Tuesday, February 21, 2023

The Journey of 85 Miles Begins With a False Sense of Security

On Valentine's Day, The Pony and I hopped into A-Cad to be driven sweaven to the casino by Hick. He was actually on pretty good driving behavior. Not too fast on the curvy two-lane blacktop. Very few wake-up bumps thumping under the tires. 

The weather was sunny and clear. A highway sign closer to our destination flashed a message that 50 mph winds were expected, and to drive safely. I figured we would be past that area on our way home, where such a forecast was not in effect.

The Pony and I were lured into a false sense of security. He was fiddling on his laptop when we took the exit and headed through city streets to the casino. I was texting Sis, who was about 30 minutes behind us. Telling her we were about to go past her college.


A-Cad tilted sideways! I was up in the air. Then I slammed back down, collapsing my neck into my shoulders. My right knee felt like it had been turned inside out. For an instant, I thought A-Cad was going to drive along on two wheels like a stunt car launching off a ramp. 

"That's on me." Said Hick. "Now there you go with the tears. I don't know why you have to be so dramatic about everything. You're ruining everybody's trip."

Well. Excuuuuuse me! It wasn't Hick's knee that had been turned inside out. Sorry that I don't travel while on a morphine drip!

No need to blame ME for driving up on a curb that extended from a sidwalk. All the other cars seemed to have avoided it. In fact, Hick and A-Cad have avoided it on all other trips to this casino. So pardon me for my body's response to joint trauma.

Good thing I had my cane with me. It took twice as long to get out of the car and into the door of the casino. I'm surprised Hick didn't miraculously cure his own back issue with that daredevil stunt.

By the time we started home at 3:30, two acetaminophen had calmed my jointly nerve endings. I was hoping there was no such curb sticking out on the side of the road back to the highway. Again, I was texting Sis. They had taken an alternate route, and were going in Krispy Kreme for some Valentine donuts. When I looked up, a fine mist had started. 

As we merged onto the northbound lanes of the interstate, that mist turned to a downpour. Lucky thing Hick had discovered A-Cad's windshield wiper problem from our last casino trip was a broken motor that squirts the fluid. He'd had it fixed by Mick the Mechanic a few days earlier. So we had working windshield wipers. Which are absolutely no help, no matter what the speed, in a heavy downpour on a highway with spray kicked up by truck tires.

It wasn't only the semi trucks, but the regular pickup trucks that passed us or that we followed around the semis. After about 10 miles of this, my nerves were ready to snap.

"I can't see a thing! You need to back off this truck. And you need to stop passing them! You know that they're going to pass you again. Back and forth! Just back off and get out of this bunch of trucks!"

"You cain't get away from trucks, Val. This is the highway."

"You can too! I did it all the time when I drove on the highway. I've ridden with Pony, and we backed off. Then that group of trucks gets up ahead of you, and you're not in them, swapping back and forth on the uphills and downhills."

"Weren't you listening to me on the way back from Oklahoma? I counted 47 trucks in one mile, coming in the other direction!"

"Well, you have passed this ONE TRUCK 47 times! Just back off!"

Of course Hick did not heed my advice. The wind was picking up, though thankfully not yet 50 mph. That would certainly have been a nightmare while beside those semis and unable to see the road in front of us. It was not a pleasant trip. The Pony was in the back seat, "Psht, psht-ing" at us like Dog-Whisperer Cesar Milan. What works on a dog does not work on Hick!

By the time we reached our exit to get back on the twisty two-lane blacktop, the rain had mostly stopped, and the sun was out! Which was another problem entirely, because it was setting, and coming in under the sun visors. AND reflecting off the wet blacktop with a vengeance. Once again, we were blinded while trying to drive. Seeing nothing but glare, unable to tell which way the road was turning.

"I can't see a thing," said Hick. "But I'm slowing down, and listening for the wakeup bumps to tell me if I'm going off the edge."

If I was less amply-rumpused, and more knee-bendy, I would have kissed the driveway when we finally stopped in front of the garage.


  1. I was on the edge of my seat gritting my teeth the whole way with you. Aaaarrrgh!! Stop! Let me out!
    How can he be so careless and call you dramatic, then slow down on the twisty road because he can't see? He couldn't see through the downpour on the highway with all the trucks!!!

    1. If he runs up over a curb when conditions are perfect and he CAN see, imagine what could happen when he can't!!!

      All he had to do with the trucks was BACK OFF. The windshield wipers on high could at least give a waterlogged view of the road if he slowed down to about 40 mph. Or he could have taken an off ramp to wait for the rain to die down.

      The sun glare was actually blinding. No view of the road or side scenery. Just a glare. Nowhere to pull off. So he should have crept along at those areas, until we changed direction and the glare dissipated.

      If I had been paying attention in town, I could have lunged sideways as a reflex. He would have yelled at me for that, but at least we would probably have avoided hitting the curb and tilting onto two wheels!

  2. Why do men think you should accelerate in a storm? HeWho assures me that we will get out of the storm SOONER! We might be injured or one of us might die, but we will win first place in outrunning the storm. I have to admit that he has become more cautious after towing some stupid people who did stunts like his!

    1. I have no explanation for the way Hick drives! Or why he won't increase the speed of the windshield wipers. He always lets the windshield get completely covered before the swipe, no matter how hard or soft it's raining.