzzards Bay. Sunday evening summer traffic closes Sagamore. Rotary Virgin traffic often leads directly into Accident Up Ahead traffic. Bicycle race traffic isn't that bad, but you can kill 4 athletes in the time it takes you to look down to light a Newport.
I'm just listing those in case you thought I was kidding with #2. An old-timer could probably expand my list fifty-fold.
If you ask a guy from Bourne and a guy from Bridgewater to meet you at some point that is equidistant from each town, the Bridgewater guy will be able to offer a good ETA immediately, while a seasoned observer will notice that the Bourne resident will pause, look away, and do a brief calculation before answering.
This is a brief day of week/time of day/time of year/force of traffic calculation that Bourne residents perform for even simple trips to the store. Like light with the black holes in space, no trip outside of the house can escape the force exerted by that rubric.
Everyone in Bourne is aware of what sort of traffic is happening, and how it will impact their commutes. No decision, however minor, is made by the Bourne resident without rolling through the rubric.
There even exists a Bourne Paradox.
It goes like this. Somehow, in 2012 (exactly at the time that the poles were supposed to shift), the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges passed a point where the combined time lost in traffic by everyone who ever crossed the Bourne Bridge and the Sagamore Bridge became numerically greater than the time that man as a species has existed.
The fact that multiple people travel in cars is how the numbers end up working out. They say it's what Einstein killed himself over, and I think it proves or disproves either God, math, time, or both.
You may not have that one in particular on your list, but you have some outrageous equivalent example in your quiver.
Your list of examples may have "Been offered sex, but have turned it down because it would take too long to get there," or "Blew off my own Mom on Mother's Day nine miles from her house," "Mended a broken bone at home by myself because the MapQuest said 640 minutes to Tobey Hospital," or "Walked across the bridge to pick up a pizza that I had originally called to have delivered" or something of that nature.
Bourne people rarely marry residents of other towns. When they do, it is almost always with someone from an adjacent border region. No one else understands them, and especially no one else understands their perpetual traffic-caused lateness.
It leads to some inbreeding on the Cape side of Bourne, but the mainland Bourne bought itself 50 years of genetic purity with the nearby Ponds of Plymouth development.
It's bad karma to mess with tourists. We need their money, and we ourselves may be the lost tourist in some other far-away town where it is natural to resent tourist traffic some day.
However, Bourne is also the community which suffers the most for the rest of Cape Cod to fatten itself on Tourist, and we must be obliged an instance or two of weakness.
I usually do it once, early in the summer, and I'm good for July-through-Halloween.
"Yup, you'll see the tunnel entrance, just before the Sagamore Bridge. It takes you straight to Ripton."
As near as I can tell- and I think I live in Bournedale- the whole village is Bournedale Road's three or four side streets, Weldon Park, Canalside Apartments, a few rich-famiy Canal houses and a whole lot of forest.
Other than two clam shacks, a horse farm and what I believe is a Butterfly store, there is no commerce there. It exists, to me anyhow, 100% as a means of getting to Wareham or Plymouth without using the rotaries.
Even the Wampanoags used Bournedale primarily as a shortcut, although- with the exception of Aptucxet- that's actually true for the whole town.
- You send people to a shack when they ask where to get good seafood
- You just got a supermarket like 2 years ago, and it's already laying people off.
- The pizza parlors actually laugh in your face (over the phone) if you ask them to deliver across the bridges on Friday night, Saturday afternoon, or Sunday evening.
- Burger King failed on your central business district, and the two McDonald's in town rely on captive audiences.
- 500 yards from where BK failed, the guy selling Thai food out of a shack does well enough that he has now expanded the franchise into Wareham.
- You can eat out of a lighthouse 50 feet off the Bourne rotary.
- Need a 3 AM omelette in a village of 2500? We have that covered.
- You can buy t-shirts, post cards, key chains, bumper stickers, fried clams and a banana split in one trip to one cash register, and it's in a shack.
- Five miles of Cranberry Highway (with nearby Bourne Village, Plymouth and Wareham ones thrown in to keep it honest) supports seven Dunkin' Donuts franchises, including two within 70 yards of each other.
- Bourne and her immediate neighbors also support three Marylou's, a Starbucks, a Honey Dew, and incidental coffee giants like IHOP, McDonald's, Cumberland Farms, and Leo's. Even I don't want to know how many D+D's are in Monument Beach, Pocasset, Cataumet and so forth.
- About 100 square yards of the Belmont Circle Rotary supports a Starbuck's, a Honey Dew, and two Dunkin's.
-What the Monument that Monument Beach is named after is.
- How we got the Bourne name.
- That we used to be Sandwich.
- That we have had a President living in town before, and he wasn't a Kennedy or an Obama.
- The current President was in town last week. He'll be in and out a few more times this summer.
- You mistake at least one village as being part of another town, or part of another town as being yours. Usual suspects are Sagamore Beach, Onset, Scusset Beach, Forestdale, and Cataumet.
- That we have a college/academy type thing.
- That a Buzzards Bay (village) and a Buzzards Bay (body of water) exist concurrently.
- That the Cape Cod Canal is man-made.
- Bourne is the place where we detect and first respond to the launch of a SLBM against the northeastern United States.
- That the Canal doesn't empty completely at low tide.
- That big loop Route 25 does before the bridge? Somebody's farm.
- That the idea of removing the Sagamore Rotary really got momentum only after Mitt Romney got caught in traffic.
- That almost 50,000 veterans are buried just off of Route 28.
- That there is a marked stone in town that may disprove the Columbus-discovered-America theory.
To borrow a Biggie Smalls lyric, "Number nine should have been number one to me."
Where other people take a left, you do a 270 degree near-circle in and out of two lanes through a maze of drivers with a bevy of different driving styles who don't want to let you in and really don't want to let you out.
There probably are rules to driving in a rotary, but- since no one uses rotaries but us- no one knows them. The people who should know them- we residents of Bourne- know that "Rule One" is actually "Disregard Rule One," and that rotaries are best handled by the same methods that goal-line offenses are run with in the NFL.
The actual key to understanding rotary difficulties is to know that rotaries are where Massachusetts drivers and New York drivers- the two worst in the USA, for entirely different reasons- figuratively and literally collide, while going in a circular maze. All other knowledge can be reverse-engineered from that fact.
A certain aggression is necessary when driving anywhere in the Northeast, especially in New England, extra-especially on Cape Cod, extra-double-secret-especially in Bourne, and especially-infinity in a rotary. I have an axe handle under my front seat, and I'm a soccer mom.