I'll put my trust in Oompa Loompa

In some strange, bizarre way, I actually like driving on the freeways of Atlanta. Spaghetti Junction. The Vehicle Accelerator. The Watermelon 400. I can now officially say that I've done 'em all.

But you know what I hate? Being a passenger on the streets of Atlanta. Don't ask. I don't get it either. I can fire the Jetta up to 90mph on the Vehicle Accelerator (otherwise known as 285) with nothing but a lead foot and a twinkle in my eye, but put me in the back seat while someone else drives my car at 80mph on 285, and all but the most callous of observers will note that I'm clutching my seatbelt and wishing I were a follower of some sort of religion that would give me something calming and soothing to chant as I watch the SUVs stream by both sides of the car.Mind you that, at this particular moment, Brian and Suzan were blithely leading us down conversation trails that circled around the themes of death and dismemberment. Meanwhile, I'm sitting in my so-new-it-still-smells-new Jetta, forcing myself to stare squarely at the back of my husband's head. Knowing full well that if I don't stare straight ahead, I'll give in to the temptation to crane my head around to find out exactly how fast we're going. Mostly so I can get an idea of just how fast that speeding Mercedes was going….

I actually begged Brian and Suzan to change the topic. There was just some kind of bad synchronicity between spoken tales of death and dismemberment…and not having control of my own car as it went in a controlled-speeding fashion down the vehicular equivalent of a particle accelerator known as 285.

All this for a dragon*con meeting. A meeting in which I know good and well I'm not going to hear anything new. I've got the routine pretty pat now. We come in, sit down, pretend that we can hear what the director is saying, then do our standard fratboy cheers whenever tech staff is introduced.

(Required comment: "We make the con run….scared!")

Then, at least once, Jody has to tell the story of the guest he nearly strangled a few years ago, and recount how back in the bad old days he had to take something like five times the LD50 dosage of Metabolift so that he could avoid sleeping for something like 70 hours…and then someone pipes up with a story about how ChocoBunny came to dragon*con last year wearing a hot pink mohawk and a pair of bunny ears….

…and then the meeting's over, we've all established that yeah, we're still tech staff, and then we wander to the back and grab a few spare Cokes for that night's mixers and then amble off to dinner.

Most sane people would look at 285 and the dragon*con tech staff, and decide that they'd be much better off cultivating a healthy fear of the blue-haired, sleep-deprived, and generally terrifying tech staff. Me, I know better. I'm keeping my fear where it belongs—with the crazy-ass drivers on 285. I'll put my trust in the likes of Papa Smurf and Oompa Loompa.

Even though I still refuse to dye my hair blue for the convention.


OT: how 'bout just blue tips? you recently wrote about the perpetual dual between long hair/short hair that you wage... (what the heck is the acronym for "On Topic"... it seems so obvious but makes no sense...) there are very few situations where i can calmly tolerate being a passenger in a car, and even fewer that i can enjoy. Mostly I white-knuckle it and conscoiusly direct my thoughts elsewhere, forcing myself to NOT watch what is going on.... I find the front seat is easier on my nerves for some reason (even though statstically speaking, its the worst place to be in the car). For me its all for a slightly different reason, but I can sympathize with that seemingly irrational feeling you get, knowing you have no control.

No one drives my truck with me in the passenger seat, unless I'm comatose. Though I understand why in this case ...

I get nervous while riding as well whenever traffic is up. It really makes no sense to me because I hate to drive, and would probably trust someone else's instincts driving, but I still get nervous. I think that's pretty common, though.

Ames, it's not just in your car. You get nervous whenever someone's driving fast in any car. I remember you getting nervous before when I was driving us to Atlanta and that was in my car.

I think maybe I'm just a lousy passenger, period. This from the person who decided to test the theoretical speed limit of her Sundance about seven years ago... Matthew, if you're reading comments, care to comment on THAT day?

Well...I can't help but tell the tale of trying to strangle Joshua. It is one of the highlights of my life. Other than that....you know the drill. Blah blah blah website blah blah blah blah Godhead blah blah blah blah blah blah The Masqeurade blah blah blah etc yadda yadda As for the cruising in Atlanta...why do you think I bought an Xterra. If you can't beat em....look better than em. And if I ain't driving...I ain't going.

Besides, the Joshua story gets funnier every time you tell it. Especially the 'dramatic readings' portion. I try not to drink any liquids while the story's being told, for fear of said liquid being spewed through my nose. It's like the evil fairy tales you wanted your parents to tell you as a child, except this one has real death and dismemberment in it. :)

No one is a worse passenger in their own car than Sarah. It's the only time I *tell* her to smoke. *grin*

She's right. I drove Sarah's car once. She did rather well, until I took an exit ramp a little too fast for her liking. To quote Sarah: "You DO realize SUVs can flip?" Jess usually had me drive when we were in ATL, which prepared me for driving in DC. Let me tell you, there's nothing like driving the north part of the Beltway with heavy traffic. And then there's the BW Parkway, which is our version of the Watermelon 400.

I can't imagine traffic ever moving that fast on 285. Normally the insane amount of cars clogging the bypass make it nearly impossible to go above 35.

Traffic usually flys around 285...just not at the junctions of 285 and any of the big three (75. 85. and the Alpharetta Autobahn aka the 400). I was on 285 the other day between 400 and 85 and was up to a 130 until I realized that my beast screams PLEASE PULL ME OVER AND GIVE ME A TICKET MR. OCCIFER...so I slowed down...and there were still people passing me.

Oompa, you are giving credence to my theory: It is theoretically impossible to be the fastest vehicle currently traveling on 285. Someone else is always going faster than you are.

I assume you're referring to the day freshman year in which we went rocketing to Tull, arriving, if memory serves, several hours before we left?

Oooooo, story! STORY! TELL THE STORY!

I am no longer going to feel badly when Amy complains about me driving too fast.

You've never ridden with someone who drives too fast until you ride with Todd somewhere in that truck of his. You don't need a degree in physics or engineering to know how much momentum that damn thing has. And I've heard his "power slide at 45" story far too often ... thank God for oh-shit! handles.