Dita Parker

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Living on the edge

You know when something has to be good? When the topic itself doesn't interest you one bit but the presentation is such a delight you wouldn't miss it for the world. What am I talking about? Top Gear, sweetie darlings, one of the few TV shows I try not to miss. No, seriously. It's a screwball sitcom and talk show. With va-va-voom. Brilliant! The BBC version. Accept no substitute.

I'm not enthusiastic about cars per se. It's a necessity, not a baby I nurse in the free hours I don't have anyway. I do love driving, though. One of my guilty pleasures. Coupled with all those miles spent in the skies regretting a carbon footprint the Titans would be proud of... Gu-hil-ty!

Can't help it, still love it, especially now that it's winter and I really get to drive that thing instead of just sitting there steering while taking calls, eating lunch and putting on some Gigantic Titanic Absolutely Out of This World Volume mascara. Of course I don't. I have children. But the things I've seen on the roads of this tiny speck of compressed stardust of ours... Talk about living dangerously.

It is an extreme sport going out, even for a walk, now that the Big Chill has descended upon us. Ice falling off roofs, the ever-present possibility of limbs akimbo on those slippery pavements, and people driving as if they hadn't noticed the road conditions have drastically changed. I don't care what kind of acronyms your car came equipped with, it will not drive itself and it will still act like a car. Okay? Okay.

I took a winter driving course, which is actually mandatory up here, rightly so, and highly recommendable. It clearly demonstrated in a safe environment how a car handles or rather doesn't in extreme weather conditions. There are tricks and there are secrets to keep going where you were headed if you suddenly lose traction. Still, you can't control everything, especially other drivers. 

Picture little ol' me in my nifty motor vehicle approaching an intersection when along glides a 4WD, and I do mean along glides a 4WD after cutting the corner going way too fast and losing traction. It's coming right at me in as graceful pirouettes as a monster of a car can manage. With no time to back up and nowhere to go because I don't know where it'll end up, hoping it's not on top of me, I watch the guy's hands first spin like crazy then freeze and squeeze because he doesn't know either and because he doesn't know what the hell he's doing. 

His car ends up spinning on its axis right before a collision that never comes with little ol' me staring at the shaken putz and the stunned fool staring right back at me before backing up and taking off as if we hadn't just been an inch of a Monster Jam all our own.

Picture little ol' me driving home, walking in, going straight for the good stuff and downing a shot with Hubby looking on then saying, "Happy to see you, hon." The feeling was, as they say, mutual. 

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