Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Double Dodger

Friday November 6th, 2009 - Lake Villa, IL

After the show last night I decided to at least start on the long drive home since I’d slept away most of the afternoon anyway. I knew it would be the longest drive-a-thon this week and I was prepared for it. The bad weather on the way up threw a monkey wrench into the mix and I was concerned about the way back but it cleared up and it was a perfect night.

Tom Slovinski did an excellent job both nights so that experiment was a total success. It was his first real road test and he passed without a bit of trouble. It was fun to be a part of it and hear the unbridled excitement in his voice as we went over both shows in the car on the way down. It kept me awake while driving and helped to shorten a hellacious drive.

One thing I really don’t enjoy is crossing the Mackinaw Bridge, especially at night. That thing is always extremely windy and I don’t feel safe at all. There’s always a sign warning drivers of impending winds and I’d rather not chance it. Too bad it’s the only way over.

Other than weather concerns, drunk drivers are another bane to late night drives. That’s usually when they’re out, and if there are a lot of two lane highways I’ll usually stay over even if it means taking up most of the next day. That’s one fate even I refuse to tempt. I’d much rather be late and living than rammed head on by some goober in a jacked up 4x4.

The other main issue that scares me to death is the old ‘critter hitter’ trick. I’ve bagged a lifetime supply of fresh road kills so far, and I can easily live a fine and productive life if I never again squash another living creature with my vehicle. Skunks, raccoons, opossum, it doesn’t matter. I’ve mangled them all. Deer are the worst. I’ve hit several and it’s ugly.

The average deer is rather sturdy and will most definitely annihilate any car, especially if they collide at exactly the right angle. I had Tom watch along with me as we drove and by the time we arrived in Lansing we’d seen a total of six. One really looked as if he’d go for it and Tom and I both thought we‘d blast it head on, but then it darted the other way.

That sent a blast of adrenaline through both of us, a lot stronger than any caffeine drink could have given us. That easily could have been a disaster. The last thing I’d need now is a mangled Toyota, but adding having to find a ride home from rural Michigan would turn it into an all out tilt-a-whirl of torture. Those six deer are alive, and we’re glad to hear it.

Not too far outside Lansing, I was buzzing along about 75 through a construction zone when I noticed the outline of a police vehicle. Apparently the speed limit had gone down significantly from 70 to 45 and I missed the sign. He hit his lights and chased me down.

Tom was frozen next to me but I’d been in this situation before. The officer wasn’t one of those do gooder Nazi types and calmly asked to see my registration and insurance card, which of course I didn’t have. I don’t know why, I just didn’t. He could have put us both through the ringer but instead I got off with a warning, probably because he thought my ‘I (heart) Uranus’ bumper sticker was hilarious. I dodged two major bullets tonight. Whew.

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