Monday, November 13, 2006

Friday Night's Car Accident

True story:

Friday night, while driving at night on the causeway to Jane & Charles' engagement party in Davis, at a law-abiding 65 miles per hour, I saw something on the road ahead of me. At first, I thought it was a car's back fender, but it was too roundish. It could have been a basketball or soccer ball, but its size was way too large and the pattern looked more like a beach ball than a soccer ball.

My brain got stuck.

This mystery sphere was a bizarre 3 feet tall... and now I'm thinking, what the hell is a 3 foot beach ball doing in the middle of the road? Do they even make beach balls 3 feet tall? Is it actually a 3 foot beach ball on the road or is my brain playing tricks on me? Maybe it's just some dirt on my windshield... a fleck of dirt or mud or—

In the time I realized it actually was a 3 foot beach ball on the road, it was 2 feet in front of my car. In a dreadful instant, I knew there was absolutely nothing I could do. I couldn't swerve or brake. In fact, if I'd swerved or braked, I would certainly have made things worse. I was powerless.

As Winston Churchill once said, "When you're going through hell... keep going."

I squinched my eyes tight...

SCHWACK... ku-thunk

My car ran right over it, launched about a foot into the air like Bo & Luke Duke, then landed again. Nothing happened to me or my car. I was okay.

After a brief moment of shock, I glanced into my rear view mirror and saw nothing. No swerving cars. Zip. It was as if nothing had even happened. I probably popped it.

Of course, I dialed 911 to tell them about my mysterious beach ball. I'll never know if I saved a life or not with that phone call. All I know is that I dodged a bullet Friday night. Had that 3 foot beach ball been a person, I would like to think my brain wouldn't have gotten stuck... that I'd have swerved or done something, anything. Instead, I'm left to dwell on a solitary, terrifying truth: had that beach ball been a person, instead of me typing this, I'd probably be in jail, in the hospital, or the morgue.

My dad once said, "Driving means you control two tons of metal. Don't ever take that responsibility lightly."

Left hand at 10AM, right hand at 2PM. Eyes on the road. Drive safely.

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