Tuesday, January 14, 2014

God Bless You, Mr. Minivan

“You will last a lot longer, if you don't try to sing.” 
― Kurt VonnegutGod Bless You, Mr. Rosewater

The roads were slick yesterday with the Northeast snow.  Undeterred I went shopping anyway, songs blasting and heavily clothed in my minivan retreat.

The ride went smoothly, predictably and the stores not crowded.

It was the drive home that was a source of anxiety then relief.

Route 695 is my Circle of Willis, providing a major artery to all things Baltimore. 

Want to go to IKEA for high styled yet temporary furniture?  695 to 43.
Want to go to a horse show in Finksburg?  695 to 795.
Want to go to DC?  695 to 95 to 495 past the looming Mormon Temple that still gives me the heebie-jeebies.

God Bless you Mr. Minivan.

I have had more expensive cars in my home.  Ones with pimp-inspired rims.  Ones with not only heated seats but air-conditioned ones as well.  Ones with back massagers, laser speed control, and rear-view signal turns. I have even thought in a more fecund phase of getting a Tesla, which provides the practicality of an electric engine, amazing style and  (I admit) relief of a good old-fashioned middle-aged crisis.

But God bless you Minivan.

I saw the minivan on the right.  Same model as mine but a different color. Overturned but not damaged below the slope of the mildly elevated highway.  I could easily see how the accident occurred.  Someone probably wasn’t paying attention, lulled by singing along with Steely Dan at the top of his or her lungs or playing with the connected iPhone for a new playlist on iTunes.  Or perhaps reading a short text from home asking me what is for dinner.  Not paying the upmost of attention, they swerved to avoid the car in front, not fully realizing the slick conditions, veering off onto the shoulder, unguarded by rails.  Easy Peasy.  Simple, but costly in emotion, car repairs and future insurance premiums.

By the time I had approached, the vehicle was righted and emergency personnel clearing the shoulder.

The clinician inside of me always listens and waits for ambulances in accidents like these.  You can subtly tell the extent of injury by their rush to the scene.  No ambulance heard, then the crash victims walked away.   Hurried rush, there is usual serious life threatening injury.  An ambulance in view but no sirens, then the unfortunate has succumbed to the injuries. 

There was no ambulance called for this accident.  The passengers were safe and sound and standing, albeit distressed, by the side of the road.

No need for ambulances here. 

No need for further rubbernecking either.

Nothing to see.  Nothing to see.  Move along. Move along.

God Bless you Mr. Minivan.

I thank God sometimes for my practicality. Despite my often-perilous driving habits, it’s nice to know I have a safety net.

But it also has a DVD player that I admit I have never watched and a moon roof I have never opened. 

And that iPhone connector.

Options. Options.

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