05 February, 2009

Ice Ice Baby

Since I have previously said that I've only been in one major car accident, I should just clear something up right away before you read any further: the story i'm about to tell you doesn't constitute as a "major" car accident in my world. I mean, my first accident was when I ran my parent's car into a forest of trees, for Christsake. It's hard to top that one. So, with that being said, let me tell you of how I was in a car accident this January and broke a rib.

I hate driving when I go home. You know how your parents always used to tell you "I trust you, honey, but I don't trust the other drivers on the road..."? Well, I trust everyone else just fine. But I do not trust myself. Particularly when any forces of nature happen to be working against me and the giant aluminum and rubber death trap I'm driving -- i.e. snow, hail, sleet, ice, rain, sun in my eyes, etc etc...

But, as I said before, I always seem to find myself behind the wheel. In the case of this January the 2nd, it was because I was driving my brother whose license has been revoked for approximately the next 3 - 30 years to see my dying grandmother in the hospital. Another funny thing about me being "the bad driver": I'm the only one who will drive in cities, aside from my dad (but he grew up in one so he doesn't count). Everyone else in my family is scared shitless to do it, and I can't figure out why. The key to driving in cities is to remember this: no one actually wants to hit you, so they will stop. Have no fear on the road, my friends, because were all just trying to stay alive out there. Also, I am my own worst enemy and can do enough damage alone, I thank you.

So, half way to the hospital (which would be roughly 45 minutes from my parents house), we get word to abort mission and turn around; Granny has already said goodbye.

We turn around, and about 10 minutes into the ride...cue meltdown. I must say, I am a bit of a Drama Queen when it comes right down to it, and love myself a good tragedy. My brother looks at me and sighs. "Well...we may as well stop for a drink."

Couldn't have said it better myself, bro.

We actually stop at a liquor store first to gather some rations, and then go to a bar. I decide to order a Hurricane -- I don't know what it is, exactly, but it sounds just like what I need. It turns out a good old Jack and Coke would have been a little easier on the palette. After a couple sips I decide I don't need a Hurricane, but still finish half of it anyway. My brother is on his 3rd beer.
We proceed on the long journey home, me gripping the wheel with one hand and my tissues with another.

We near home, and I can't wait to get there so I can open the bottle of wine I bought. Instinctively, I take the backroads. Taking the "backroads" in northern Wisconsin in the winter is just about the stupidest things you could possibly do. You can ice skate down them until about March, which means you should try and avoid driving on them. Sometimes i forget these little nuances about the Midwest, unfortunately. I was going a brisk 30mph when suddenly I felt a *slight* pull on the back wheel. My brother picked up on it immediately:

Nick: "Jess, do NOT step on the breaks..."
Me: I'm not going to step on the breaks.
Nick: Jess...do NOT put my car in the ditch. (did i mention i was driving his car....? I was.)
Me: I'm not going to put yourcar in the ditch!
*sliding towards to ditch*
Nick: do NOT oversteer! do NOT oversteer! DO NOT OVERSTEER!
Nick: Shit.FUCK. Shit. Shit.

Now, out of the corner of my eye, I see a electrical pole. It's getting closer. And closer.


I do not hit the pole. I slide sideways into the ditch and we thud to a halt, and briefly rock for the single most terrifying second of my life before the wall of snow that reaches the window of drivers side of the car stops us and pushes us on all 4 wheels.

Nick: (deep breath out) Okay, so, we didn't roll.
Jess: Thank.God.
*3 second lull of silence while our hearts start beating again*
Nick: Now...GRAB ALL MY BEER!!!

If you know my brother, he has been here before. I have not, but I know well enough that cars, beer, and police do not mix well. I start grabbing beer cans and hurling them into the field, into my pockets, and into the trunk. I wasn't sure which place was best, so i decide to do all three at the same time. 20 seconds later, we see car lights. The neighbors! They've come to help! Or have they....

I play it cool and tell the lady I've called someone to tow us out (which i have at that point...my friend's dad...). My friends dad arrives, and I run up out of the ditch to meet him. And I hit the ice. And then I hit the ground. And I land on a beer can in my pocket.
I lay in silence for a moment, trying to figure out if the day really just got worse for me, and listening to the hiss of a beer can that has been cracked open. With my very own ribs.

Moral of the story: Apparently God loves irony just as much as the rest of us, because I came out of the car accident unscathed, but whadda know, I can't seem to walk out of a ditch...

(If you don't read The Daily Lapse yet, you should probably start. www.dailylapse.blogspot.com)

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