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I Almost Forgot I Almost Died

posted at 4:56 am
on Nov. 10, 2005

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So, I’m out to dinner at Houston’s (and did you know that Google Maps now integrates ChefMoz listing data?) with some friends (Jae and Karin and Susie and Lance) on a recent trip to L.A. (for friends’ wedding) and the subject comes around to calling 911, i.e., have we ever done it.

And it turns out I’ve called 911 more times than the rest of the people at the table combined.  Including once when I saw Brad Pitt being kidnapped.  But that’s not the point of the story.

The point is, Susie brought up the topic, and I suddenly remembered at that moment that I had in fact been in a near fatal collision on the freeway about four hours earlier.

I had completely, and I do mean completely, forgotten the incident despite picking Susie up about 15 minutes after it happened, and I hadn’t told anyone about it.  If the conversation hadn’t wandered to emergency situations, I would have never remembered it happening, I’m sure.

As it was, I was driving West on the 210 approaching the Lake Avenue exit, slowing down to about 40 miles per hour, when a large brown object lofted up from underneath a car ahead of me and lazily spun towards the front of my car.  I thought it was a piece of cardboard, like the flap of a large cardboard box, until it hit my windshield about four inches from the center mirror.

It made a tremendous bang, like the noise when you throw a chair against a refrigerator, and then it was gone, over the top of the car, leaving just a subtle streak against the glass.

I hadn’t tried to swerve, barely had time to hit the brakes, and was able to finish getting over into my exit lane.  From beginning to end, the event was probably about four seconds long.  I was instantly shaky.  I was supposed to pick Susie up from the Gold Line metro train, and I had mail I’d picked up from our mailbox.  So as I was waiting, I looked through the mail, and within minutes, as I calmed down, I forgot about the incident entirely.

The other people at the table are equally stunned that I was lucky enough to survive a head-on collision with a piece of wood—I’ve had other friends who have had car windows or sunroofs smashed on the freeway, and folks die that way, too, from time to time.  Makes me glad to be back in Vancouver, where I’m much more likely to die from irritation behind someone wanting to turn left on the surface streets here.



Previous entry:
Pondering Paris

Next entry:
No Service, No Problem with Telus


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