Ted’s essays

nuther near miss

Funny thing on the way to town yesterday afternoon. One of those scattered squalls had ripped through, dumping deluges after flinging branches all around. But I figured the roads were probably dried off enough that I could take my hydroplaning-prone, fuel-efficient CRX without functioning seat-belts.

But when I got to the car, I had the pickup keys. Oh well, it’s not that far, I’ll take the pickup. Besides, the reason for my trip is to retrain the maintainers of the Ravalli Offroad website. The Fixer pickup is actually appropriate. There turned out to be quite a bit of standing water on the roads with really dark skies just starting to move on. It’s all good.

Enjoying my mellow drive home having heroically got them going on their website again, I was doing somewhere in the lower 60s in the 70mph zone. The roads were clean and dry.

On the straight stretch in front of the abandoned lumber mill, an oncoming black Hummer H3
At the last possible moment!

Thoughtful Mind is not believing this.

He and I were driving straight, true and pure, staying in our respective lanes like all of us do, mile after mile, day after day. There was nothing in the seconds preceding to give any impression of this passing being any different from a hundred million others in my 21,000 days of driving on the right side of the road.

Fortunately for me, and those who like having me around, Thoughtful Mind can do its thing later.

Responsive Mind, Autopilot, The Driver, owned my brain cells for the moment.

Oncoming car swerved, aiming at me.
Dodge right.
Resume regularly scheduled travel.
Don’t debate.
Do not touch any other controls that would upset my cornering ability.
Waste not a nanosecond – you have no nanoseconds to waste.
Turn exactly sharp enough to avoid contact,autocross pickup
but not so sharp as to lose control.
Go exactly far enough right to make him miss.
Do not drive onto the soft, wet earth.
Handy that I recently replaced the shock absorbers.
Good shocks are priceless in slalom driving.
Handy that I have hundreds of hours experience driving MAX-G slalom.
Nice that as a driver my hands ARE ALWAYS at the proper 10 and 2 positions as if I might, some day, some time, without a moment’s notice have to steer the vehicle I’m driving… not to mention my other little habit of DRIVING when I’m in control of a motor vehicle that is in motion. I’m on the job. That turns out to be quite useful from time to time.

I was southbound at 60mph on the shoulder when the H3 blew by in my lane.
If he were aiming for me, he had no time to adjust his aim.

I resume my lane.
He resumes his lane.

Thoughtful Mind
ponders what just happened.
Turn around?
Chase him down?
Then what?

I couldn’t make that work out well for me.

The driver either had a lapse, an excuse, or tried to kill one of us, or both of us.

How will I decide?
Will I be right?
What will I do about it?
What if the Darby Marshall or someone else observes aggressive behavior on my part?
What will they do?

No. Turning around cannot produce good results.

An odd thing happened to the incident in the remaining few minutes of my trip home.
Thoughtful Mind processed it, found no positive action could be taken and dropped the subject.
I mean it never came up.
I didn’t even mention it to Missy during our evening chat.
It did not return to my thoughtful mind at all…
until my Between-Sleeps at 0345
which is where I am at this moment.

I still don’t know what to think about it.
I probably made the right call when I dropped the subject,
but it will likely roll around in background processing center of my head for a while to come.

I am probably being told to quit driving the CRX until I install functional seatbelts. That much I can take away from this right away.