Houston traffic sucks

Cristela Alonzo and I joked about how much we hate it

Earlier this month, I had a wonderful chat with comedian Cristela Alonzo about her new memoir, Music To My Years: A Mixtape Memoir of Growing Up and Standing Up, and her ongoing book and stand-up tour promoting it, My Affordable Care Act. She’s long been one of my favorite Texas comics, and though she’s called Los Angeles her home for some time, I’ll always categorize her as such.

As is often the case, I only used select snippets of our conversation, which clocked in at just under half an hour, in the final draft of the Forbes article. Cutting, editing and revising these pieces — even straightforward Q&As — is always necessary and always a bummer, especially when some of the good, enjoyable stuff is excised. This was the case for me and Alonzo’s opening discussion on the perils of traffic (since our phone call was delayed due to Los Angeles’ pristine highway conditions), specifically Houston traffic, as my home town’s roadways are truly some of the worst ever designed, constructed and abandoned to the whims of insane Texas drivers.

I thought I’d share a few snippets of our Houston traffic commiseration below. Also, make sure to check out Alonzo’s My Affordable Care Act when it drops by your city. The west coast leg begins in Irvine, California on Tuesday, October 22nd and goes from there.

Cristela Alonzo: Thank you for playing along with my schedule. One thing about living in Los Angeles is that sometimes you think it’s a short trip, and then all of a sudden, traffic tells you, “Haha, you’re wrong.”

Andrew Husband: That’s totally fine. I have been to LA many times and also I’m originally from Houston, so I recall the good ol’ days of traffic and not going anywhere anytime soon.

Look, I’m from Texas, and growing up back then, you either went to Houston or Dallas. You rarely went to both cities. My sister lived in Dallas so we would go to Dallas. Growing up, I would hear horror stories about the Houston traffic and I always kept thinking to myself, “It can’t be that bad!” And I remember the first time I went there, I rented a car and it was one of the worst things I have ever seen in my life. People need to understand because it’s a different kind of traffic than LA. It’s a different kind of traffic than anywhere else. If you’re not from there, I suggest everybody get stuck in Houston traffic at least one time, because it makes you appreciate life on such a different level. Especially if it’s rush hour. Oh my God. Once, I was all day there.

I live in Boston now and my wife is from the New York area. She’s always been used to New York and New England driving conditions, which also suck. But the first time I took her to Houston, she just lost it. We saw plenty of traffic, but it’s just so different from everything else. Plus, we also drove over some of the state’s biggest overpasses and she was gripping her seat like she was riding on a roller coaster.

I always tell people, “In Texas, we build up towards the sky. That’s kind of like our thing.” Like, we don’t really do eight lanes of traffic across our highways. We just build higher and higher roads.