Unbagging the Cats 1

Unbagging the Cats 1

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Universe Continues to Conspire

The universe continues to conspire against Val Thevictorian.

The Pony and I stopped for gas after his academic team practice tonight. No chicken for me, though! It was a different gas station. Shortly upon leaving, which was a chore in itself because two chicks pulled in to the pump in front of me in their little foreign cars with the gas caps on the wrong side, completely blocking the exit, I encountered a near-death experience.

I was only a half-mile off the main thoroughfare. Still in civilization. I'd just passed apartments and houses and a rock factory and some railroad tracks. I rounded a blind curve and saw, in the opposite lane, a road grader. You know. The big, long, yellow machine with a belly blade and other hydraulically-operated accessories. And right beside it, IN MY LANE, fast approaching, was a Chevy half-ton and a tiny silver gas-sipper. The itty bitty car didn't bother me so much, because in a game of chicken, I would not even squawk. I would flatten that little deathtrap until it was a grease spot on the blacktop. I thought, for an instant, that my Tahoe could take the half-ton. But it was not a contest I was willing to enter.

I slammed on my anti-lock brakes and came to a dead stop. For once, nobody was riding my bumper in an effort to make me exceed the speed limit. You'd think the fools in the oncoming death torpedoes would have hung back. But no. This is Backroads. Folks have to rush home after work to slip into their poop-kickin' boots and toss back a cold one. If they're not already doing the second one behind the wheel.

You'd think the driver of the road grader might have applied his brakes. I know those things are equipped with them. Any sane person would have stopped so the half-ton and the toy could cut back into their lane quicker. But this is Backroads. I highly doubt he was keeping a constant speed so the cars in trouble could judge whether to back off. More than likely, he was pissed off that they couldn't wait a half-mile to make their moves. So he was teaching them a thing or two about messin' with a heavy equipment driver.

They shot back to their side just before slamming into my grill. I thought for a moment that the mini car might be bladed. But it was not to be. Since I was parked in the middle of my lane, I did not need both hands on the wheel, and made good use of some common hand gestures. No. Not like that. I am a lady. I simply threw up both hands in the universal signal for WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING?

My vocal musings were PG-13. I had a young, impressionable Pony with me.


Stephen Hayes said...

Did your life flash before you? I hear that's what happens in these situations.

Val said...

No. So it must not have been my time. But the life flash did happen to me once, when I almost toppled off a ledge into a rushing creek full of salmon in the Alaskan wilderness. My sister grabbed me by the back of my jacket and saved me. It was a surreal experience.

Josh Hoyt said...

I bet they didn't even acknowledge your hand signals. But really why did you get in there way in the first place ;)

Linda O'Connell said...

Crazy backroads drivers! You should come to the city and see the idiots up here who swerve in and out of four lanes, text and shave while driving. Glad you are safe, that was a close call.

Val said...

You are right. They did not. I got in their way because I like that old Roger Miller song, King of the Road. Even though it has nothing to do with playing inadvertent chicken on two-lane blacktop.

I've been to the city, thank you very much. I commuted for two years, which passed like dog years for me. The worst was the Flood of '93, when our new office on South Broadway went under. We were shipped to Crestwood. A more miserable drive was never experienced by Val Thevictorian. I even carpooled, and nearly chewed my fingernails down to my metacarpals. Two hours there and two hours home. People were crazy with road rage.