I was driving into Miami on a Saturday morning in early February. It is a good time to be in Miami, when the sun is strong but not too harsh, the nights are cool, and the tropical breeze gives a lift to your soul. I was on the Florida Turnpike, a toll road that runs in places parallel to Interstate 95, but is for some destinations a more convenient route.
People often say that when they get in a checkout lane or a toll lane at a toll booth, they always get in the slow line. In fact, the wait time is a random statistical event. Nevertheless, I had that thought as the van in front of me spent a seemingly interminable time at the toll booth. It was the Lantana toll booth, where one paid $4.40 if one had got on the Turnpike at Fort Pierce.
When I got to the toll booth, I remarked that the driver of the late-model van must have had trouble finding the money. “It was all change,” said the attendant. “He had it in the ash tray. He dumped it into my hand, ashes and all.”