I had two incidents which by all means should have been head on collisions with everyone dead. I was prepared by my driving advisor guardian angel with another almost catastrophic accident some hours previous to those incidents:
(1) The first was on the ramp between State Highway 74 and Interstate 40. One lady driver seemed to be ambulance chasing from ahead. She finally pulled over to let the ambulance pass her while she passed me on the one lane wide ramp. Problem: no room for three vehicles in the same place at the same time, since time is greater than space, except where they intersect. Someone had to put it in the ditch. Hey! I know how to do that! I slammed on my brakes and severely steered into the ditch and then back so as to create a double-fishtail effect spinning the car into the ditch even while leaving one tire on the pavement with the other three smashing sideways through along the ditch spitting up turf and rubbish, all at a zillion miles an hour, even while the nice lady cut me off as the ambulance passed her. Then, of course, we were next to each other in a traffic jam because of the accident to which the ambulance was rushing. Hey hey hey. Thanks guardian angel!
(2) Later in the day, very high up in the mountains, a double-cab truck loaded up with teenage boys came around a blind curve with a tire over the double yellow. It’s not that they didn’t see me; they purposely sharply swerved fully into my lane when they saw me. A game of chicken was underway, with only a few seconds to be a chicken. Not that I’m a chicken, it’s just that I didn’t want to wreck my vehicle, so away to the ditch I went, using another double-fishtail manuever to spin the car away from the oncoming truck at the same rate as its approach, spinning away even while it passed, just getting missed by inches from the front to the back. Kind of like the coriolis effect worked with steering, so that the outside spin is reversed.
Whatever. Back in the day I suppose I would have given chase, and it wouldn’t have been pretty. But now I just don’t care. One tire on the pavement going straight ahead and three spinning sideways in the ditch spitting up turf and rubbish, all at a zillion miles an hour. I had good practice that morning. Thanks guardian angel! Anyway…
(3) The exact same incident as (2) happened again only another mile or two along the road, another double-cab truck full of teenage boys coming around a blind curve with a wheel already over the double yellow line. Whatever with that. You get used to that in the mountains. But when they saw me they purposely sharply swerved fully into my lane. I did the same double-fishtail manuever spinning away even while they passed within inches, just missing my vehicle, one tire on the pavement going straight ahead and three spinning sideways in the ditch spitting up turf and rubbish, all at a zillion miles an hour. Thanks guardian angel.
I was now fully prepared for a fourth incident. Being on the lookout for such things is useful, but boring, as boring as sin. The only thing absolutely enthralling is Jesus Christ, Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception. Of course, the reflection of the Most Holy Trinity in guardian angels is pretty cool too! Thanks guardian angel! (Not that I see him, but, you get a sense of this.)
I’m guessing that the last two incidents were a kind of a suicide pact GoPro film your own death type of idiocy that teenagers can get into. Had I not avoided them it would have happened as I don’t think they could have steered their cumbersome trucks so easily out of the way. So, it wasn’t really a game of chicken. They fully intended to end it. I hope they live to grow out of this and come to know Jesus. The idiocy of youth. I’m glad I learned to fishtail at a zillion miles an hour when I was into extreme sports as a kid. I’m glad I have a super cool guardian angel. And if there are those who think that the following prayer is mere pious piffle, let them know my guardian angel spits on them!
Angel of God, my Guardian dear,
to whom His love commits me here,
ever this day (or night) be at my side,
to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.
And to put it another way:
“If you do away with religion, you can’t hire enough police.”
A 90 second video well worth everyone’s time, because not everyone knows how to drive defensively and not everyone pays attention to their guardian angels:
Update: I mentioned these three stories to my EMT/Fireman friend, and he reprimanded me pretty severely. He thought it was just terrible that I didn’t turn around and follow them and at least get the tag number. O.K. Fair enough. I should have done that. But here’s the scenario:
There are two trucks, twelve youngsters total, all of them surely with guns. There is no cell phone signal for a full thirty miles, and when you do get it, you are still a full twenty minutes driving from any police in one direction, or a full forty five minutes driving from any police in the other direction. I could easily out-drive the trucks on the curves, but when it got to the straightaways, they would easily catch up and simply shove me off the road at a hundred thirty miles an hour. Of course, they could also just shoot me while I tried to escape.
What should I have done? Simply drive away like I did and it’s over? What should I do when that happens again? And it will, for sure. Should I attempt to make a contribution to society by reporting jerks like these and just get told that since there was no damage to the vehicle no harm was done and it’s my word against theirs, etc? And then what: will I ever be able to drive on that road again, or in that region of Western North Carolina? Do I get front and also rear facing GoPro for such purposes? That’s an expensive idea and only takes care of one vehicle and perhaps one driver for a time. But what about after that? If you become a persona non grata in a region here, you’re simply done for.
The ragamuffin crowd in these parts are only used to local shoot-m-up tit-for-tat cage fighting till the death don’t ever bother me or I might just kill you “justice.” One kid I know (kid means 34 years old), scrawny but who grew up cage fighting and therefore knows how to fight, cold-cocked two deputies (both ex-Marines), leaving them on the pavement next to one of the cruisers. To get away, he rammed the other cruiser into the ditch. When the sheriff asked him why he hit his deputies, he said they pulled him over for no reason. The sheriff didn’t press charges, asking just enough money to fix the cruiser up again. That kid was the law in that part of that county. So, do you report that kid or someone like him. Anyway, I’m a good friend of his and could ask him to get the word out that I’m not to be bothered. But, somehow that doesn’t seem quite right. Is that the society we want? And then I would owe him. It’s a mafia thing. So, just no.