I Almost Died Vol. 1

Lately Dana and I have been experience some really insane traffic incidents where people bust a u-turn right in front of us from a dead stop and almost kill us or we get cut off in traffic, more so than the usual nightmare that is Seattle traffic.  That gave me the idea to tell you all about a few times that I almost died on the road.  So here we go, buckle up!  (Pun absolutely intended)

One of my first jobs was as a sandwich artist at Schlotsky’s Deli in Southaven, MS.  I’ve got stories about that place that I should probably share before I forget but now is not the time.  I was 16 years old, and most of my friends worked at Domino’s in Hernando, MS which was about 15-20 down the interstate.  I was a young driver and my parents didn’t want me to drive on the interstate, especially when it was raining.  However, on this night the North Mississippi All-Stars were playing a show at the square in Hernando and all my friends were planning on being there, so I told them I’d meet them after I got off work.
Work ran late, so I hopped onto the I-55 south to get down there in time for the last half of the show.  It had started to rain right before I got off work; but it wasn’t a bad storm so I figured it wouldn’t be a huge deal.  Boy was I wrong.

I was listening to Speakerboxx by Big Boi and cruising down the interstate.  I was going below the speed limit, being cautious, and jamming out because that’s a pretty sweet album.  There was a grandma in a grandma type of car, driving like a grandma in front of me.  Seriously going 40 on the interstate!  So I decide to pass her on the left.  I never used to believed it when people told me that the roads are always slicker when it’s barely raining because the oil in the asphalt comes to the surface or something along those lines, but I absolutely do now.  I get over into the left lane, and go to pass her. This is a multi-lane interstate divided down the middle by a shallow grassy ditch of a median.  As soon as I get in the left lane and well ahead of the lady (I am going 50, the speed limit is 60 I think… Could have been 55) I hydroplane for the first time in my life.  When your car hyrdoplanes a they tell you not to turn the wheel or hit the breaks just take your foot off the gas and stay straight.  The thing is, I did none of that…  I hit the brakes, and try to get out of the hydroplane which puts in a full horizontal spin.

So I am now spinning clock-wise to the right about to head off the road. When your car is spinning, they tell you to turn into the spin, don’t hit the brakes.  The thing is, I did none of that.  I once again press on my brakes and turn the steering wheel to the left.  This somehow caused me to start spinning in the opposite direction, so I am now heading left in a spin.  My car spins into the grassy median, and I look up and all I can see is headlights of oncoming traffic
a little light reading…

I wasn’t quite into the lane of oncoming traffic, just at the top of the other side of the median.  My car immediately (miraculously) shuts off and roll backwards down to the bottom of the median.  I had such a tight grip on that purple ’97 Dodge Intrepid’s steering wheel that I remember my hands hurting afterwards.  I tried turning the key again to get it start a few times, no dice.  I also don’t know anything about how a car works so I am screwed.  Luckily I lived in Mississippi where you can throw a rock and hit someone who knows how to rebuild a transmission in their garage or reads “How Small Engines Work” for fun in high school (I’m looking at you Joey Treadway).  There was an angel of a man who pulled his big ole pick up truck to the side of the road.  He yells out at me, “ARE YOU OK?” I yell back at him that I’m alright, but I can’t get my car to start.  The next part is a blur, but we end up getting my car started somehow.  I turn the car off and put the car in neutral.  I get out and he helps me push it to the top of the median.  He says, “Alright son, when I say GO you smash the gas and get on home now ya hear?”  So I say yes sir,  he waits for traffic to clear and yells out GO so I hit the gas like he told me to.  I scoot on down the interstate; I get off at the next exit and take the back roads all the way home, driving like a grandma the whole way.

I missed the show, and got home in one piece.  Also, this might be the first time you’re hearing about this mom and dad, and so sorry I didn’t tell you, I didn’t want to lose car privileges, and ultimately everything worked out just fine, so no need to worry you!Strangely enough I remember never being able to find that CD ever again.  Which I guess if you were going to lose something in a traffic incident like that, that’s probably the best case scenario.

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