Namo amitabha Buddhaya, y'all.
This here's a religious establishment. Act respectable.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ferret Sitting and the Collision that Wasn't

I forget how I got talked into this, but some friends of ours are out of town and I've been drafted into ferret sitting. And lizard and cat sitting, but, primarily, ferret sitting. No, that's not really them in the picture. I've been trying to get a shot of them with my cell phone for the last twenty minutes and the little darlings won't hold still long enough. (Well, okay, to be totally honest I've got dozens of shots of them--of their backs as they run away, blurry images of something that looks like a fuzzy worm, a floor panel, half of a guitar--the list goes on.)

Apparently, ferrets have to be let out of their enclosures to run around for about an hour a day or they go stark staring raving mad. I can understand this. One of these two is exhibiting symptoms already, unless those impressive leaps and whirls were actually the chasing of her own tail (and I think they might have been). The other one's been in and out of my backpack several times, and tried to abscond with an empty water bottle on one of the trips. If we could bottle the energy these guys have, we could probably free the nation from OPEC. Seriously, I get tired just watching them.

Changing subjects at right-angle turns: I dunno how many of you watch American Horror Story, but if you don't, you're missing one of the best shows on TV. All the same, one of the conceits of this show has to do with this haunted house being the hub of evil, or one of the hubs of evil, anyway. If you die there you get stuck there, and can't leave the house except on Halloween (don't ask me why they would make an exception for Halloween; I don't write the silly thing). Another one of the conceits is that being dead isn't all that different from being alive. In fact, you might die and miss it completely. Spoiler alert! Violet, the fourteen-or-so-year-old daughter of the family that's unfortunate enough to be living in the house, accidentally killed herself and didn't figure it out for weeks. And it's terribly unfortunate that I'm such a fan of this show, because today I wasn't in a terrible car wreck.

Or was I?

This is what happened. I was coming back to the office from a doctor's appointment. The traffic on the freeway was moving at a pretty good clip; then suddenly it came to a halt, as traffic will do. All the cars in my lane slammed on their brakes. Including yours truly. But I slammed mine on a little too hard, and it had been raining and the road was slick and I went into a skid.

The whole time my brain was yelling at my leg to forgodsake let up on the brake pedal and pump it (my car not having antilock brakes), and the whole time my leg was having none of it. It was pushing the brake pedal all the way to the floor and to heck with what anybody else was doing. I slid down the lane and to the left and right into the guy in front of me. I heard the screech of brakes behind me and was pretty sure the guy behind me was going to crunch me like a bug. There was no way I could possibly avoid slamming into the guy in front of me, and I was going to hit him pretty hard, so I did what I always do in a dire situation. I closed my eyes.

Nothing happened.

After the two crashes should have taken place, I opened my eyes again. Nothing. The guy in front of me was still in front of me, a foot or two ahead. The guy behind me had stopped behind me and a little to the right. And I? I was still sliding, but I hadn't hit anything. And I finally got my leg to unlock so I could pump the brakes and crank the wheel and regain control of the car.

A second or two ticked by. The screeching of brakes gradually stopped. Everybody just sat there for a second. Then, as if we'd all caught our collective breath, we slowly started to pull forward again.

So I drove back to work. Parked the car. Went up in the elevator. Greeted the receptionist, to make sure people could see me. (She could.) Called Joan to make sure people could still hear me. (She could.) So apparently, I am not dead and this is not American Horror Story. But, on the other hand, here I am in a strange room in a strange house, watching two pint-sized weasels roll around on the floor and typing this. That's not exactly normal, you know. And I don't know how in the hell I didn't hit that guy in front of me. Even if the guy behind me managed not to hit me, I should have plowed into that guy ahead. His grey minivan should be a mangled heap of metal in an insurance-company scrapyard right about now.

(Says the litigation paralegal.)

Well, anyway, I ate a sandwich from Afrah a little bit ago, so I'll take that as one more sign that I'm still breathing. But seriously, if I get to my OA meeting tonight and nobody can see me, I might just freak right the hell out.

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