Parasympathetic Rebound or...

...I owe my life to a dead Italian engineer.

I almost died today. Really. As in almost "let's go see Jesus and the angels and the saints, right now. No, NOW."

I'm tooling down the expressway* in the new-to-me car which faileth to give suck. I'm not speeding, but I am going about 70mph. It's raining lightly. Some idiot in a giganticmous Suburban traveling in the lane to my left decides to test the law of physics about two bodies occupying the same space at the same time, by FLYING into my lane, about a half car length ahead of, and 35mph slower than, me.

I swerve right, HARD. Due to the rain I skid BUT the car catches the skid almost instantly and rights itself. The Suburban, sensing the primal urge to reach out and make contact with its own kind, makes an impression--to the tune of many decibels--on the Volvo SUV thing to my right, and I sidestep the Volvo SUV/Suburban minuet to get to the far shoulder, call the cops and make @#$%ing sure I'm around to give the police a report.

Meanwhile, my heart is HAMMERING like when you have one of those bad caffeine hangovers.

If I had been driving anything else I would have T-Boned the Suburban at a speed differential which would have been, at best, Very Damned Bad.

My guardian angel deserves not only overtime, but hazard pay.


* "Freeway" to those of you who are maladjusted.


jujube said…
What if we say "highway"?

I had one of those moments, once. I was at a red light in the nowheresville where my parents live on a Sunday morning. The guy behind me was speeding. How fast was he going? Well, he realized he could not stop safely behind me, so he pulled up next to me in the opposite lane, slamming on the brakes. The front end of his car was even with my knees. Certain death if he hadn't pulled over to the opposite side lane (thankfully it was empty).

I was scared out of my wits. And I had to drive to, and in, Boston the next day. (Happily as soon as I left the highway for the streets of Boston I regained the nerves needed for driving in the Hub.)
Gina said…
Things like this make me a.) hate driving and b.) wish I had a gun that would turn stupid people blue for a week.

Imagine the hell we're all going to go through when our kids get drivers' licenses.
Badger said…
Jeebus! Thank all that's holy that you are okay, first off.

Second off, I hate SUVs with a white-hot passion.

Third off, something similar almost happened to me once, but instead of raining it was dark, and instead of flying into my lane from the left it was from the right, and the guy only hit the guardrail, not another car, and also the car I was driving was the product of American engineering. But still. Yipes.
Sarah Louise said…
Whew!! Not really feeling the need to share at the moment, except to say, Whew!! and Thank you, ABBA (not the Swedish band) and praises to that dead Italian engineer. What's his name, btw?


Off to writing class I go...
Sarah Louise said…
oh, and in Pittsburgh if cars go fast on it, it's the parkway. Don't ask why. It just is.
Suse said…
De-lurking to say glad you're still around to tell the tale. You would have been sorely missed. Praise be to the dead Italian.
blackbird said…

and WHEW.

and pass the whiskey.
mr_bartel said…
At the momemt, I'm feeling a little schizophrenic. Don't know whether to pat myself on the back or shoot myself.

A Suburban driving engineer.

p.s. Thanks be to God that your ok. Close calls like this certainly make us realize the value of every moment. And yes, pass the whiskey (a pretty good way to spend a moment).
Joke said…
The problem is not the Suburban, but the driver who assumes a Suburban exempts him/her from the laws of physics.

And the dead Italian engineer is the late Orazio Satta Puliga. If he hadn't designed the rear suspension of the car I drive I would have pirouetted across several lanes of traffic moving at about 60mph. In a convertible.

(And yes, thank you, God.)

I am so glad that you are ok. My heart began beating faster and faster as I read your post. I saw a horrific accident near a high school this afternoon and couldn't wait to get home.

I drove a Suburban for close to 14 years but never felt I was above the law.
BabelBabe said…
Joke, very, very, exceedingly glad you are ok. Indeed, not having you around would really not be cool.

I too hate SUVs with a PASSION. Or maybe just the idiots who mostly seem to drive them.
Gina said…
Dear Joke,

I rely on you and Badger (among others) to get my pleasantly through my working day. Your recent brush with death and her alarming headaches have made me decide to write a bill, which is now sitting there on Capital Hill. It reads, essentially, that none of the Behind the Stove blog friends are allowed to die.

So it is written . . .


Sarah Louise said…
Gina, I luff you! (you too Joke, why is it that I'm always writing to other folks when I come to visit you? You're a great host, that's the ticket.) SO GLAD YOU ARE OKAY.
Poppy Buxom said…
Holy farkizzling shnitizzle!

And you thought *I* needed a car with AWD!

Can you retrofit the Alpha with airbags? Please?
Joke said…

It HAS an airbag, but even an airbag is useless in multiple collisions (i.e. spinning out on a crowded expressway where traffic averages 60mph) or when the speed differential is in excess of 20-25mph.

The one thing I am retrofitting is a roll bar, because in the event I'm ever in a car that winds up pointing its tires skywards, I'd hate for my head to be the roof.


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