Picture yourself gliding over the open highway in a new Mazda, there’s not much like it. Especially not when a deer leaps out in front of you, and you throw on the brakes to avoid pummeling Bambi and spin out, which is fine until you see an eighteen-wheeler tearing down the road in your general direction. This is the point at which drivers find out what their zero-to-sixty time really is, and discover that they can achieve it rather quickly when needed. The only problem with 60mph is that stop sign, and while you were too busy noticing that truck you just outdistanced, the police tend to sit straight up, toss their doughnuts in the back seat, and take off after you.
“But officer,” you protest after the cops pull you over, “I was trying to slow down!”
“Son,” says the policeman, “if I was gonna yank your body outta this shiny new car here and started whammin’ on it, and you told me to stop, would you want me to slow down or stop??!?”
This, you thought, was a good point to remember – just as the eighteen-wheeler zooms is by, doing at least 70. It could have been worse, but you’ll find find that out next weekend when you back into your brick mailbox at 6:00am on your way to work and then into a Jaguar on your way home.
Wrecks always have an unnerving effect on the driver because, with the possible exception of accidentally launching the entire nuclear arsenal of North America, there’s no feeling quite like that of hitting someone else’s car.
(Originally written for the Northside High School 1989-90 Yearbook)