Car Wars

I drove to Tempe and back yesterday three times. For those of you who have no point of reference, it’s about a 25 minute drive, one-way, IF you’re not driving in some mad version of Steve Jackson’s Car Wars.

We left my house at about 11:45 for our meeting in Tempe. I had to stop and get some bread for the soup and on our way out of the parking lot, we came across our first accident of the day, which appeared to be of the configuration affectionately called a “t-bone.” For those of you not quite up on your accident lingo, that’s when one car rams straight into the side of another, thereby creating a somewhat mangled and metal-y “T”. So one car had it’s side all bashed in, and the other’s front end looked like Daffy Duck with his beak smacked down in that old Looney Tunes cartoon, where he then lisps, “Of course you know, this means war!” But this car was ready for no war — it was ready for the junk yard. We gawked a little, but quickly continued on our way.

The meeting went well and was over in about three hours. Apparently Car Wars was a day long event, because as we were headed through an intersection on our way to the freeway, there was another accident, this one apparently worse than the other. I couldn’t see well enough to figure out the details of how it happened, but one of the cars was badly mangled and surrounded by fire personnel trying to cut the driver out. As it happens, I think this accident may have involved a fatality because it was still there when we returned over 30 minutes later in search of my co-pilot’s jacket and wallet. (God was not my co-pilot, in case you’re wondering. willow_rahne was.)

In between the accidents, the reason for the car accidents became pretty clear. There seemed to be two kinds of drivers on the road yesterday — those who acted like scared rabbits, and who drove at least five miles under the speed limit, and those who acted like insane hummingbirds, darting around through traffic and going about fifty miles over the speed limit. Some hummingbirds didn’t feel the need for headlights, increasing their startle factor on any unsuspecting rabbits (or even unsuspecting normal, but incredulous, drivers like me). It was chaos, I’m telling you. Utter chaos.

I’m assuming these people were out shopping. I can’t imagine what else was going on to create such traffic all day long. I sure hope they’re all done.

Oh yeah, and there was yet a third accident to be witnessed. After Willow and I ate, we headed back down that same road in Tempe towards the freeway. As we passed ASU, we were treated to the somewhat surreal and Mad Max-ian site of an old car that had rolled several times, as evidenced by the trail of debris in the road, and come to a stop on it’s side. As we drove by, we had a nice view of the underside of a car’s anatomy.

So yeah… driving. Unbelievable. I’m just glad I didn’t have to brave any malls yesterday. Who knows what these people were doing with strollers and shopping carts!

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