My Wreck Taught Me Some Things

A vehicle accident will make you do some thinking. There was me on the interstate in a car that wasn’t built for water sports and as luck would have it, enough rain falling all of a sudden that when it was over and the trooper was done taking notes, My Hyundai Elantra was presented with a bronze medal for the backstroke.

Once the rain got bad enough, I decided that pulling over to wait it out would be the best course of action. I was unaware that my car was also a competitive figure skater, complete with those sweet spins and whatnot, and had made a decision without consulting me to try one out at that precise moment. One will not usually win an argument of wills with an automobile unless they are a demigod with an awesome hammer or were created from clay by Zeus. In that light, anyone with a basic working knowledge of physics will understand that I was to be on a carnival ride for a few seconds and completely at the mercy of the mighty Elantra.

She fishtailed left to start the routine, then balanced the act by switching direction and going into a full Dorothy Hamill spin toward the embankment.

Unfortunately, she was not a professional and needed more practice because she pitched backward down that steep embankment and came to rest with a crash directly center of the trunk, into a tree. I was not amused.

“Don’t do that again,” I scorned, but there was no reply. She was dead.

It occurred to me that I have taken some things for granted while driving in the past and I’ve re-evaluated my commitment when it comes to some of them.

For instance, from now on, I will:

  • Wait to stop before completely changing clothes. Ever put on pants at 60 miles an hour?
  • Not apply eye liner or any other makeup while actively driving. Yes, I am a manly man (no comment from those who would comment) and yet, I have done that. I do stage shows and sometimes I run late for dress rehearsal. Speaking of shows, I will …
  • Only sing YouTube showtunes with songs I know the lyrics to. Googling the lyrics and reading them as you sing and drive is just as bad as texting while driving. Maybe worse.
  • Keep my eyes open while driving and singing YouTube showtunes. But them passionate “in-character” ballads, though.
  • No longer completely organize the interior of my automobile at a high rate of speed. (Okay, ANY rate of speed) I realize now that the trunk can wait.
  • Not play “Peep-Eye” with babies, cute dogs, or old people in the cars next to me. Peep-Eye requires both hands to be effective. Driving requires at least one hand on the wheel or a knee.
  • Not extend any individual fingers to anyone for more than three seconds. While it may seem necessary to emote for an extended period of time to insure that communication is properly received, more than three seconds may incite loss of motor control. And Jesus is watching.
  • Forego counting and rolling coins above 50 miles an hour. A five dollar roll of dimes just ain’t worth crashing over. Probably.

I’m sure I’ll uncover more dangerous activity on my part while I drive that I never realized I was practicing. Until then, I’ll be making sure this new vehicle is better rehearsed with that camel spin.