Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Blue (10/08/09)
TITLE: Blue Cavalier in Colorado Snow
By Dimple Suit
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We had decided not to get a Colorado Cadillac, a Jeep, because we might not need it. Contrary to what some may have heard, the Denver area is not a rough place to drive when it snows. They have equipment and materials to take care of the roads. Working throughout the night, they put down sand and salt, helping avoid vehicle spin outs.
One morning, after scraping the windshield, and having a “yahoo” moment on the ice beneath the snow, I headed out for my 6 am shift. The snow plows had not yet made it to the secondary streets. In Georgia, we stay at home when there is ice on the roads but in Colorado, you go about your daily routine, unless there is a blizzard. This storm was just a few inches so I was expected at the office.
Having driven the same route for several weeks, I had learned to use the cross walk signal at the top of a fairly steep hill to gauge the need to stop at the traffic light. The hand started flashing at the cross walk. Slowing down, I prepared to stop.
With horn blaring and lights flashing a 4x4 pickup raced by me. The driver was banging on the steering wheel and waving at me with his middle finger. I guess he had somewhere important to be, left late, and an encounter with a bundled up female driver in a front wheel drive blue Cavalier with Georgia plates was not in his plans for the morning. Sure enough, the traffic light turned red. The truck driver slammed on his brakes.
Now I may be from Georgia but I’m no bumpkin. I know 4-wheel drive is not 4-wheel stop. I know moisture freezes when temperatures are in the low 20’s. I know the laws of nature make ice an excellent accelerant when black and beneath tires. I know to slow down and tap brakes when road conditions are bad. The truck driver either didn’t know or forgot about these things.
Completing several full circles through the intersection, the pick-up came to a stop against the curb. The axles were broke. Both wheels on the driver’s side were buckled under the truck. I managed to stop at the light without sliding on the ice.
The driver got out of his pick-up, slamming the door and gesturing, frantically. Kicking his vehicle as if it were to blame for now being damaged, the man turned red in the face. To say he was angry would be too light a word for his actions. I think he needed some valium or at least less caffeine to start his day.
Lowering my head to the steering wheel to hide my smile, my shoulders were shaking. Not from the cold or from fear, but from the laughter bubbling out of me. I’m not talking nervous giggles here. This was that deep belly aching, eye watering laughter that can be contagious if others are around. Recognizing the irony of the situation with Ray Charles’ “Georgia on my Mind” blaring from the radio, I laughed; probably looked like a crazy woman but I couldn’t help it.
I managed to rein in my sarcasm. My manners required my mouth to remain shut; my faith, a prayer for the driver’s safety. I wanted to share a smile with the man who was obviously not having a very good day. I decided he wouldn’t like it. As I drove by, I tipped my horn and waved. I really was wishing the guy a better day than his morning had been going. But you know what I ached to do? What the bad guy on my shoulder urged me to do? What I had to force myself not to do?
Reach over and roll down the window. In my best velvety Southern belle voice say, “Excuse me sir? I’m new around here. Would you kindly show me again how to do that?”
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