Thursday, May 24, 2007

Drivers' re-education

It was an exciting evening yesterday in the garage of the 19 Minutes World Media Headquarters, as we got our driving privileges back after six weeks, in which the closest we'd come to driving was changing the CD (currently playing: "The Backyardigans - Groove to the Music"). They were never - technically - revoked, but we figured there are enough naturally bad drivers in the greater Milwaukee area that there didn't need to be a percocet-fueled, artificially bad driver on the roads, too. Not this one, anyway. But we're down to just trace amounts of the painkiller in our system, and so we elected not to take advantage of my wife, who has been the official 19 Minutes chauffeur for the past six weeks, for last night's drive across town.

We're a little ashamed to admit that it was a bit intimidating, partly because we're not yet used to the feel of driving in boxers and we were a tad worried that it might be, er, distracting. (I'm sorry, officer. No, I don't know how fast I was going. I was, uh, making an adjustment.) More to the point (so to speak), or, to be brief, everything - since the surgery - has seemed faster and louder. Or maybe we've felt slower and quieter. Probably both. Like we're listening to a Chipmunks single at 33 r.p.m. , and it takes a minute to realize that something's different.

[Note to young readers: that's a reference to records, which were the things that came before eight-track tapes, which were the things that came before cassettes, which were the things that came before CDs, which were the things that came before you started getting all your music for free from Dave, down the hall. Nowadays, your best hope for seeing records is to go to a 1950s-themed restaurant and look for circular wax things hanging from the ceiling. Or, check out a cabinet in the house I grew up in and look for a thin black object with a label reading, "'Convoy', by C.W. McCall". ]

And throw us onto an interstate, and everything seems really fast. More than a few times in the past six weeks, we've ridden along in the passenger seat and had to close our eyes for the onramp from Highway 41. We considered trying that yesterday, but the ramp was still metered at that hour, and we were even more concerned about that potential conversation with the arresting officer than the boxers one.

So we set out, with our eyes open and our boxers on, across southeastern Wisconsin. We've written about what's wrong with Milwaukee-area drivers in the past, namely that they're aspiring to be as bad as Chicago-area drivers, plus they're holding a bratwurst in one hand, a cigarette in the other, all the while dialing a cell phone and apparently trying read the serial number on the bumper of the car in front of them.

Fortunately for the sake of future driving adventures, but unfortunately for the purposes of this blog, nothing especially interesting transpired on the highways of southeast Wisconsin last night. We made it there and back with our car intact, and no need for new boxers when we got home.


Anonymous said...

Guess I forgot to tell you about what happened to "Convoy" while I was cleaning....

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