Thursday, August 04, 2005

Down The Highway

This piece by P.J. O'Rourke is undoubtedly the most hysterically funny thing I have ever read (warning - it's fairly dirty). I was thinking about it earlier this evening. I had just taken the long flight down to Tampa. I took the opportunity to have a few Bombay martinis on the long flight. I landed around 7:30 and I planned to pick up the rental car and head straight to the hotel.

As often happens, there was a problem with my car reservation. The agency was sold out of nearly everything. Finally the clerk said, "We have one car left, a 2005 Jaguar XK8 convertible." He flipped me the keys and within five minutes, I was heading for the highway with the top down, about to learn that everything Laura Ingraham says about Jaguars was true.

Instead of heading downtown to the hotel I went the opposite direction across the four-lane bridge toward St. Petersburg. The wind was in my hair, the sun was in my face. I crossed the seven mile bridge and turned around. Of course, unlike P.J. I didn't have a teenage lovely with me (I'm happily married), but I felt free as I headed back to Tampa.

I was cruising in the left lane of the four-lane bridge doing about 90 mph. The Allman Brothers were playing "Ramblin' Man" on the radio. Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I saw something moving fast to my right. It was a Corvette. It passed me like I was standing still. I put my foot to the floor and the Jag leaped forward the way my Oldsmobile would accelerate while stepping on the gas at about 30 mph. In seconds, I was at 120 mph and right behind the Vette. Now things got tricky as the bridge ahead was a bit more crowded with cars. The Vette and I wound our way between other drivers, who were moving at 70-80 MPH for the most part.

After about a minute I pulled alongside the Vette. The driver gave me a big smile and accelerated past me. I could have matched him, but suddenly I came to my senses and let off the gas. As P.J. suggested, I'm way too old to be acting like a complete fool.


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