March 1, 2006

What The Hell Is Wrong With You? (A Near Death Experience)

The Wife and I went out to run some errands and grab dinner. Dinner was terrible -- some of the worst so-called "Italian" food I've ever had. Bland meat, and billowy, overcooked pasta about ready to separate under the weight of all the water that had been soaked into it as it boiled for half an hour, in a too-sweet, ketchupy sauce prepared by someone who thought apple cider was a resonable substittue for balsamic vinegar. But that's not even my point.

No, my point is that to get back home, we have to drive down Rifle Range Road. Now, this street is one of the worst offenders of poor road design in East Tennessee. It undulates with hills, has no street lights, and is a series of blind corners and blind hills. Because it runs along the downslope of Black Oak Ridge, on the north side of the road is a steep hill, and the south side is usually a sheer cliff. Just after one turns from Broadway onto Rifle Range one encounters a turn in the road that occurs exactly at an outcrop of the ridge and therefore drops down. A satellite photo of the exact location I am describing does not accurately convey how dangerous this road is. It's completely blind -- there is no hint that less than a hundred feet away there is a stoplight regulating traffic on one of Knoxville's busiest streets; and at night, the road seems to simply vanish into the night. If you have Google Earth, do a "fly to" 3500 Rifle Range Road in Knoxville, Tennessee, make sure the "terrain" feature is turned on, and then do an extreme close-up zoom. Rotate around to view this curve in the road from both east and west. You'll watch the road vanish behind the hill as you level your camera to the ground.

So that explains why some ASSHOLE driving a pizza delivery car -- a worse piece of shit than even our little junker we use to haul around the dogs -- decided to treat this particular stretch of road like his own private NASCAR track. We're driving along, minding our own business, when we hear screeching tires and I slow the Saturn down. Good thing, too, because that's when some Dale Earnhardt wannabe with an IQ smaller than his shoe size streaks up the hill, having completely lost control of his vehicle, blissfully unaware that he would have to make a sharp right turn at the moment he crested. He must have been doing sixty miles an hour, and at that speed he would have needed split-second timing to make the turn at the right place.

Well, he didn't have it and he made contact with the Saturn. Just brushed up against it, on his way all the way over into the opposing lane, where the already-bent guardrail saved him from overshooting completely into the trailer park below. But because there was a guardrail there, he was spared the FARK moment of jumping his car into a trailer and interrupting ugly white people having sex inside. Instead, he caromed off the guard rail, fishtailed the rest of the way up the hill, and turned right onto Broadway, speeding off into the night.

As it turns out, the Saturn has a dent-resistant side made of flexible plexiglass. Since the demolition derby racer just barely brushed by us, there is no damage to the car. But if we'd been even ten feet further back than where we were, he'd have hit us head-on and driven us into the guardrail. Very scary stuff.

So to this guy, I'd like to say:

Hey, shit-for-brains. Just because you think you're immortal doesn't mean I am. In case you hadn't noticed, that's a REALLY GODDAMNED DANGEROUS ROAD you're driving on and the speed limit is 35 miles an hour for a GOOD FUCKING REASON! When you can't see what the road is going to do ten fucking feet in front of you, maybe that's a hint -- a clue -- a signal -- a sign from that God who you obviously expect to take care of you because you sure as shit aren't doing it for yourself -- that you might want to use that pedal TO THE LEFT OF THE GAS. So put down the crack pipe and PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU'RE DOING before you really do wipe out someone!


The guy ahead of us drove home at about ten miles an hour lower than the speed limit. I didn't mind a bit.


Pamela said...

Glad you guys are okay.

Anonymous said...

Yikes! Been enjoying reading your stuff, btw. This is my first comment, but I've kept up since I learned you had a blog.

Anonymous said...

Usually those pizza guys have a flag or sign of some sort on their cars, even if they drive their own. If you happened to see it, you could probably get that smeghead fired.