Cruise control is one of those things I said I would never own up until I bought a truck that already had it. Once I discovered the joys of cruise control I’m not sure I could ever go back to using my feet the way I once did. Cruise control means never having to look back at the cop on the side of the road. Set it and forget it! I’m a fairly slow driver to begin with and cruise control means no matter how far I go or where I go I am going to know how fast I’m traveling at any given moment.
The downside to all of this is I have discovered more morons on the road than ever before, and we were not running short of them.
There I am, not in a hurry, really, but I decided to stretch things out a bit. The speed limit is sixty-five so I lock down at just a hair below that. I’ve got a jump drive in with nothing but Beethoven and the sun is shining and the weather is nice and it’s just a great day to be on the open road, is it not? The first distraction from this is a mosquito that has found its way into the truck somehow. It’s a wily little devil and no matter how much I open the windows or close the windows or spray the interior of the truck with napalm, I can’t seem to kill it or get rid of it. I have both windows open, the defroster going full blast, and I’m trying to flush the thing away from the dashboard with a sock I pulled out of my gym bag in the back. I can’t imagine how this looks from the side view; a man with both windows down flogging away with a sock while going down the road. But that’s the problem. I look over to my left and there is a car there. Remember, I’m locked down at sixty-four point eight nine miles per hour. So I have a couple of questions here…
One, if you were going slower than I was going how did you get beside me? If you were going faster than I was, why are you still beside me? But there this guy is, in a 90’s something Ford and he’s going down the road, side by side with me, and he doesn’t seem to realize that this is all sorts of stupid all at once. My choices look like this; I can keep holding hands with this guy until he does something about his own brain farts. I can slow down and hope he maintains speed, or I can speed up in hopes that he stays put. Right as I have decided to slow down another truck gets begin this guy and pushes him faster. Does this solve the problem? Hell, no, this makes it infinitely worse.
The Ford guy realizes there’s someone behind him and speeds up just fast enough to get about five feet in front of me before he cuts me off. I have to hit the brakes which knocks off my cruise control. I drop back one hundred yards or so to be shut of them both, figure out Ford Moron is actually doing about sixty-five, and I lock it down again.
But Ford Moron isn’t maintaining his speed at all. He’s slowing down, speeding up, slowing down, and speeding up again. I finally have enough and push it over to seventy miles an hour and try to pass him. He speeds up.
Now I have him. I push it over to about seventy-five and he creeps up to that speed just to stay up with me. I hit the brakes hard. He passes me and I can see him look at me like I’ve lost my mind. But now I’m back down to fifty-five, and he’s way ahead of me. I can ease it back up to a nice speed and still have Ford Moron up there ahead by a mile or so, right?
Oh no, that would make life way too easy. After a couple of minutes I realize that Ford Moron has dropped down to about sixty miles an hour. He’s found someone else to attach to and he’s shadowing a Chevy the same way he was irking me. The guy driving the Chevy is trying to shake him the same way I was by speeding up and slowing down, but guess what? It’s not working.
I decide to Kamikaze this thing. I’m going to crank it up to EIGHTY MILES AN HOUR and get past this guy forever. I’m going to blow past them both so terribly fast that… the mosquito attacks me, coming out of the sun so I can’t see it, and it hits me in my ear canal, like the thermal exhaust port on a Death Star. For all I know this thing is carrying Ebola, West Nile, Malaria, Marburg, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, Beri Beri, Scurvy, and toe jam. It. Ends. Here.
I pull over to the shoulder of the road and use the sock as a flail. Someone in that truck is going to die. One of us is not getting out of this alive. It’s me versus one of the most deadly pests known to humankind ever. Never has a simple white tube sock changed the course of a man’s life as it will today.
Finally, I wound the monster and it dives for the floorboard, hoping I won’t follow but the sock is without mercy. The sock now has the smell of blood, death, and the YMCA on it. The mosquito takes a direct hit and tries in vain to gain altitude. Die! Die! DIE! I wish I had a toothpick to drive through its heart.
I have to find a taxidermist to mount this thing on a board or under crystal. But life must go on, I do realize that. I head down the road again, the body of the creature slung loose into the wind for its brethren to find and to wail over. Let them be warned. Make your speed six-five, Mr Sulu! Six-five Aye!
There is a car beside me. Traveling at the same speed I am. Must. Restrain. Sock.