Wednesday December 28th, 2011

The exercise:

Trying something a little different today - show me what you've got for: that could have been us.

Inspiration for prompt explained below, but I'm particularly curious to see what you guys come up with. 

It's good to be home (now that the fireplace has finally warmed it up).


We spent last night in Williams Lake and were up early as we were all eager to get home as soon as possible. Kat and I mostly because we figured if we got here before sundown then it wouldn't take as long to warm up the house (turns out we were right). Anyway, with us being smack dab in the middle of our shortest days of the year, that meant being on the road before sunrise.

I took the first shift, since Kat's dad had been doing the majority of the driving over the course of our trip up to Dawson Creek and back. The roads were okay - mostly clear with a bit of slushy snow in some spots - and dawn was already well on its way. In other words, we were off to a good start.

Then the sun came up over the horizon.

With it shining straight into my eyes, not to mention reflecting off of a wet road, the next hour or so was definitely in my top ten worst driving experiences. Oh, and throw in some eighteen wheelers driving in the opposite direction and throwing up a windshield-covering amount of dirty snow. You know, just for kicks.

Maybe I should just slot it into the top five.

Anyway, after getting us through that barrel of monkey fun for as long as I could manage, I pulled over in one of the many small towns (villages?) that line the highway and Kat's dad took over. With the sun a little higher in the sky at that point it wasn't quite so bad, but I'd had my fill.

A little while later we pulled into a gas station and Kat's dad topped up the tank while I did my best to clean off the windshield and side windows. We could have made it to the next town but Kat's dad doesn't like the tank getting too low, plus we needed a bathroom break.

We hit the highway again but we didn't get very far before we came upon an accident. The police had blocked the road but the ambulance hadn't arrived yet, so it couldn't have happened all that long before we got there. It happened right in front of... something - I didn't really notice whether it was a general store, a garage, or something else entirely. At any rate, the owner of whatever that building was directed us to use his driveway to get around the accident.

Because there had been a fatality and the police weren't likely to open up the road again any time soon.

It was not a particularly difficult stretch to think that very easily could have been us.


Greg said...

Oh wow, that's a little worrisome! That sounds like a fairly hellish drive, and yeah, it's really horrible to see an accident and wonder how close you came to being part of it. I'm glad you made it back safely and in one piece! I guess next year you'll be insisting on hosting the festivities then, to avoid such drives!

That could have been us
"Yeah Dave?"
"What've you got in your arms?"
"It's the baby Jesus, Dave, innit?"
Dave stared helplessly at his partner in crime, who was wearing some kind of hooded blue toga and clutching a swaddled baby doll of some kind. He looked like some kind of Disney monster for one of their newer, edgier cartoons.
"What's that you're wearing, Vince?" He knew he was going to regret asking the question, but it forced its way out of his mouth anyway.
"It's a robe," said Vince happily. "It's the one the Virgin Mary wears. You can tell by the shade of the blue, it's got quite a lot of deep symbolism."
"You're giving me an embolism, Vince," said Dave. "Why the bleeding heck are you dressed up as the Virgin Mary and carrying a bloody doll around?"
"Language, Dave! Not in front of the baby! You said we needed to avoid attention, Dave, so I thought to myself, I thought, what's going to attract least attention this close to Christmas? An–"
"And you thought the Immaculate Collection was the answer?" The baby started crying.
"I think you mean the Immaculate Conception, Dave, and yes I do. Look over there." Vince pointed, and Dave turned to look.
Two policeman had stopped their car and got out to talk to a couple of young men. The stance of the policemen made it clear they weren't impressed by what they were hearing.
"See Dave, that could have been us!"
The crying was getting on his nerves, and he suddenly realised why.
"Is that a real baby, Vince?"
"Cor, Christmas miracle, Dave!"

Cathryn Leigh said...

@Marc - Wow, close call. And actually that reminds me of one. Hope you don’t mind if I turn the plural into singular, though I suppose I could add in a passenger.
@Greg – Christmas miracle for a couple of hoodlums eh? *grin* Makes me think of two things: 1) Chech and Chong Santa Claus skit and 2) “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” by Barbara Robinson.

Anyway here’s my singular version, also based upon a true story, though it’s possible I got a few facts mixed up, it felt like a close call to me. I could probably also do one involving my Dad, and possibly my hubby and I.... (if you insist I do a plural). ;}

That Could Have Been Me

Sunny California, or so they call it, but in the San Francisco Bay Area, winters are chilly and wet. No snow, thankfully, though it’s only a four hour drive up to Lake Tahoe, where the snow bunnies go. Still the day is chilly and I’ve decided to bypass going back to the house to get the motorcycle.

Let me explain slightly, before I go further. Our daughter was born in California, and daycare was in the opposite direction from work. So often times I’d take the four wheeled vehicle (the only one we had) drop her off, then park it back at the house to put on my gear and ride my motorcycle in to work. When the weather was nice and there was no rain. The hubby always took his bike to work, but he’s got a lot more years of experience than I.

Anyway, on this particular day, I decided not to pick up the motorcycle and as I passed that exit I notice a car head of me starting to swerve. It’s in the left and lane and I’m in the right. Keeping an eye on this vehicle, and the traffic, I make my way around it as quick as I can. I don’t know what’s going on in there, but the thing looks like it’s doing a tank slapper (sorry if you non motorcycle people don’t know what that is. I’m sure it’s easy to look up on the internet though).

Even though I’ve passed this car, I keep checking in my mirror. The swerving is getting worse and worse and I’m no more than two cars in front of it when control is completely lost. I watch, horrified, as it jerks on to the median and then suddenly back across the highway catching a few cars as it goes.

If I hadn’t the gumption to get ahead of it, something I’d learned from riding, it could have gotten me.

Marc said...

Greg - yeah, Kat was saying next time we have to go up there we're finding a way to afford to fly :P

Aw man, I've missed Dave and Vince! Thanks for bringing them by for a visit :D

Elor - glad you escaped that dangerous situation. Would have been even scarier if you'd been on your bike.

It's ridiculous how many close calls there are on the roads every day. It's actually impressive there aren't even more accidents.