Monday, November 23, 2015

"The Mysterious Meteor of Louisville"

So I'm in Louisville a few weeks ago and meet up with friends. Well, they're really more like family than friends. Good folks, Jeri and Dave. 
Jeri scares the hell outta me though. Can't lie. She offered to swing by the company yard and take me to their place for the night. Usually I just drop my trailer and drive my truck there but I've gotta get some repairs done. What Jeri never knew all these years is that the main reason I take my truck to their house is because, if I'm gonna die it's gonna be on my terms. 

Don't get me wrong, I don't think she, herself, would hurt me. But her behind the wheel?? She always comments on how, when she's driving, I practically fall asleep. "That's because I want to die in my sleep, Jeri. I don't wanna see it coming." Like I said, she scares me half to death. I didn't have white hairs until I got in a car with her. Now, as soon as that door closes, you can watch the colors change. They just skip grey. Straight to platinum. It's like autumn on my head, just POOF! brown to white. 
So she offered to come pick me up this time. "Why'd you go all quiet, boy? You don't have to come see us if you don't want." No no, I want to come visit. I just can't speak while my heart goes into tachycardia. Plus, I was internalizing how to word my will. I'll be here waiting. I know you haven't seen me in a while; I'll be the one holding the rosary and kissing the pavement. 
So she shows up. I put my stuff in the backseat and instantly regret not bringing a crash helmet. She's the only person I know that Saturn insisted on installing a roll cage and 5 point harness in her car. I'm strapping in like Tony Stewart and wishing they'd set this car up like a driver's ed car. Even just a passenger side brake pedal would be a blessing. And awaaaaay we go! 

She's rounding the corners like they're banked and someone just dropped the green flag. Four tires on the car but only 2 in contact with the ground on corners. And that's the surface streets. 
When we get on the highway my ears pop as the sonic boom hits, other cars are swerving from the shock wave, an F-16 drops down to drag race. She's pulling away from them. There's a red glow around the car like we're entering the atmosphere. 
As we hit the end of the on ramp I'm looking over at the speedometer wondering how far the needle goes, feeling like Marty McFly and yelling "we don't need roads where we're going!" But she can't hear me because we are now at Mach II and even our voices are behind us. 

She comes flying up behind a pickup in the far left lane. I can feel the heat of the brakes through the floorboard. The poor sucker in front of us is only doing 10 above the speed limit and I'm thinking "this is where I die!" She manages to slow this missile all by herself but I was trying desperately to jam my feet through the floor and Flintstone the car down to double digits. She's so close to the guy's bumper that I got the serial number off his trailer hitch. Then he gets over and we're off again. Her foot comes off the brake and hits the accelerator hard enough it sounded like a starter's pistol. We're going so fast the wind is whipping through my hair even with the windows up. And she's just over there laughing like the devil at a Hillary Clinton rally. 

We're bobbing and weaving through traffic like Cheech and Chong at a Bob Marley festival. We make a 40 mile drive in under 8 minutes. As she takes the off ramp she asks what I want to eat and I tell her anything but a drive-thru. So we Tokyo Drift through her town and stop at a local restaurant where we wait on Dave, her husband, to show up. He's taking a little longer to get there because he's traveling at less than breakneck speeds. 
As always, it was a fun visit. I was fortunate enough that either David or I drove everywhere during my stay so I lived long enough to tell this tale. The moral of the story? Apparently Saturn made a really good vehicle. If they can withstand the atmospheric friction of Jeri's driving and keep right on going...NASCAR should write the Saturn folks for tips. 

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