By DARREN HANDSCHUH
What part of hit the brakes don't you understand?
It was a simple request, or at least I thought it was.
We were careening down a hill on a GT Snowracer and as we neared light speed I had but one request: Hit the brakes.
Somehow the suggestion of applying the life-saving braking mechanism before our imminent vapourization seemed a little too complex for the person guiding the craft that was blazing down the snow-covered hill so fast the ice was melting from the friction of the tracks as they screamed over the landscape.
Three little words: Hit the brakes.
In the 12 inches between my head and his ears the request of “Hit the brakes” translated into, “Turn left really hard.”
Hmmm, I am not sure how those collection of words were so transformed, but they were and instead of jamming on the brakes and coming to a leisurely stop, the dude at the controls went with plan B and cranked the steering mechanism hard left.
Bad idea. You see, on the left was a rather imposing wall of snow, a very hard imposing wall of snow.
As the craft turned left, I realized there had been a serious breakdown in communication. My mind raced as the scenario unfolded before me.
Here I was, out for an evening of fun, and my life was about to end in a jumble of mush as we hit the wall and burst into a bright ball of fire, pain and death.
A scene from Star Wars flashed through my mind, the one where the Rebel X-Wing hits the Death Star and explodes in a shower of spark and flame.
I had a feeling we were about to do that without the benefits of special effects. It's funny how time slows in a situation like that.
Seconds seem like minutes and as our impending destruction from the white wall of disaster loomed, several thoughts echoed through my somewhat hapless cranium.
Thoughts like: Why are we turning left when I said stop? Why did I let this bozo drive? If I survive the crash, I wonder if I can hide his body in the woods and claim the accident did him in?
Because I was in back, I had already determined I was going to use my 'friend' as a personal airbag. The idea was to place him between myself and harm's way.
That seemed fair considering it was his lack of ability to follow a simple request that was leading us to our untimely demise.
Besides, he would want to sacrifice himself for me, and I wanted to let him.
OK, I had a plan. I would sacrifice my buddy to save my own skin. Hey, it works for me.
The problem was, the laws of physics obviously did not get my memo on the whole use-my-buddy-as-a-human-cushion plan and when we hit the wall things went kind of wonky.
Or at least, I assume they did.
I remember seeing the Everest-sized mound of snow before there was a bright light – where I am pretty sure I saw Elvis.
The bright light was followed by a lot of tumbling, rolling and eventually blacking out.
There are a few minutes after the crash I have no memory of and my shoulder was in a considerable amount of pain.
The aftermath may have been fuzzy, but the cause was not and I looked for my friend – or the Mr. Left Turn as I had started calling him.
While I suffered an injured shoulder, he seemed to have emerged unscathed, and his quick reaction time, once I regained conciousness, ensured he stayed that way.
We eventually made our way back to the house, where our friends finally realized that we had been missing for the past 10 minutes.
With friends like these, who needs enemies.