Driving is dangerous in ways you wouldn't expect. It's dangerous in ways I expect.
Driving on the highway Thursday, in the middle lane, going about 70, with the flow of the traffic, I had been in the car for a little over an hour, heading to southern Ohio for business. I was scanning the cars in front of me and all around me for trouble like I always do. In front of me in the right hand lane was an old beater Corolla whose hubcap was spinning and wobbling fiercely, just about to pop off the rim.
I imagined that it was going to fly off the rim like a razor sharp, steel frisbee, come careening through my windshield, cutting into my neck, like a scene out of some Quentin Tarrantino movie. I started acting! Making choking and gurgling sounds, tongue hanging out, tilting my head, letting it bounce off my right shoulder, like I was dying a grisly death. And then I thought...
Stop being such a weirdo!
Just then cars in front of me began to swerve to the left, to the right as a huge cement block was bouncing off the road then high into the air barely missing the Honda sedan, bouncing to the right of the black pick up truck, then behind the Volvo wagon, heading straight for me.
OhmyGodOhmyGodOhmyGodOhmyGod... that's a concrete block!... OhmyGodOhmyGodOhmyGodOhmyGod... about a foot long and six inches thick... OhmyGodOhmyGodOhmyGodOhmyGodddddddd!
I ducked. And heard a deep, heavy kerchunk-a-blunk on the hood of my car. It bounced off my hood then off to the right and I lost track of where it bounced to after that because I was too focused on my racing heart and the fact that I had just escaped the grisly death I had just imagined moments before.
After a few minutes I had settled down when I saw the sign for Zoar, Ohio. And I thought what I always do when I see a sign for Zoar.
Man, I am so glad I don't live in Zoar.
Because if I lived in Zoar, I would never stop thinking of Ghostbusters.
"Where are you from, Blue Girl?"
"I am Zul from Zoar. I am the Gatekeeper. Must prepare for the coming of Gozer."
So I was busy being Zul from Zoar except I was being Bill Murray from Caddyshack saying I am Zul from Zoar the way he would say...
This crowd has gone deadly silent, a Cinderella story outta nowhere. Former greenskeeper and now about to become the Masters champion ... He's on his final hole. He's about 455 yards away, he's gonna hit about a 2 iron I think ... IT'S IN THE HOLE!
....and laughing, thinking to myself... Well, at least I can't get slimed. You may imagine some lethal object coming straight at you on the highway and then it actually happens, but there's no such thing as sliming, so you're good. Oh, he got out of that... the crowd is on it's feet at Augusta!
A minute later I was stuck in the right lane wedged between a semi to my left and a little white GTI ahead of me. Who decided to clean their windshield with what turned out to be their super duper extra strong GTI windshield wiper cleaning mechanism that in no way cleaned their windshield, but mine. Their windshield washer fluid shot up over and over again back over the hood of their car, soaking my windshield and my newly kerchunk-a-blunk'd hood for the next two minutes.
I was being slimed in Zoar, Ohio!
I saw a sign for Tuscarawas. Will an Indian with a single tear running down his cheek jump out in front of my car? And then I saw a sign warning of "Fallen Rock" and I imagined falling rock, which scared me until I remembered I had already dealt with falling rock and I thought I might be safe because the Indian hadn't yet appeared. And it had been a whole three minutes since I thought of it.
I was now in the middle of nowhere and getting no radio reception. Which is unacceptable. So, I kept scanning, scanning, scanning the stations until, finally, a song.
Well, of course, I thought to myself. What other kind of song would possibly play in the middle of nowhere after most things I had thought of happening that morning actually ended up happening? And Yes, I do believe in magic, I continued thinking. How could I not? But I decided to believe in good magic, bubble gum magic, the kind of magic in a young girl's heart, how the music can free me whenever it starts, the Lovin' Spoonful kind of magic. Happy magic where nothing goes wrong.
And deciding that was a very good thing. Because after exiting the highway, I had to drive 55 miles to the west on a two-lane country road where semi after semi came barreling towards me one right after the other. And all I could think about was Pet Sematary.