My commute into work can be many things on a daily basis: aggravating, frustrating, time consuming, adventuresome, comical…wait – did I just say comical? Yep, that’s right, my commute can now be classified as comical, folks. I would say on average that there is nothing humorous or slightly amusing about traveling 47 miles one way in jammed up traffic so that it takes me 1-1/2 hours to get into work sometimes. However, once you hear what happened…
After going through Bountiful and getting past North Salt Lake, I am finally able to free up my speed a bit on I-15 and put the pedal to the metal to get into work. You have to understand and sympathize here: being stuck going 20-30 mph for nearly 35 minutes on the freeway would drive anyone insane, and having the freedom to suddenly break loose and go 80 is fabulous.
So there I was, zipping down south at my usual 80 mph clip, enjoying the amazingly beautiful morning that was unfolding. The sky was a porcelain blue, spotted with cottonball clouds with the sun melting across the valley floor. I turned up my radio and started to sing to The Black Crowes.
“Pretty little thing let me light your candle ’cause mama I’m sure hot to handle now…”
I was just starting to cruise under the Spaghetti Bowl as the chorus came along again when out of the corner of my eye, I see this black object drop from under the overpass and start swooping towards my car.
Now, I don’t think that all animals are dumb, I like to think that some of them have intelligence, that they can process “thoughts” if you will. In fact, I firmly believe that squirrels dare each other on a daily basis. You know when you see a squirrel dart across the road right in front of a car? I think he was dared to do it by his other squirrel buddies and that if he gets to the other side, they all high-five him and say, “Yeah! Rocky’s in the club!” Anyway, back to my story.
It’s a strange thing when you know something awful and terribly funny is going to happen all at once. Time slows down. Your breath stills. You can hear your heart pound in your ears. Just as I was going under the overpass, this bird, this flying beasty that was rather large, dropped down to cross in front of my car – going 80 mph – on the freeway.
As I was leaning forward over my steering wheel, watching Pigeon Pete drop down and start to soar in front of my car, it was like everything went sooooo slow. He gets close to my car, realizes that he’s not going to make it, and he starts to back peddle with his wings as I stare back at his beady eyes growing larger and larger and I could just tell that he was thinking “What the…SON OF A @%&*#!!” Whack!!
This is me: “…light your candle ’cause I’m sure…hot…to…handl – AAAAAAAGGGGGHHHH!!!!” Unfortunately, when you are going at high speeds, it is NOT a good idea to slam on your brakes to check and see if a little bird who just crashed into your windshield is going to MAKE IT. The sad – and tragically comical – thing was after he hit my car, I watched in my rearview mirror as he went flying over my car and landed on the windshield of some meaty guy in a big pickup who FREAKED out and dang near crashed his truck into the barriers. In my mind, I hear him screaming like a little girl… 🙂
I don’t know if I’ll ever have another commute like THAT one again.