Chapter 3
Phun with Photoshop Corporate letters Bear Notch Road Emails from Heck

 

Chapter the Third - In which our zero tries to get a little something straight.

 

When last we saw our hero he was sliding sideways gracelessly heading toward certain expensive destruction. Oh yeah, he was screaming like a little girlie-man too.

 

When in a predicament that you perceive as being imminently damaging to either body or pocketbook, the fight or flight instinct springs into action and immediately takes over control. It quickly slips you a sharp dose of adrenaline, analyzes the situation, sums up your alternatives and wisely abandons you and heads for higher ground with nary so much as a "Good luck pal, you're on your own."  Seeing as Schumacher wasn't going to drop through the sunroof and give me a little assistance (like I would have turned down Hakkinen or hey, as long as I'm fantasizing, Fangio) I had only my limited and panic-stricken resources to go on. So I did everything that I could think of short of soiling myself. I wound on so much opposite lock on that I was wishing for a suicide knob. I swear I was looking out of the drivers side rear window to see where I wanted to go. Might as well have used the rear view mirror. I feathered the gas; trying to shift some weight towards the rear and regain adhesion back there. I don't mind telling you friends, putting your foot down even lightly on the gas pedal when you are facing a wall of rock and dirt is not an easy thing to do. Every instinct was screaming at me, "Jon, just stop the car. Click your heals together. Hit the eject button. Press the Esc key. Hit pause!  FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DO SOMETHING!"

That was when the first lucky part occurred. And you thought my skill was going to get me out of this? HA! I laugh at your feeble and fallible faith in humankind. What actually happened was I hit yet another sizable dip in the road and rather than it simply pitching me off into the void, my woefully wayward rear end decided to set an edge and stick. At least that's as close as I can figure as to what happened. I know that I don't possess the reflexes or ability to catch a car that far gone. For all I know God himself decided that the poor bastard had had enough and reached down out of the sky and slapped the rear end around with one mighty hand. That's certainly what it felt like anyway. One second I'm looking out of the drivers' window with an embankment flashing by the front of the car and the next I'm looking out the passengers' side with nothing but the tops of pine trees in front. But I was ready this time. Somewhere in my feeble little my mind an alarm had jangled a couple neurons that woke up a sleepy synapse that proceeded to yell into my ear, "IF IT SOMEHOW COMES AROUND YOU BETTER BE READY TO CATCH IT OR YOU… ARE… TOAST,  PAL!"

So in a mad flurry of elbows, wrists, flailing knuckles and clenched teeth I unwound the wheel and cranked it around the other way as fast as I could. Damn if I didn't catch the second slide all by myself, even though I had already decided to convert over to the first religion that crossed my path.

About this time was when the second lucky part occurred. Remember how I said there were two tight sweepers back to back? Well at this point, I was coming into that second corner, tail out and in some semblance of control. The fight wasn't over yet but at least I wasn't facing a ditch and nasty dirt embankment. Nosiree, I was looking down over a nice big dropoff onto the tips of the trees.

Well sure, I was still sliding luridly, but I no longer felt like the car was out of complete control. I had the gas fed in and the opposite lock dialed. It was just like I was a teenager again, driving my old Camaro in the dead of winter on a snow-covered road. Except I was driving a car with a refined suspension, really sticky tires, it was autumn, the road was dry asphalt and I was sober.  Still it all worked the same. I just kind of adjusted the attitude of the car with the throttle and input measured bits of…oh, hell… Truth be told, I just hung on for dear life. I was so pumped up that there was no way I could casually waltz it around the second corner. Sure I was kind of on familiar ground but I was still well into the "We're going to die!" portion of the program and nothing was going to stop that until the car was pointed in the direction it was actually proceeding. It all seemed to take forever but in retrospect it was probably over in four to five seconds. As the second corner came to an end I unwound the wheel and the rear just stepped back in line and hooked up.

As quickly as I had lost it, I had regained control, intent and direction. I slowed and took quick stock. Fingers, toes, everything seemed to be there. Car was in one piece, no warning lights, no smoke, no trees lodged in the grill. Life was good. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed there were bright flashing lights coming fast up behind me.

 

My buddy in the '02! I had completely forgotten about him. He was suddenly right on my tail flashing his lights, bleating the horn and swerving wildly back and forth. His face was contorted in anguish. He was doubled over and clutched at his chest. Visible tears streaked down his face.  I slowed down and he pulled alongside. As he raised his red, flushed face at me it was obvious he was hyperventilating and in considerable pain. I thought, 'Oh God, he's having heart attack and we are twenty miles from any help.' As I looked at his spasmodic gesticulations there emerged a pattern that I recognized. I knew I'd seen these symptoms before. The gasping shortness of breath, the heaving shoulders, the contorted face, the blinking eyes and the tears all added up to one thing.  The bastard was laughing.

 

Next: Chapter the Fourth - In which our affable putz puts on yet another pathetic display of foolishness.