Gainesville Ramblings

This is a blog, and thus it barely qualifies as writing, let alone formal writing, so I'd not let it bother you.

Monday, January 15, 2007


Fear is the power of the brain to extrapolate. It is that organ's ability to look forward the next few hours and decide that you stand a good chance of death. The brain then shoots anxiety and worry throughout your body, in an effort to stop you from whatever your doing. Fear is what I experienced on Saturday night.

I've gotten into a car when I shouldn't have before. Whether it was because the person driving was a bad driver, talking way too much on the phone, tailgated other cars (I'm looking at you Amos), or were a little worse for wear due to alcohol or lack of sleep (or both), after we've safely gotten to our destination, I think to myself, "Let's not do that again." But in none of the above incidents did I ever actively feel that there was a better than 50% chance that I was going to die. Saturday, my chances were probably somewhere in the realm of 80.

Some friends were visiting this past weekend, and since I hadn't seen them in a while, I decided to hang out with them. I met up with these friends at a party in the Estates (which I guess is what the Exchange is called now). There was Shannon, an ex-girlfriend who I'm still on good terms with (one of the few) and who is about to become a cop, which I find hilariously awesome for some reason. Her friend Cynthia was along, who is also a cool person. There, I met Cynthia's boyfriend, whose name escapes me at the moment. Her boyfriend introduced me to Nicole, his cousin. She was good looking, and very outgoing. Also, she apparently loved to drink. Every time I turned around, she was downing another shot.

I talked the group into going to Gator City, as there was no cover, and all my friends were there. So we left. Nicole drove Cyn and her boyfriend, while I drove Shannon. Nicole's drink count at this point was probably around 4. We drive, Shannon and I hang out in the parking lot for a while while Nicole drives downtown to drop a friend off. We go in.

We're there just about long enough for me and Shannon to finish a beer and say hi to everyone before Shannon gets a call saying that the rest of her group is going to a party in Cabana Beach. I'm disappointed, but I leave. We meet up with the rest of the group, and head to Nicole's car. Its not until I get into her car that I ask myself, "Why am I in this car?" The only explanation I have is that I'm tired and distracted by talking to Shannon and Cyn. But by the time I'm buckled in, Nicole has already taken a shot straight out of a vodka bottle and a chug of a Bud Light which someone had brought into the car. Then we took off.

I'm not sure what initially started my danger sense tingling, but it may have been comments like "Its OK, I drive wasted almost everyday." Or maybe its the fact that she was about two feet away from the car in front of us, and I was riding shotgun. Whatever it was, I was holding on the "OH JESUS" handle with a grip capable of squeezing coal into a diamond and pumping the air brake like the imaginary pedal might actually stop the car.

Nicole noticed, in between the phone calls she was making (yes, she was on her cell phone too). She started telling me to calm down. "Are you freaking out? I'm a very good driver!" she yelled. I assured her I was fine, as my clawing at the arm rest increased to a frantic pace. At this point, a plan emerged in my head. I mentioned that my car was back on campus and asked if Nicole would be driving us back. "Oh, no that's probably not a good idea. I mean, I can barely drive now! I won't be able to after the party we're going to." So she turned onto a side street (one that she only saw at the last second and was forced to swerve onto) and took me back to campus.

On the way over, Nicole really starting annoying me with her yelling at me not to be scared. She started stroking my face saying "Oh, is Pookums scared?" I grabbed her hand, put it back on the wheel, reminding her to keep them on 10 and 2.

"Am I annoying you?" she asked.

"Of course not," I replied, while in my head the scene from 40 Year Old Virgin was going through my head where Steve Carrell is in the car with the drunk girl, going "I just want to live!"

When we make it back to campus, Nicole turns onto the street where I'm parked. As she's turning onto it, I guess she wasn't paying attention to where the road went, as she went straight instead of turning left. This left her with the car up on a curb. "Motherfucker, the road looked it went that way!" she screamed. I looked around, but I couldn't see how that was possible. It was either go left or onto the field next to the Swamp. But as we were nearly at my car, I said "This is good," and got the hell out of that car.

The trip was maybe a total distance of one mile. I aged maybe three years and stood a good chance of emptying my bowels at any moment. No offense Nicole, but if your reading this, I am never getting in the car with you again. I like living.

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At 9:10 AM, Anonymous Your Mother said...

Dear God, give me a heart attack why don't you?


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