Saturday, December 15, 2007

Phat Jam Car Slam

When I was 16 I nearly got in collisions on a daily basis. Zeke was often in the car with me during these frightening experiences and would give subtle warnings such as “pole,” “car,” or in one case, “big black guy.”

I was giving Zeke and Big Easy a ride home after school one afternoon. We met in the lobby where I told them I had "phat jams" we could listen to – I got the new CDs of Jay-Z, Eminem and Dr. Dre. We couldn’t have been more stoked to cruise through the mean streets of Northern Virginia with the windows down and the stock stereo system rocking.

Dr. Dre's The Chronic 2001 album coverShortly after exiting the school parking lot, I turned left onto Liberia Avenue and accelerated to 50 mph as sounds of Dr. Dre’s Chronic 2001 filled the warm air. Once my car climbed over the hill and began its descent, I saw that the light up ahead was red and there was a long line of cars. I was given no warning and there really wasn’t much room to stop. I was also going 15 over the limit. I slammed on my brakes as hard as I possibly could and came to a complete stop no more than 2 centimeters behind the Honda Accord in front of me.

Two seconds later we heard a loud screeching sound. I looked at my rear-view mirror and saw the car behind me rocking from side to side, and the driver horrified. “Oh man, that’s RightStuff!” Big Easy exclaimed.

Our friend, RightStuff, had just turned 16 and was driving by herself for one of the first times. She made a soft stop the correct distance behind me and then got slammed by the car behind her. Then, a Ford Ranger collided into the second car, creating a three car fender bender. As the light turned green I asked Zeke and Big Easy, “Should I go?” Before anyone responded I gunned the accelerator and left the scene of the accident.

The three of us blamed the crash on me and my incredibly hard stop. We also found weeks worth of humor in RightStuff’s facial expression after getting hit, as well as the fact that she got in an accident on one of her first days driving and through no fault of her own.

The following school year I wrote a story about the incident in my Honors English class. The story’s focus was on the priceless entertainment Zeke, Big Easy and I gained at the expense of RightStuff. The day we had peer editing I happened to be absent for cancer tests, and RightStuff happened to edit my story. I wish I was there to see the look on her face.

A few months after the collision, an electronic sign was installed on the hill on Liberia Avenue which warns drivers when the upcoming light is red. I can’t describe the pride I feel, knowing that I was part of the incident which led to what was surely a costly project. You’re welcome, Virginia Department of Transportation.


Anonymous said...

I remember you telling me that story. =) And what a coincidence! I just bought the Marshal Mathers LP on iTunes. haha

Anonymous said...

HA! At least you told it the right way! I was worried that you were going to say that I slammed into you and not mention the asshole behind me. (Who was behind me?) BTW, that was my mom's brand new car that she let me drive for the first time. I don't remember if it was the first time that I drove to school, though. It quite possibly could have been. Haha...