Gonna Hitch a Pride

Photo by Tom B. Taker

Pride and Guruness. Not exactly a common title found in your average library. “Pride” and “Guru” (of negativity) are not exactly words that go together. In fact, you might even say they are a contradiction in terms. They’re a toxic-moron.

Yet, the other day, I found myself knee-deep in the moment, that moment, and I’m proud to say I delivered. That is to say, I’m proud to say that I’m feeling a sense of pride.

Gonna hitch a ride
Head for the other side
Leave it all behind
Never change my mind
Gonna sail away
Sun lights another day
Freedom on my mind
Carry me away for the last time
Oh yeah

When that moment comes around, you had best be prepared. It never comes twice. Either you got the stuff and react on instinct or you don’t and you rue the day for a long, long time.

This is the story of how I came through! And we’re bringing along one of the seven deadlies for added fun.

You ever dance with the devil in the … ah, fuck it. It’s go time!

Recently my wife and I took a little one-day road trip. My wife’s shoulder is in a sling (always a tricky maneuver) so I did the driving. For comparison think of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and subsequent journey through Hell. (Soon to be a major motion picture.)

Our journey took us on a gut-wrenching route through the mountains. It’s chock full of hairpin turns, precipice cliffs inches away and rocks slides at the ready. It’s a journey we make often and one on which we’ve had many wild adventures. (Remember that stormy night we almost lived? Perhaps that’s a tale we’ll share someday.)

There’s nothing quite like a drive through the countryside to calm a guru’s nerves. It generally involves vehicles climbing up my ass for the duration.

Don’t get me wrong. I decidedly do not drive slow. My passengers typically are imploring me to slow down lest they hurl their Wheaties. Yet there are all sorts of vehicles that want to blow me off the road. VW bugs, gigantor RVs, golf carts, mobility devices, and semis with tankers hauling liquid nitrogen. It’s like they are all being operated by James Bond himself trying to impress and sleep with his psychiatrist, naturally, evaluating his driving skills.

Then the moment came. We were just entering a particularly tight hairpin curve. That means opposing traffic was just coming out of it. Suddenly a tractor-trailer loomed into view. It was really moving. And it was about five feet over the center line. It was five feet over in my lane.


Two things happened in the blink of an eye. First, my catlike guru reflexes gently nudged us to the right and out of the way, deftly avoiding an oversteer that would have surely sent us over the cliff to our right and down hundreds of feet to the river at the bottom of a rocky canyon.

Who says a guru can’t multitask? As I steered us to safety my left hand shot up like a bullet. One finger was extended in the proper salute. And I did it fast enough that there could be no mistake. I had just told that motherfucker what was what and then some.

The driver of that out-of-control rig got to see my gesture all the way out of that curve.

Later, I realized what I had done. Most of the time I look back with regret and think demoralizing thoughts about what-could-have-beens and how I had failed to perform. That’s what I’m used to. But not this time. This time I responded properly.

And I feel proud about that. I did it! I achieved the dream!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjpHHp0pRk0]

7 responses

  1. I’ve ridden and driven a lot of miles lately, so I’ve been cheek to jowl with a lot of semi-trucks, but none so close as your close encounter. I did see a semi-truck try to run a car off the road when that car rushed to push ahead of that truck when the road narrowed to one lane. Well, I exaggerate. The truck just swerved briefly over about five feet to give the little car a scare for being rude, and you could almost hear the driver scream I’m not saying you were the rude one in your tête à tête with a big truck. I’m so grateful you lived to tell the tale.

    I also saw a semi-truck on its side with a full load of hay. It looked as if it just flopped over. It was on an on-ramp and probably took the curve too quickly. We saw the driver sitting in the grass while someone held an umbrella over his head and a couple of cop cars parked there.

    For a treat, check out the world’s largest truck stop. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iowa_80


    1. I love driving. I used to be a professional. Little known guru fact: I drove 18-wheelers.

      I guess you could say flipping the bird was rude. But other than that I didn’t do anything wrong. The truck was going amazingly fast for such a curvy road. It literally amazed me. He wasn’t able to maintain his lane, the friggin’ asshole. I really am proud of the fact that I reacted quickly enough so he knew what I thought.

      I’ve seen lots of single vehicle accidents involving trucks. In my experience SVAs are usually the result of driver error unless there was mechanical failure or an act of god or something.

      That truck stop is crazy huge. I hope someday to drive coast-to-coast. If I do, I’ll plan the route to swing by that place. And the big ball of string. I’m sure the truckers appreciate taking a break from the open highway to come inside and take a gander at the trucks. That’s like me taking a break from work to go swim in a barrel of shit, but that’s another story.


  2. Are you having trouble with your email?


    1. I’ll send you a test.


  3. Wow! You finally had an Olympic movement…sorry. MOMENT!


    1. My motto is, “Never win the gold.” No one wants to hear the national anthem of the Abyss.


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