Monday, November 29, 2004

On the Perils of Driving the Same Road as Skeletor

Yesterday evening I made the (supposedly) four hour drive back from Las Vegas in just under six hours. My roommate (we'll call him "Joe") was riding shotgun, and we were hitting some nasty traffic that was, oddly enough, in the middle of the desert with no towns for miles around. Human beings appear to have an instinctive tendency toward hitting their brakes whenever they see another persons brake lights. It does not matter if those brake lights are coming from a car miles ahead of them, bright red means DANGER: STOP IMMEDIATELY (or risk having to slow down by five miles an hour about a half mile down the road). Now, unfortunately, there are plenty of drivers on the road who brake for no reason, virtually constantly. We did not know their names. So we gave them names of our own.

Brakey McBrakenstein was a particularly useless minivan that appeared to be frightened of paved roads. Not to say that he didn't drive on the asphalt, so much that he felt the need to mash his brakes whenever he happened to look down at the road. Naturally, I passed him at earliest opportunity and performed the "disapproving stare". I'm sure you recognize this or have done it. This is the move wherein the irritated party, while passing the irritating party, slowly turns his head, and stares at the irritating driver as he passes. I like to think that other drivers care whether or not they have my approval.

Brakey O'Silvertarp drove a filthy SUV. It probably hasn't been washed since before it was built. The layers of grime led me to believe that this vehicle, though a model surely manufactured within the last five years, may well have been a prototype constructed in the fifties. "Joe" and I could tell that he was from the clan O'Silvertarp because of the giant silver tarp wrapped around some unidentifiable bulbous mass perched on top of his car. The only reason I refrained from using my weapons grade military laser to melt Brakey O'Silvertarp into featureless slag, aside from having left my laser at home, was my curiosity as to what the tarp contained. Perhaps some mythical Mojave desert beast, slain and brought home for trophy in a Thanksgiving weekend desert massacre? Likely we will never know.

There were probably a dozen Brakeys; Brakemowski, Brakfeld, McShitstain, etc. In an odd fit of mercy, I usually elected to pass in relative peace instead of slaughtering them indiscriminately. Upon arriving home I changed my mind. To spare the world from their tyrannical braking, I flipped the switch installed in my garage that blows up the entire highway between Vegas and my house. Hopefully they learned their lesson.

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