A tractor trailer jammed on brakes, spewing a whole load of lumber all over Interstate 495. It happened Thursday night, as you painfully know if you work in Virginia and live in Prince George's County, Md.
It was the wrong time and the wrong place. The time: Shortly after 5 p.m. in the heavy crunch of rush hour. The place: Slightly north of Pennsylvania Avenue.
It was all a blur of thousands of brake lights as commuters waited for hours. Clean-up crews picked up the pieces of wood and tossed them to the side of the road like they were Lincoln logs.
First, only the shoulder was open. Gradually, more and more lanes opened up as tired, hungry and grumpy travelers snaked by the surreal scene.
Fortunately, no one was hurt and there were no other vehicles involved. Just one tractor-trailer with a failed load of lumber that never made it to your local home inprovement store.