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Tuesday, 16 January
A Driving Force

Seattle has recently been enduring a TERRIBLE COLD SNAP where it has occasionally dipped below 30 degrees and dumped a couple of noncommittal inches of snow on us for the past week or so. Naturally, this has basically shut down the city.

The Seattle schools have shut down, for instance, and the day care my wife works at also has been shut down. Inexplicably, she went in to work anyway to do some crummy paperwork; she also spent a little time in our purple Plymouth (sexy!) sliding backwards down a hill. She's okay, she's fine, she didn't hit anything other than a frozen homeless guy. Sensibly, she threw his frozen carcass into our trunk, because, in these times of extreme (-ly mundane) weather, you never know when the meat riots will start.

I, however, am a fucking ninja for snow driving. I grew up in Idaho, motherfucker! I took driver's ed in eight inches of snow. How do I know it was eight inches of snow? I measured it with my dick. RAR!

I must confess, though, that this did not keep my teenaged self free from autovehicular mishap. I've written about this before.

I will even confess that I myself once or twice got caught out by bad weather conditions while driving. For instance, driving my car back home one particular evening--my awesome '75 Chevy Monza--following my father, I managed to induce the vehicle into a 180-degree spin on a gravel road. (It should be mentioned also that I was 14 years old; you could still get "daylight permits" that young when I was that age, which seems like about as good an idea as giving infants blowguns to play with.) My father stared at me afterwards with the kind of look that seemed to say, "I wonder which mailman my wife fucked to produce this dubious specimen of humanity."

Other times, in those halcyon years, no weather was required to produced on-road theatrics. Often times, all one needed was "friends." Out of my hometown on the way to the storied town of White Bird (but more importantly, on the way to the river) was a tremendous, windy, steep highway grade that required attention and caution to navigate, two traits that are surely present in all teenaged boys. My pals delighted in a certain prankish activity involving reaching over to the car key and switching it off midway down the mountain. This would cause me to scream, invariably, "YOU FAG!" and then, instead of gently switching the engine back on with one click of the key back to its "On" position, rather overcranking the key nervously into "Start" mode, causing the starter to grind horribly and cause mechanical stress. Hilarious. An even better trick was to swifty reach over, turn off the key and throw it onto the floor somewhere, resulting in me (the driver) scrabbling around under the dash while coasting majestically down this horrifying twisty maze of cliff death. Once, one of my idiot friends removed the keys in this manner, but instead of flinging them to the floorboards, he dangled them out the window for a while. Had he dropped them, we all would have been smoking meat. Are teenaged males the only life forms on the planet that have such an incredibly focused drive towards self-eradication? The lemmings thing was proven to be a manufactured myth, but who needs lemmings when you have four guys in a car, all of whom are wearing mullets and parachute pants? And who, chances are, are drunk?

Another time, the four of us--there were always four of us--were sitting at a simple T-shaped turnoff, again to the highway. I don't remember where we were going this time . . . possibly to the golf course to piss in all the ball washers, or something, or maybe just to wash our balls. Who cares? Anyway. For once, I was responsible; I looked left. I looked right. All clear, and so I sedately took my left turn; we were listening to Hysteria by Def Leppard; all was right with the world.

As I was halfway into the left, a semi truck materialized I swear out of fucking nowhere. It simply hadn't been there two seconds before. But here it was, right on top of us, ready to smear us like a wayward rodent. I remember the stiffened stance of the driver, and I remember the Gabriel trumpet blast as he jerked maniacally on his air horn. "EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" screamed all the boys in the car, incipient masculinity all lost instantly in the moment; sopranos every one. I stomped on the gas, and the trusty Monza responded exactly as usual: like a fat-assed Corgi on a hot day. Please let it hit the back of the car, I thought. Kevin's dumber than me. Kevin was sitting right behind me.

We made the turn, of course. It seemed like the truck missed us by inches, but I can't really say. It might have been feet, or yards. I am pretty sure that no matter what the distance was, the driver of the truck came close to a power shot to Mars based on the force of his startled excretory reaction.

And what was our reaction? After a few obligatory "Oh man!"s and "Holy shit!"s, I seem to recall someone saying, "Let's go to Kevin's place. We're going that way anyway."

Why?

"His sisters are so hot." Kevin's sisters were 16 and 18. Yes, they were hot.

Kevin: "Shut up. You're a fag."

We didn't die. We didn't reflect. We listened to Hysteria. We went to Kevin's. We ogled his sisters. And we all lived forever, just like we always knew we would.

Right?


Note: Comments are closed on old entries.

Comments

I can safely say, based on your experience as well as my own, that it's amazing there are any males of the species older than about 18. Maybe that's why we end up with so many male politicians -- they think they're fucking invincible anyway...

Comment number: 010917   Posted by: Ian J on January 17, 2007 09:43 AM from IP: 192.150.22.150

When I was 18, my college roommate drove a Toyota Celica hatchback in which one could pull the key out of the ignition and the car would continue to run. There were plentry to road trips, or even short car rides, when someone (usually me) would pull the keys and toss them on the floor or in the back seat.

If Sherri was being a particular bitch (which wasn't unusual), I would then turn on the windshield wipers, change the radio station and turn on other various car-related annoyances and distractions, while she tried to drive without crashing into anything as she scrabbled around on the floor or turned around to retrieve the keys.

Ahhhhh, good times. The thought of death never crossed our minds. At least not that I can recall.

Comment number: 010918   Posted by: S on January 17, 2007 11:19 AM from IP: 66.235.57.95

Ahh, near-death in crappy cars. I know it well.

I had a best guy friend our first year in college who shared a rusty VW bug with his 3 Italian brothers. Almost nothing but the engine worked in this car. You entered the vehicle by sliding your arm in the little triangle window and releasing the door from the inside.

One of the more attractive qualities of this foreign POS was its random sticking of the gas pedal which caused the engine to rev. Of course this occured mostly when we were driving on the cliff side of the teenager-eating hill.

When this would happen my friend would make a big "uh-oh" face then laugh like an idiot lifting his feet off the see-through floor while I soundly shit my stirrup pants and screamed for him to fix it fix it FIX IT!!

Comment number: 010921   Posted by: Bitter Betty on January 17, 2007 01:34 PM from IP: 198.151.12.10

you have published a nice blog, how the people go to the work that much below temperatures "god" knows

Comment number: 010977   Posted by: raghu ram prasad on January 20, 2007 08:01 AM from IP: 210.214.16.231

Off topic: I was reading on Defective Yeti that he had been named one of the 12 funniest people still alive on the internet, clicked on the link and discovered that Skot from Izzle Izzle Pfaff is as well. I read 2 of the 12 funniest blogs, that makes me funny too. Seriously.

Follow the defective yeti link on the left to follow another link to the funniest page if you really want to learn about the other 10.

Comment number: 011040   Posted by: Edward on January 22, 2007 04:04 PM from IP: 208.36.122.222

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