Friday, December 19, 2008

Trouble Comes in Threes



Car trouble does for sure. Oh, and did I mention I name my cars? Silly, right? This one is Strawbella. I don’t know how I came up with the name. OK, I do. Italian Strawberry. She’s a lovely colour.

It’s been a busy 10 days with Strawbella. I feel there’s a spell on me or her. I need a reverse incantation.

So far in this life, I’ve racked up well over a million km in driving I would think, if not more. I’ve encountered minor trouble. I never had a serious accident or any accident. Near misses but I can’t even think of a fender bender actually.

People tell me I’m a good driver, they often fall asleep in the passenger seat as I tool along which is the ultimate test, right. I avoid brake usage unless it’s an emergency. I go with the flow, I’m relaxed even though I’m a defensive driver, I classify everyone else on the road as an eejit or a Fwad, which is a private family term for driver-dolts and is quite obscene when not abbreviated. Being defensive is a good way to drive. Always watching out for some careening catastrophe or a wavering wobbler who is either drunk or high.

All the moose that plague the highways here are long gone to beddy-bye for the season, I’ve been told. So I’m more relaxed than usual as I drive at dusk last Sunday. I don’t have to watch for them anymore. I’m heading for a small dinner party at a friend’s. I’ve got a mixed album on. Celtic Women. Lovely voices, I join them as I tool along.

Out of nowhere it gallops out on the road. An effing moose. No car coming, no car behind, veer sharp to the left. Very sharp. Moose veers to the right. Moose falls. Hard. Not fast enough to escape me and my car. And it is sickening this awful sound as I drive over her four legs. Heart pounding, I pull over to the side of the road. What if she’s in pain, bleeding? Broken legs? Briefly I lay my head on the wheel, I can’t look. There’s no sound behind me. No other cars. I raise my head, look in the rear view mirror and there she is, clambering mightily to her feet, shaking her head (at me?) and retreating from whence she came. Standing quietly. Waiting for the next car? This is a game?

I get out of Strawbella, walk around her. Not a mark on her. No dent, no blood, no fur. I get back in. Swear to heaven, the dog lifts one eyebrow at me. “And for your next trick, human?”

Well, she only had to wait three days. We leave St. John’s at 9.00 p.m. last night for the normal 55 minute drive and get caught in a blizzard. A bad one, snow, freezing rain and no snowplows out. And loads of Fwads on the road. All in tractor-trailers. Markings on highways are buried and there are steep inclines on both sides. Fwads drive by, flashing highbeams, honking and throwing immovable ice on to the windshield which necessitates pulling over onto air and manually removing it. The drive home took 2 ½ hours of white-knuckling, frequent stops and appalling language, even for me. I would have waved fists at the Fwads, but my fingers were stuck to the wheel in a kind of rigor mortis.

The dog staggered out of Strawbella at the end of it all with a look at me that would fry bacon.

Yeah, OK, I admit it, I tell her. I plan and plot these manoeuvres to really, really get up your nose.

14 comments:

  1. My God, WWW, you had me riveted to my chair. What a scary tale and I was very worried about you, and the moose, on all occasions.

    One time I was in a car with someone who hit a deer and it was the most sickening thing that I ever experienced. The deer took off, but I am sure it was injured.

    I am so happy that you are okay, though, because a moose is very big indeed. Driving in that storm must have been a harrowing experience. I am so happy that you lived to tell us about it. God, that sounds awful. Well, you know what i mean.

    XXXOOO

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  2. no no no, WWW, who told you that moose hibernate?? they do not. they are around all winter. oh my god.

    bears hibernate. only bears. not moose.

    people get killed every winter on the Gunflint, hitting moose.

    i'm so glad you were OK. but do not labor under the false delusion that they're all asleep.

    stay alert! man. what a close call.
    i am trembling for you.

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  3. ps and why, exactly, did you set out in a blizzard?

    i'm just wondering.

    i feel like your mother, scolding you!

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  4. Irene:
    I saw a deer being squashed once and it was awful.
    Yes moose are huge.
    I feel very lucky.
    XO
    WWW

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  5. Laurie:
    These mighty hunting men told me that they rarely come outside the bush in the winter.
    Humbug to that now, I say. Liars.
    Far too close a call.
    I agree.
    And no, I didn't set out in the blizzard, it just happened suddenly after I got on the highway and came down like a curtain.
    Like today, same thing.
    XO
    WWW

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  6. {hugs} I thought that I had bad luck when it comes to cars, but that just really takes the biscuit!

    Please do stay safe!

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  7. Methinks the mighty hunting men were pulling your leg. Thankfully, we don't have to contend with moose in central Illinois, though deer can be a headache. This week has been appalling on the roads around here, with freezing rain, snow, and a plethora of Fwads. The school bus has been involved in a few hairy moments, and observed a host more. Thank God today is the last day of school for two weeks!
    I'm gad both you and the moose (and the dog) survived intact.

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  8. This is quite a mini-series, WWW!
    So glad you suffered no worse than a bit of stress and a few dirty looks from the canine companion.

    I dread a deer emerging in front of the car when we're on the road - heck, I dread that we would run over a skunk or armadillo, so a moose would be horrendous.

    Brrrr! I bet it's cold up there.
    Oklahoma does have advantages after all!

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  9. We have plenty of the Fwads but no moose. You did well. Stay safe.

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  10. Jo:
    Well, actually, the fact that no harm is done (apart from very bad nerves!) on any of these forays into the Twilight Zone is using up my karmic allotment, I feel!!
    XO
    WWW

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  11. RJA:
    Oh I'm sure you have a host of scary road stories, you must be surrounded by rush hour Fwads every day of the week. A high risk occupation!
    Thanks for the good wishes.
    XO
    WWW

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  12. T:
    I still have bad dreams from the time when I was teaching younger daughter to drive and we squished a big frog. So the thought of hurting these ginormous beasties really bothers me.
    XO
    WWW

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  13. Oh I know all about Irish Fwads too, GM. My dad was one. I could tell you nightmare driving stories from Cork.
    XO
    WWW

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  14. Omigod, my greatest fear is hitting a deer on our side roads. They lollop around our yards, and then just take off across the road, and I'm convinced I'm going to nail one some day. And like you, my fear is of finding myself with a badly injured creature, and unable to do anything for it. I hate the way deer, and it sounds like moose, deke right in front of you.

    Fwad. Hmmm. Effing wanker arsehole driver??

    I haven't given my cars names for years. I did once have a Mini called, of course, Minerva.

    Hopefully you've used up your allotment of three accidents for the foreseeable future, before starting another string.
    XO
    Tessa

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