Friday, January 07, 2005


I was driving to work this morning and for a short time I followed one of those trucks - the ones that say "How's My Driving" with some 800 number and then a 12 digit vehicle i.d. number in 8pt font below it. It wasn't exactly rush-hour (had to take the drama queen to her grandmother's for the day as the pain in her back was preventing her from speaking normally, walking normally, and apparently she was also unable to brush her teeth), and the roads weren't really icey (although you would think they were Eisenhower Tunnel ) aka Johnson Tunnel, but noone calls it that, and it's Sunday apres-ski (that means everyone is exhausted and half bombed on hot buttered rum) traffic and I'm hanging on to my cigarette (yes I smoke in the car, it's a terrible habit and my car stinks, but its MY car and MY habit, and it covers up the smell of the farts from my teenaged son) and I'm drinking my coffee (all day, every day) and I'm driving with one hand, and the maniac passes me weaving in and out of traffic (keep in mind they are all tired and drunk), and I see the familiar (all too familiar) 800 sticker... so I grab my cell phone (which probably has intermittent shitty service in this locale) Now I'm holding onto coffee, cigarette, steering wheel, and I've got my hands on the buttons of my cell phone in the semi-darkness of wintertime dusk chasing a maniacal driver up a mountain to get the phone number which I am trying to dial in the dark and then when it answers I envision (can you do that with audio) that it is one of those 'press 1 if you have a power outage, press 2 if you have fallen and can't get up, press three if you speak spanish (repeated in spanish),... press 997 if you are falling one of our idiot drivers over a mountain pass', and then another discourse of press this and that for what they are or are not doing right or wrong 'press 1 if the truck you are following is currently west bound, press 2 if the truck you are following is white with red letters... press 678 if the truck you are following is moving so frighteningly fast that you are having trouble catching it to get the 12 digit vehicle id number in 8 pt font below our phone number' which is of course followed by 'enter the 12 digit vehicle id followed by the # sign' - by now we have gone through the tunnel and are headed down the 80% grade on the east side and he is still barreling along despite the signs that say "Truckers use low gear - this grade is so steep you could lose control of your brakes if you were walking {along with the not so familiar to me 'double black' ski slope indicator}", I am desperately trying to read the tiny vehicle id # and punch it into my phone in the semi darkness amongst the tired drunken skiers at which point I spill my lukewarm coffee all over my lap and drop the cherry off my cigarette and the homemade tape that is in the cassette deck (I have three teenagers, and no extra dough to buy a cd player) finally switches sides after the 30 minutes of silent non-recording and blares out 'Like a Hurricane' at volume level 70..., this is when I wake up from my day-mare and realize that "How am I driving?" stickers are a menace to traffic and pull into my parking garage in lovely downtown Denver, glad to have survived my imagined terror and hoping that I didn't run any red-lights while day-dreaming again.

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