Washington, D.C. drivers have an annoying habit of speeding up, then stopping. It’s like stop and go driving is their ideal mode of transportation. Owning a sports car has taught me to prefer the opposite, a smooth driving style of matching speed to traffic conditions to minimize stops and starts. As I commute every day, I try to set an example for others.
Driving to class through the snow on Inauguration Eve, I was going up a hill on Massachusetts Ave. Thanks to the drivers in front of me, I had to stop, since they were determined to maintain their bad habits in spite of the terrible road conditions. Aforementioned small sports car did not want to go again, since the road was icy and I was trying to start from a dead stop. I revved the engine and spun the wheels trying to get some momentum. Then the radiator exploded. Fountains of antifreeze and jets of steam shot out in front of my car.
After moving to the side of the road, I crawled around the back of the car with my front license plate, scraping a clear patch on the road behind each of my tires. After five minutes of bitter cold drudgery, I got back in the car and started driving back up Massachusetts Ave. After stopping once to let the car cool down, I made it to school with five minutes to spare.
After class, John and I went to Armands for food and beer. I then limped my car home, with a stop at the downtown Silver Spring Austin Grill for another beer (I had to let the car cool off).
Thursday was spent at home, while the car was in the shop, getting a new radiator. By 9:00 pm that night, I had my car back and had spent $400. Joy.
Severin called at 9:30 asking where I was (it was a hash night). Against my better judgment, I drove down to Wonderland to catch up with him and the rest of the hashers. One beer turned to two, which turned into good conversation with a pretty girl, which turned into one more beer at another bar, which turned into two beers, which turned into staying up into the wee hours talking with aforementioned pretty girl. Had I not had my car in the shop all day, I would have metroed down to the hash and would not have been able to avail myself of the good company.
Thanks to the asshole drivers in D.C., I had a wonderful evening on Thursday. And this is why I’m a stoic. We can’t control what happens to us, only how we respond.
0 thoughts on “Thank you for driving badly”
“We can’t control what happens to us, only how we respond.” Wiser words have rarely been spoken. That, my friend, is the secret of life.
Great story, i like the moral, good stuff! It reminded me of a time during an outing to buy hair dye (if i remember correctly) when we had to scrape ice from under your tires while my sister held on the brakes.
It took me a very long time to perfect DC “city driving”, which I often refer to as “stunt driving”.
Responding by drinking and talking to a pretty girl for hours? I’d say that turned out to be a pretty good response.
Well done, my friend.
Thank you all for the kind words. The hard part is to keep smiling even when things don’t turn out as well as they did in this instance. I’m still working on that one.