Saturday, March 11, 2006


I want to tell you about the time I almost died.

Last night, after Half Day Friday, I had myself a great afternoon. I watched some TV. I went for a bike ride on the Mount Vernon trail. It was warm and sunny, but very windy, especially closer to the river. It felt like I was going uphill the whole way south. However, the ride back was a wind-assisted rocket ride to the moon.

As soon as I got home and cleaned up, I went to the store to get ingredients for apple pie, and vanilla custard to serve on the side. The new apple-peeling machine that Beth & Ryan gave me for my birthday worked incredibly well - I foresee many pies in the near future. The pie came out of the oven about 15 minutes before I head over to Steph's for the 1st barbecue of the season with her and Aaron.

It was a massive amount of food. Chips and homemade guacamole (excellent), barbecue shrimp (a first for me; it was ok), cold noodles with spicy thai peanut sauce (fantastic), mashed potatoes (great), grilled vegetables (tasty), salmon (succulent), beer can chicken (superb), and the pie. A word about the chicken. I was not there to see it started, but to make it you shove an open can of beer into a chicken. Steph & Aaron both agreed it was graphically disturbing, in a way. Aaron and I nicknamed it either "SVU: Chicken" or "Detective Munch's Barbecue Chicken." Watch Law&Order enough and it starts to seem funny. Since Steph is a "flexetarian" and not having meat that night, Aaron and I were left to eat the chicken. We did a number on it, and by the end were tearing pieces off with our fingers (neither good at carving birds).

Sat back and relaxed a little after dinner, and cleaned up the mess we'd made eating in the back yard. It was a really great evening, and I appreciate it even more since they will be out of town traveling, on-and-off, for a few weeks. It's been a damned good day, and now I can go watch the finale of Battlestar Galactica (It's a good show. NO, I'm not a geek) and hit the hay.

I take the leftover pie and start driving home. At the intersection of Oronoco and North Patrick Streets, I was not paying attention, and almost completely ran the red light. I screeched to stop in the middle of the intersection. In front of a white Ford LTD heading east on Oronoco. He stopped just in time. He was about to hit me, at speed, fully on the beam. I back out of the intersection. He yells out his window, giving me a fully deserved ration of shit. I drive home, knuckles white on the wheel.

Stella should be totalled. At the very least, I should have a broken left arm and a concussion. Who knows what my mistake would have cost the man in the LTD. And it would have been completely and utterly my fault.

When I first learned to drive, Mom told me the same thing Papa told her when she first got behind the wheel. "This is a deadly machine and you could kill someone with it, including yourself. Never forget that." I forgot that, and only by the greatest luck avoided paying for it. I wasn't going to write about this, because it certainly doesn't reflect well on me, and will surely worry my folks ('cause that's what folks do). But I decided that it is better for me to be embarrassed and let anyone who can, learn from my mistake.

Be careful out there.


Matt Boulanger said...

You are a lucky bastard. Still, I think we've all had those moments where maybe the Big Guy just thought we needed to learn a lesson, but not get hurt. I recall a few in my driving career, more than I'd like to.

The food, on the other hand, all sounds excellent. I'll give you another one for chicken. Get a can of curry paste. loosen but do not remove the skin over the brests and down by the thighs. Then, use your hands to get the curry paste all in between the skin and meat. Roast like you normally would. Serve with jasmine rice and steamed veggies.

Finally, Dan, how do I become a cool kid and get comments to show under my posts? I've searched all under the various settings and I'm stumped.


Dan said...

In the Blogger Dashboard, open the "Settings" Tab.

Open the "Comments" sub-tab

Click on the "Show" radio button under "Comments"

Check the other Comments settings to make sure those who you want to comment, can. Also, you may have "comment moderation" enabled. If this is on, you would have to manually approve every comment before it appears. To moderate comments, go to the "Posts" tab in the Dashboard, and select the "Moderate Comments" sub-tab. You should see any pending comments there.

Christopher said...

After all the near-death experiences we've had together (saying the phrase 'power-sledding' is enough to incite a weekend-consuming chain of stories), haven't you learned that fear loves company?! I promise I'll be there next time. Hey, we've never had any major accidents involving mountain bikes. We could start there...?