Somedays you need to read uplifting or humorous posts to soothe yourself. I GET THAT. Friday seems two weeks away. You and I both know that sometimes we must find a way to laugh so we don’t freak out on someone, or weep uncontrollably into our Dunkin’ Donuts napkin.
This is probably not going to do that for you. But, you can read it, and shoot up a quick prayer thanking God that you aren’t my spouse. So, that’s a pick-me-up.
Once I made a horrible driving error. I’m pretty sure it was the one and only time, but I completely cut someone off on the Interstate.
So, I swing into the passing lane and make a guy in a jeep brake and swerve. Panicked, and intolerably stupid, I flee the scene…by intricately weaving through traffic, no less. Maybe if I’m out of sight I can be out of mind too, I think. No, it’s actually more of a pure flight-or-fight response. I was about 7 at the time, and my frontal lobe was under-developed.
Indeed, it’s all a crescendoing avalanche of foolishness. Incited, a second motorist blows his horn and starts to tail me in a move of solidarity against vehicular injustice. No doubt readying a tall finger for my witness. My NASCAR lane changing moves soon best him, or maybe he realizes a highway fatality is too high a price just to send a hackneyed message.
As I flee I see the victim in my mirror. He’s frothing and out of his mind with rage. He’s waving limbs around in wild fury, gassing it. He’s in hot pursuit. It’s a Jeep thing, maybe.
Now, I’m terrified. I taste the bile in my mouth.
My heart pounding, I realize this all could end very poorly. And soon.
That blaze of glory stuff is an awesome idea until you start thinking about the minutia of funeral arrangements, or wreckage in general. Yes. The poor man swerved to avoid smashing me. Killing both of us. It could have been a horrid pileup too. We truly had eluded death by narrow margins. 14 guardian angels later file grievances. 3 others walk off the job immediately.
Jeep guy was quite good at swerving, actually, and keeps up the swerving through interstate congestion to reach me. Maybe for seconds. Maybe for kilometers. Things are getting weird. A few truckers start honking, to support me, I assume. (They probably notice my professional driving acumen. What 7 year old can draft and weave with such precision? I’m a prodigy. Surely they recognize that. It’s a rush to have their approval. They’re pros after all.)
At this point I realize Mr Jeep guy is going to try to pull some kind of payback stunt. He’s all in. Battle of the Stupid Stunts is the theme of the afternoon, who could blame him? But, he’s jacked up pretty good. I’m in a subcompact. How bad will this get? Does he have a gun? Or, will he keep it simple and just run me off the road with a triumphant fist pump? Will I be late for Girl Scouts?
How is this going to end?
I do some quick thinking. Finally. Thoughts not just reactions. I mentally pat myself on the back as my synapses fire two or maybe three times…in a row with no problems!
Actually, I stopped breathing for 8 minutes.
They say necessity is the mother of invention, right? Well, it is. I am inventing a solution with an unfettered brain buzz. Also impending death can be a good motivator for invention.
I decide on the element of SURPRISE!
Indeed, I just surprised him quite a bit by nearly snuffing out his life.
Yet, this is precisely why he will never see a second surprise coming. Really, I have him right were I want him.
(If only the roaring terror in my brain had let me enjoy that precious moment. Alas, no. Not at all.)
I enact my own creative SEAL 6 black ops tactic I now call: Operation Boo-hoo.
It’s go time!
I burst into tears.
Or, I pretend to.
Who has the time to cry at such a high rate of speed, in heavy traffic before they’re about to be murdered in an act of heedless revenge? Me neither.
Armed with a fistful of tissues I wipe my eyes and feign bawling. A lot. He approaches in haste. From me: Zero eye contact.
Peripherally, I see him. He edges up to my blind spot. He’s poised. He peers. He notices me. He witnesses total hysteria. …and then…mercifully… backs off. (Perhaps I turned into a 3 gallon bucket of mess and he only has a 2 gallon bucket that day.)
Yes, I counted on his attitude changing once he thought something else was going on with me.
Shock and bawl.
I was going for, “Wha….?”
Is it Grief? remorse? madness? sorrow? a lost puppy?
Whatever…let me just say it worked. Perfectly.
I rewarded myself with a new box of Kleenex…with aloe.
I’m not sure why I wasn’t armed with aloe tissues in the first place. But, never again.
Because that would be crazy.
Hey, have a happy day.
P.S. (I might have not been 7 years old at the time.)