Thursday, February 22, 2007

Dear Charlie:

Okay, so I almost died twice last night. Admittedly, one way would have been more atrocious and was therefore a much more tempting way to go, but both would have been pretty darn messy.

I was coming home from Fazoli's, where Jody and I had decided to chow down on some pasta after work. Love that pasta. No, I'm not a carbohydrate addict. Why do you ask?

Anyway, I'm coming up to the light at 20th and Rangeline -- a pretty big intersection for this small city -- and the light goes yellow. I could have squeaked through, but I see no reason to risk it. I routinely hit 5 over the limit (or so), but I'm rarely in so much of a hurry that I run yellows. So, I put on the ol' brakes and come to a nice, sedate stop as the light goes red.

I glance in the rear view and see very large headlights advancing entirely too quickly for my peace of mind. The big rig I'd just passed apparently thought I'd run the yellow and was obviously planning to run the red. I have this brief, shining moment to remind myself not to brace for the impact because I'll likely just hurt myself worse before he swerves into the left lane and misses my rear bumper by about a foot. Maybe a foot and a half. He slams on his brakes, as well, and comes to a jolting, jerking halt about five feet into the intersection.

Close call, and definitely the more messy way to go, as I would have likely not only been rear-ended but T-boned in the middle of the intersection to boot. Yowza.

Of course, having avoided this horrific -- but infinitely story-worthy -- death, I proceed to pull as far ahead of the big rig as fast as I can and settle down into my normal 5-over-the-limit speed while the settling's good. Thus, when I glance into my rear view and again see headlights gaining at uncomfortable speed, I am decidedly miffed. After all, I'm already speeding. And now someone's speeding more, and on my ass, to boot.

This time, though, it's a little rice-burner with a li'l punk behind the wheel. He's weaving in and out of traffic and going at least 60 in a 45. I'm in the left lane this time, and he gets right on my ass end and swerves between me and the guy on my rear right who was speeding up to try and pin the li'l punk in. The runt swerves at the last possible moment and squeaks by with perhaps 4 inches to spare, and I have the inordinate pleasure of seeing the kid's wide, scared eyes in his pale face as he stares when he speeds by. The car that he'd just cut off speeds up and follows the kid when he turns right onto 7th Street.

I imagine there was a little road rage at the end of that run. Not that I blame the cut-off guy.

Mind you, I never so much as touched either my brake or my gas pedal or bothered trying to swerve. If the li'l punk rear-ended me, it was his own fault, and if he ticked the corner of my bumper and sent me into a spin, he'd have been paying for it the rest of his life because it probably would have been about a six-car pile-up. Maybe ten, if the big rig had caught up by then and the oncoming traffic became involved. Again, fun...but not my preferred mode of exit.

I prefer something a little more heroic.

Ah, the joys of driving with stupid people. Guess that's what I get for adopting a college town as my second hometown. Geez.


At 6:57 AM, Blogger Joely Sue Burkhart said...

*grabs heart* I'm glad you're okay. I'm still trying to recover from almost making deer hamburger in the middle of the road Monday night.

At 4:58 PM, Blogger Pesh said...

As if that intersection isn't screwed up enough right now. I can't imagine the mess a wreck with a big rig would make. Oi. People are so friggin' stupid around here.

At 3:18 AM, Blogger Zojojojo said...

Waaah! Neechan! Be careful!

I too live in a college town, and my new res is on this really busy and dodge street so I get plenty of traffic irritations.

So glad you're okay, and that you live to pen another word and keep the rest of us sane.

At 6:44 PM, Blogger Joely Sue Burkhart said...

Sis, will you do the 50 things tag? Pretty please? I would love to see your smart ass answers. *g*


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