Friday, March 27, 2009

Full Body Shudder

We are all aware of the full body shudder. One second, you're perfectly fine, the next second, your body is consumed by an often-unexplained spasm, like a shiver, except it's not because of the room temperature.

Sometimes, the explanation is, "Someone just walked over your grave," indicating somewhere in the future, when you're dead and buried, someone walked over your grave, disturbing your ghost. Sometimes, perhaps in the case of guys like this, the full body shudder is a result of waking up next to a woman, only to discover the prosthetic hook, eyepatch, and burn scars (which you ignored the night before) are joined with a unibrow, female mustache, and a VERY recent tattoo....OF YOUR NAME. That would make most hung-over men get the full body shudder.

In my case, I get the shudder occasionally (and not just when watching America's Funniest Videos in the Marathon of Male Genital Injuries montage). But, most often, when I just got away with doing something stupid.

Take today, for example. I was leaving the Chick-Fil-A (after getting a delicious chicken biscuit), and had to make a right turn onto the highway. Unfortunately, about 100 yards to the right was the intersection where I had to turn left to go to my office. It's a very busy road. And it's pouring rain. I have to cross the right turn lane which begins at this driveway I was in (where you have to turn right at the light), 3 lanes of traffic, and then enter the left turn lane.

So, basically, I'm playing a car.

Unfortunately, traffic was not cooperating. Cars were staggered. No car in the right lane, but a car in the middle lanes, so I can't pull onto the road, because I can't move over. I sat there for a minute, trying to figure out if my V6 engine can get me across a gap. And then I saw it. An opening in each lane, but they were offset. I first gunned it into the right lane, allowed a car to pass, then swung left, allowed another car to pass, and then cut across two lanes into the turn lane which I needed to be in, all in a space smaller than a football pitch.

And it was then I realized how unbelievably stupid it was to do such a thing, on a rainy day, in the Atlanta area where people are often on a phone and eating breakfast at the same time and might not see me. And since this is a city addicted to Hummers, large pickups, SUV's, etc, car accidents are often painful lessons in physics.

So there I sat, in the left lane, waiting for my turn to turn, when the full body shudder overtook me. Fortunately, the Chick-Fil-A coffee helped to calm my nerves.


  1. I did have a full body shudder after waking up naked next to my brother in the back of his ute after the Gundy B & S once. I'm sure nothing happened!

    I'm glad that you managed your dodgem car stunt with so much aplomb - and without spilling your coffee.

  2. I never spill coffee or beer.

  3. I bow to your skill.

    I'd have been really pissed off if you became roadkill, so watch yo-self.

  4. you need to get laid. you're posts are all about traffic and driving..

    c'mon steve..

  5. Well, I have more experience with traffic and driving.

    Luna, thanks....I'm like a commuting version of Michael Schumacher.

  6. I was certain that the link was going to lead to the dude that got cut up by his one night stand.

  7. Given that I’m currently heavily into playing a console game, I must mention how you can soak up the game-playing mentality. On at least one occasion while riding a motorbike at speed I nearly came a cropper, but got through by the skin of my teeth, thinking “Thank God I got that right, or I’d have had to revert to my last saved game.”

    I should stress that this mentality didn’t make me take extra risks, just that it produced that automatic mental reaction. I’d hate anyone to think I was an irresponsible rider.

  8. This would explain then why, when following a blue-hair in the left lane going well under the speed limit, I'm constantly pressing the button on my shifter, trying to fire machine guns or launch missiles. You can tell I spent most of my free money as a kid playing Spy Hunter.

    Sometimes, at night, I can hear the Peter Gunn theme.

  9. Gundy B&S ball... think I just got that full body shudder thing.

    And since Schuey is probably as well known for ploughing through and into people as for winning stuff, you sure you want to make that comparison?

  10. The best bumper sticker ever

    "I made her back arch,
    As I shot my starch,
    At the Gundy
    B & S Ball!"

    FTW x a billion!

  11. That man should've been honored to have been run over by Michael Schumacher. That would be like going into the Octogon with Jesus Christ. You'll get your ass kicked, and enjoy every minute of it.