December 16, 2005

A Lesson

Suppose you are driving on an east/west road, and heading east. You see snow blowing across the road from your left. Quick: What direction is the wind coming from?

I bet you said North, right? Well, you would be wrong, my friend. West is the answer. Believe me.

I ran up to Rockford tonight to meet with the family for my Grandmother's birthday. Anyone who knows me knows that I'll always go by backroads. It probably wasn't the best of decisions this eve.

I ran into some drifting while on the east/west roads, but nothing more than about six inches in a couple of spots. Most of it was clear. But turn onto the north/south road, and what a frickin' mess. I hit a couple of spots where it was deep enough to drag the car... the undercarriage wasn't clearing the snow. And that was in the good spots.

I hit one area where the snow went over a foot deep... I was heading for the ditch before I managed to get it straightened back out.

Coming over a rise, all I could see was snow. I kid you not, it was all tire marks and cars. Three of them. I slowed as much as I could before hitting the edge of the drifts, and then just hung on, steering and countersteering. I have no idea how close I actually was to one of the cars, but she had her domelight on, and I could clearly see her eyes bugging out. She was bracing for impact. It would have been a head on collision... only she was on my side of the road, and almost in a field. I don't know how I kept from smacking into her, but I somehow I avoided it. Continuing on, I saw another couple of cars in the ditch, but my own ride was uneventful.

Got safely to the restaurant, and spent some time with the family. Heheh... that may well be another post. I tell you... I love the hell out of them, but... well, I love the hell out of them. After chowing, my youngest brother and I went Christmas shopping. 'Twas cool.

When I was about 9, I was told to do some extra chores. Rather than dress properly, I tossed some rubber overboots on (barefooted), and raced outside to do them, so I could come back in and watch TV. It wouldn't take long at all.

As I ran across the yard, I nearly missed stepping onto a two by four with nails sticking out of it. (Probably one of my aborted construction projects) I made sure to call Ma's attention to it, carrying on about "how close it was. I could have stepped on it.... blah, blah, blah." Once she knew that I had narrowly avoided death, I ran off to do my chores.

It only took a bit, and I finished. I was racing back to the house when I felt a sharp pain in my foot, and then a heavy weight. I looked down, and there was the board... stuck to me. I looked up, and there was Ma... glaring at me. I went to lift my foot, and the world swam. I was so stuck on that board, bandaids had nothing on it. Ma had to stand on it and lift me up. Let me say right now, I screamed. I screamed like a frickin' hog getting his nuts cut.

While I was dripping blood all through the house, Ma was right on my tail saying some gibberish about knowing the board was there, if I had almost stepped on it, why not pick it up before someone actually did, yada yada yada... But she had a point.. I knew there was something dangerous out there, and yet, I chose to ignore it. In doing so, it lept up and stuck me in the foot. Have I learned the lesson? No. Are you kidding?

I could have taken the highways home, tonight. It would have been bad, but not as bad as the country roads were. But no, I chose instead to head back down the same route I had taken before. I wasn't very far into the country when I saw two cars in the ditch. Hell, it was worse. But I charged onward. Two more vehicles in the ditches, but I moved steadily on.

And I made it. Safely. Again. And that is why I'll never learn that lesson.

There's a great amount of satisfaction in pushing the boundaries of Tard-dom and walking safely away. Sometimes it's riding in the rain and tornado warnings. Sometimes it's carrying on when you know you can't... but you do it anyway, and do it safely.

It's a lesson I keep in mind, but I don't apply. Heh... when I word it like that, perhaps I have learned it. I just spurn it.

Posted by That 1 Guy at December 16, 2005 09:56 PM

I'm gathering from your last two posts that you've got one helluva death wish.

I think I'd take the icy grasps instead of what Tammi has planned though.

Posted by: phin at December 16, 2005 10:48 PM