We drove from Portland to Spokane taking a route that paralleled the mighty Columbia River. If you’ve never been this way you’ve missed out on some amazing and breathtaking views. It’s an incredible drive. The Columbia Gorge was carved a few years ago, maybe more, leaving geological formations that have to be seen to be believed.
Meanwhile, somewhere along the trip, there’s a nice stretch of highway that was level and straight. So I put on the cruise control. We were in no particular hurry so I set a leisurely pace. Everyone was passing us, even the RVs and the pickup trucks hauling horse trailers.
We then had a couple Cruise Control Events that boggled my mind more than the Gorge itself.
One is called the Go and Stop. In this scenario you see a car in your rear view mirror. Gradually they gain on you. Eventually they ride your bumper with about six inches clearance. Finally they reach a decision point and make their signature move.
They pass and cut me off. Again, with six inches of clearance.
And then, somehow, the unthinkable. They slow down.
I’m forced to turn off the cruise control and wonder why my Ford Pinto didn’t come equipped with rocket launchers.
Stephen Hawking himself would be unable to explain this behavior.
The second event involved a car merging on the highway in the middle of nowhere. Again my cruise control was set and I was minding my own business. I became aware that someone was merging. I became aware it was a sheriff’s patrol car.
We were two cars converging on the same spot. Closer and closer he moved towards me. I could feel his hot and sticky breath on my neck. With amazing grace he matched our speed. This must be what docking in outer space is like.
Closer. Closer. Our cars were about to kiss.
Finally, I screamed out in anger and frustration. I hit the brake and he slid smoothly in front. The moment was lost. I had to admit it was a bit anti-climactic.
Bonus: During this trip I came up with my latest invention. It’s a holographic projector for your car that creates a three dimensional image of a vehicle exactly two car lengths in front. This causes other drivers to stay the fuck out of your personal space. I anticipate this invention will make me several trillion dollars.
This post was written on an iPad. I hope you appreciate my sacrifice.