Thursday, October 13, 2011

That time I burned that house down.

I am on my way home from work. I am taking a particularly curvy back road home. It is always less traffic and rarely any police on it. I enjoy corners. There are people who buy cars that go fast and that is fine. Fine for the kind of person who thinks pushing down hard with the right foot makes for a good driver. I am a corners type of driver. I don't care how a car handles or how fast it goes. I will work with what I have and make it. a challenge. I always take the curvy road even if it takes me longer to get someplace. The hazards are always a bit greater. I am hitting a 30mph corner at almost sixty-five. I am pushing the envelope even for me. My tires are squealing at a deafening pitch. I can feel it starting to break free. My water bottle rolls off the seat and under my feet. My front left tire hits a discarded aluminum can on the road. As it crushes under the weight of the car, the tire loses it's traction. The slip causes me to slide into the oncoming lane.
I had said that there were fewer police, I did not say none. Today would be one of the few times I encounter a police car on this road. The look on his face as I am screaming across his path is priceless. I do only what I can do in this situation. I flip him the double barrel birds. A bit of good luck is that instead of hitting a curb, I skidded up a driveway and into a parking lot. The bit of bad luck being the only two ways out of the parking lot are past the cop who was currently doing a u-turn to come after me, or down a pedestrian path along an old set of railroad tracks that run along the far side of the lot. Now when I say pedestrian path, what I mean is a walking trail. Beggars can't be choosers I guess.
My car is obviously not made for driving through tall grass. It is not fast and I can see in my rear view mirror police cars do pretty well especially after someone has pushed most of the grass down for them. I turn hard left and the car rolls up over the tracks. It jerks hard and the bottom scrapes but I make it over. I am pushing grass on the other side now and am coming to a bridge. The cop stayed on the other side probably not wanting to risk the damage and everyone knows, radios are faster than cars. There will be a lot of police bearing down on me soon. I decide to drop down the embankment onto the road below. The good bot of luck is that there are no cars coming, the bad bit of luck is the retaining wall that holds half o the embankment up. I turn hard left hoping for I'm not sure what. My right wheels hit the top edge of the retaining wall and barrel rolls over the edge and somehow my car lands on it's wheels. In my rear-view mirror I can see the officer's surprised face as he is looking at me and going nose first into the pavement. His face is quickly clouded by the expanding airbag and smoke. My car does not escape unscathed. As I'm driving away it is pulling to the left and has a hard time turning right. I can hear sirens approaching. I turn right into a neighborhood and look for an alley. I hang a left into an alley with some difficulty and some interesting grinding noises. I spy an open garage and pull in. I jump out and close the garage door. I slink between the houses and peer into the front yard. A for sale sign and foreclosure notice on the window. Several police cars fly by.
I decide to play it safe. I kick in the back door and walk to the front door. I wait for the street to empty and quickly gather a bunch of the old newspapers off the front porch. I place them in the middle of the living room carpet and light them on fire. I walk to where the stove used to be and turn on the gas. When people are forced out they rarely switch off the gas. The gas company doesn't care who's name it's in if no one is using gas. My luck holds and I can smell the acrid eggy smell immediately. I close all the doors I can between the gas and the fire. I can smell the crappy carpet catching on fire already and quickly vacate. I open the garage door and listen for police cars. I don't hear any so either they are patrolling quietly or have given up. I drive my car to the end of the alley. I quickly cross into the next ally and find an empty driveway. I back in behind the garage and wait.
Twenty minutes go by before I hear the muffled thud and feel the ground shake. Within seconds I hear sirens again. Lots of them. I wait for another five and hear the fire trucks pulling up. Now is my chance. I roll out of the spot and drive slowly away from the plume of smoke. I hit the street and drive off as if nothing happened.

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