Sunday, August 24, 2008

Big Red's gone troppo, driving and other things

Item! The family and I went out to celebrate my son going to college by eating at one of those silly family theme restaurants the other night. I thought this coaster from the restaurant featuring some kangaroos apparently hopping away in terror from one of their zombie, cannibalistic mates wielding a fork and knife amusing.

The restaurant, as you know, offers authentic Australian cuisine. My meal consisted of: Large white grubs found under a rock, snake, frog and a heady beverage of fermented saliva served in an ostrich egg.

Item! On the drive home it was rush hour and I was paused at the on-ramp to I-805 from I-8. Being used to the area at this time frame I kept glancing up at my rear-view mirror. It paid off. A car was approaching from behind at high speed. Obviously the driver was inattentive and not at all prepared for all the cars on the highway to have gone from 65 to zero in the span of a few hundred feet. The driver slammed on his brakes and with tires squealing, went into a skid aimed right at the back of my car.

After a quick visual check of the car in front of me revealed no signs of containing babies or children (I'm that kind of guy), I calmly turned the wheel and gently rolled off onto the paved shoulder by the on-ramp and forwards a few feet. The car behind me came to a shuddering halt with the front bumper even with my rear passenger door. If I had remained in place on the highway I would have been struck pretty hard by the other vehicle. After a few moments traffic started moving again and I pulled back onto the road, the formerly inattentive driver now alert and keeping a good distance from other cars.

This is the second time I have had to perform a similar maneuver at that particular ramp. The last incident was a few years ago in nearly the same location. Makes me question how many accidents occur regularly in this area.

Item! I'm not one of those people who name their cars. The most of a moniker any vehicle I own gets is New Car or Old Car or something similar. Much of the terseness comes from communicating with the wife via sign language. Just signing using simple gestures saves wear and tear on the fingers, not to mention time. The last two cars we owned were just called Red Car and Blue Car. Those I sold when leaving for California and the car I have now we just call Free Car.

It isn't pretty but it costs nearly nothing to drive. I did however recently notice a little while ago that the car I've been driving for a year has a promotional Too Fast Too Furious 2 cover on the steering-wheel. When people talk of bad sequels they usually mention something from the Matrix Trilogy, Electric Boogaloo 2 or Elektra. But I nominate 2F2F2 as the worst sequel of all time. I can only think the family member didn't care what they used to grip the wheel and that the cover was free or under a dollar but maybe I should rethink my relationship with that one person. Hopefully he wasn't a fan of the film. More proof that there is no such thing as a free lunch.

Item! I haven't thanked Bully's pal, John DiBello enough but he helped pull me through a crappy year by his gifts of books and graphic novels. While he never asked for anything in return I know I've been remiss in reviewing them because to do so would require I give careful attention and thought to them. Since my head was mainly focused on getting to the end of the day, this would do a disservice to John and his kindness. As anyone who cares to check my archives is aware, I don't really apply any careful thought to what I post. I'm in a position now that I can give the materials he sent the consideration they deserve.

Thanks again, John and Bully!

Item! Because you can't get enough SCHATZI!

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