I used to drive out to see my parents every weekend. Now, with the drive-time quadrupled, I don’t visit as often. I’ve plotted out all sorts of routes to their house, trying to find the perfect combination of time, distance, and quality of roads, but what I really want is a magical route that only takes half as long. If I could find that, distance and quality of roads wouldn’t matter so much.
I joke with my mother about finding “Mrs. Todd’s shortcut.” I know she knows what I mean. It’s a reference to a short story by Stephen King. It was many years ago that we each read it, but we both loved the idea—Mrs. Todd, always hunting for the quickest route, finally found one that was shorter than geographically possible, but there were monsters along the way.
There is no such shortcut (all for the best, I think, given the monsters) but I won’t be satisfied until I’ve tried every route on the map, and maybe a few that aren’t!