June 15, 2005

Trip to Atlanta

Tomorrow, I have to drive down to Atlanta to depose a technical expert in a products liability case. It's a good case and I've a lot of confidence in it. It's been a while since I've deposed a technical expert but that won't be a super-big deal. The big deal comes in three parts.

First, the deposition is in Atlanta. Now, the Wife and I are a one-car family, and The Wife has to go to work in Knoxville tomorrow, so this means incurring an extra expense of renting a second car to get me to and from the deposition site. No one at the office had a car they could lend me (maybe the Great Man did, but I didn't ask him) and that's probably just as well in case anything happens. The Wife and I are hopefully going to remedy this one-car situation soon, but that hasn't happened quite yet.

Second, the deposition is in Atlanta, meaning I need to get up at 4:30 a.m. to be sure I can get there on time. Yuck. So I've ironed my shirt and set out my clothes for tomorrow in the bathroom, so The Wife is only as disturbed by my ridiculously early morning activities as necessary.

Third, the deposition is in Atlanta, which means I'll be in fear for my life the entire time I'm on the road. Los Angeles was a breeze to drive in compared to Atlanta. Hell, I felt safer on the freeways in Los Angeles than I do on surface streets in Knoxville. Take a typical clueless rural Knoxville driver, make him late for his appointment, multiply him by ten thousand, and then compress those ten thousand drivers into a four-lane freeway with poorly-marked exit signs. That's Atlanta.

Bleary-eyed and mentally distracted with preparing deposition questions is not how I want to face the biggest city in the South. Last time I was in Atlanta, I got rear-ended. Atlanta combines all of the incompetence of Southern drivers with all of the pressures of dense urbanization found in a big city like Chicago. Normally, I say, "If you've got a peach on your license plate, stay the hell away from me." But tomorrow I have to go to the home of the dreaded peach license plates, and the drivers who own them.

Fear for me.

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