Gut Rumbles

November 13, 2008

A car wreck

Originally PUBLISHED December 6, 2004

On the way to a backpacking trip, I was passed out taking a snooze in the back seat. We didn't leave Savannah until almost 3:00 in the morning, after I got off work playing guitar all night long. We were drinking beer and absorbing illegal smiles until we were well into South Carolina. I decided to take a power nap while Steve drove. We had a long way to go to reach the Cantrell Creek Trail in Pisgah National Forest.

I awoke from my slumber when I was bounced off the ceiling of the car and tossed head-over-heels onto the floorboard, where I rattled around amongst empty beer cans while I waited to die an ignominious death as the car went thumping and bumping down the shoulder of the road. I didn't know what the fuck was happening.

"Got-DAM!!!" shouted Cop III. "That crazy bastard HIT US!"

Sure enough. Right there in the middle of nowhere, in absolute darkness, on a long, straight South Carolina road, some idiot coming at us, the only other car we had seen for about an hour, swerved into our lane and tried to get us head-on. If Steve hadn't been alert and dodged most of the impact, we all would have been a small story in the newspaper about four people dead on the highway. It was still one hell of a lick.

"Rob! Rob!! Are you all right!??" shouted Steve, as he leaned over the driver's seat and grabbed my arm.

"I'll be okay if you'll get your fucking hands off me," I replied, crawling up from the floor. I stunk of stale beer and I felt as if I had just been bitch-slapped by Mike Tyson, but I didn't think I was hurt badly. "What the hell happened, anyway?" I asked. Steve and Cop III told me.

The other car was still in the road with the motor running. My immediate thought was, "Don't let that person get away." I got out of our car and went to check on the other driver and get the license number if nothing else.

Oh, Bejus! The "bastard" that hit us was an attractive young woman, obviously as drunk as a worm. She was sprawled in the driver's seat and mumbling, " I have fucked-up again." The reek of sour mash whiskey wafted from her like a visible vapor.

I didn't see anything obviously wrong with her, except for extreme inebriation, so I asked her, "Are you all right?" About that time, an 18-wheel truck came screaming down the road at about 90 miles an hour and gave me a blast of his air-horn as he dodged that car in his path. Bejus, again!

I reached inside the car and switched the engine off. It was an automatic transmission, so I put the shift in neutral. "C'mon, guys! Help me push this car out of the road before somebody, maybe ME, gets killed!" Steve ran to help, but Cop III went into full lawyer mode.

"I don't think we should move anything. Right now, it's her word against ours about what happened. She could be the governor's daughter for all we know. If that's the case, we're in deep shit here. I say get rid of the empty beer cans and call the police before she sobers up."

This happened in the days before cell phones. We had no way to call the police.

I saw another 18-wheeler coming down the road. I thunk a brilliant thought. I'll get HIM to stop and he can use his CB radio to call the police. I stood in the road and attempted to flag him down. The sumbitch never even slowed down, almost ran over me and left a screaming air-horn blast in his wake. Steve and I pushed the offending car out of the road after that incident.

"Rob, think about it," Steve suggested. "If you were a trucker, would YOU stop out here in this god-forsaken place after seeing US?" I had to admit that he had a point there.

Cop III got rid of all the empty beer cans, Steve made sure that the dingbat saying, "Ohhh...Nooo..." in the other car didn't die, and I went to look for a telephone. I figured that I could find a farmhouse somewhere around there, because I saw lights in the distance. I took off walking.

The first place I saw had about 100 yards of curving driveway leading to the front door. I started down the driveway, but quickly changed my mind when a dozen or so slavering dogs appeared out of nowhere to menace me physically. They barked their asses off and scared the shit out of me. I put that house on my "Do NOT visit" list and walked farther down the road.

The second one I saw still had a porchlight burning, and I wasn't attacked by packs of protective dogs when I approached. I had a game plan. I would knock on the door, stand well back under the porchlight, and tell the gentleman of the house that we needed HIM to call the police. I wasn't going to ask to go inside, use his phone or any of that shit I had been taught NEVER to allow a stranger to do. I was gonna be polite.

I knocked on the door and took two steps back. I heard heavy footfalls inside the house; then, the door opened and I was looking down the barrel of a shotgun in a sturdy farmer's unflinching hand. I realized right then that he wasn't one bit afraid of my arrival--- but he surely put the fear of Winchester into ME.

"Sir," I said, trying to act as cool and unoffensive as possible, "we've had a car wreck about two miles down the highway. I think a girl may be hurt. Could you call the police for me?"

"Don't got no phone," he replied, but he took his finger off the trigger of the shotgun. "Got a CB radio. I can probably get the Sheriff that way."

"Sir, I'd appreciate it if you would. I think that girl might need some help. Will you make that call?" I started backing off his front porch.

"Okay. I'll do her."

I walked back to the scene of the crime and told Steve and Cop III that I thought I had help on the way. Boy, did I. Within 30 minutes, half the pickup trucks in that county showed up to view the calamity. That farmer I woke from honest slumber showed up, too, after calling all his neighbors on the CB. In a procession line, they all went to the car that hit us, examined the drunken twat inside, and then moseyed over to look at OUR car, as Steve and I were busy with a lug wrench, trying to pry the left-rear quarter-panel off the tire on that side. Steve's car was kinda fucked-up from the collision.

Finally, a State Patrolman arrived on the scene about two hours later. He pulled up with lights flashing, climbed out of his unit with the quiet creak of leather and authority, and approached the offending vehicle. He took one look inside and said, "Angela, are you all right?"

Cop III said, "Jesus Christ! He KNOWS HER! We're fucked. I just KNOW we're fucked! Look around. We're in Deliverance country here! That's probably HIS goddam daughter. We're fucked."

It turned out that we weren't fucked. Angela was well-known in those parts for pulling similar stunts before. The State Patrolman actually apologized for our inconvenience after he issued several tickets to Angela, loaded her into his cruiser and called for a tow-truck on his radio to impound her car. With all the excitement over, all the pickup trucks headed back home.

By then, Steve and I had our vehicle operable again, so we headed off to finish the backpacking trip we started. We did that, too. Angela's insurance paid to get Steve's car repaired, so that story had a happy ending.

I'd have a heart attack if something like that happened to me today. Plus, I don't believe that I can walk there and back anymore as far as I did that night.

Young, dumb and full of cum. You can't beat it.

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