Your SUV will not protect you
Got home at 4:30 Central time today, having driven since six a.m. Eastern time. (For those of you unfamiliar with US time zones, that's eleven and a half hours total.) Traffic in Chattanooga and Huntsville was worse than metro DC, due to the number of bad wrecks I saw today.Rule #1: if you are driving a truck, and you are hauling a heavily-laden U-Haul trailer, it is most definitely in your best interest to obey the little road sign thingies when they yell things like "Sharp Curve Ahead - Slow To 40 MPH, You Dumbass." Mr. Truck Driver decided to take the curve at something like 70 mph. In the rain, mind you.
By the time I passed by, the U-Haul was lying upside down in the median, and the truck was pillowed up on a nice, big pile of dirt. It appeared to be catching a nap whilst it was being winched out of said pile of dirt.
Rule #2: Your SUV will not protect you, especially when you plow it head-on into a tractor-trailer rig. Hate to break it to you, but all that American car manufacturer "SUV safety" claptrap gets pretty much thrown out the window when said eighteen-wheeler decides to munch the front of your vehicle like the plastic snacky-cake it is.
By the time I passed by, the ambulances were gone and the police were standing around, directing traffic (see also: rain) and waiting for the tow truck to remove the SUV carcass from the road. It was frighteningly impressive to see a minivan carrying its engine in the front seat.
Maybe I'm jaded about all this, but you know what? I just spent the better part of a week in a metro area where people are currently terrified to pump gas or go shopping, due to some random schizoid asshole who feels that he has nothing better to do than using a hunting rifle to "cull" the suburban population. I think I'm allowed a little gallows humor.
I mean, I've heard all kinds of theories on how to stop urban sprawl and control population growth, some of which involve the introduction of predators into polite society, but random snipers? That's just rude.
I love Andy and Heather. I'm glad I visited; I saw Jess and Brad (and finally met Rob), and the good time I had was so good that it could barely be borne without antipsychotics. But there's something unbelievably disturbing about having to plan my roadtrip so that I didn't buy gas anywhere in metro DC, because I didn't want to bloody well die for a tank of gas. Granted, that (and the eighteen million bottles of wine we consumed) does wonders for sharpening one's palate for the good things in life (see also, getting tank of gas without death or dismemberment) but I think I'm safe in saying that I'm glad to be home.
Home, where the most exciting thing that will happen tomorrow is that one of the cats will probably wake me up in the middle of the night.
That's the kind of surprise I can live with.
So, any of the locals up for dinner tomorrow? (Meaning, Wednesday.) If so, throw me a ping. I'll only embellish the danger and intrigue of visiting the metro DC area when necessary. Just remember this: when I describe how the locals were bobbing and weaving while filling their gas tanks, I'm not embellishing.
Home sweet home.