Thursday, May 19, 2011

Too Close For Comfort

My dad recently took a trip to visit me here in Minneapolis. As I played host, part of my job detail was that of driver and tour guide, shuffling around the city by car. On more than one occasion my dad stiffened his back, put his hands forward and said "look out!", right before I hit the brakes. The first time it happened I figured that he was just a little nervous, but I started to think about it more seriously after it happened again. Was his eyesight going? Does he not trust my driving? Was he developing some anxious schitzoaffective tic that only manifests itself in the car? While all of these are probable, I started to wonder if maybe, just maybe, it was me to blame. Was I actually driving too close? Am I a tailgater?

The diagnosis of a tailgater is a hard one to swallow, and I'm still in partial denial. Us tailgaters have the utmost confidence in our ability to "see the road". We can whip around cars at a moments notice, brake on a dime, and we possess a preternatural understanding of traffic patterns. I'm not a tailgater! I'm just a superior driver!

But if I am a tailgater, which I'm not completely admitting to, where did this come from? Neither of my parents are, so unless it's a recessive trait, then my DNA is not to blame. Maybe it was born out of experience: some deep psychological scar that I have repressed for years that surfaces in the form of my driving habits.

And then I remembered Arthur.

My high school summer job was at the local Chevrolet Dealership. The job that I applied for was "car transporter", and the job that I got was "lot boy". Where the prior is the dream job of a car-coveting high school male, the latter involves sweeping up the shop, taking out the trash, and cleaning the interior of leather cars that have been cooking in the midday sun. While the dealership was happy to have a minimum-wage lot boy, they knew enough to let me drive a car around once in a while to keep my spirits up. On my first transport trip I met Arthur.

Arthur had the droopy sun-beaten tough skin of a man who was once bulky with muscle. There was a large faded tattoo of an anchor on his left forearm that he made sure to display by always having his sleeves rolled all the way up. There was always a pack of smokes in his T-shirt breast pocket and he sported some sort of gold-plated orthodontic work. He never went anywhere without his NAVY ball cap that he displayed proudly, precariously placed on top of his head, two-sizes too small. His life story was an incomprehensible cluster of gambling, failed marriages, glorified "good days", and, of course, the Navy. I can still picture him now, rolling onto the lot with the company transportation van, left arm hanging out the open window proudly displaying the tattoo, gold tooth glinting in the sun.

Our paths crossed when I was sent on my first mission to drop a car off at the auction. The operation was simple enough: I would drive said car, alongside Arthur in his van down to the auction, and then we would ride back together. Not only was I allowed whip around in a car, but it also meant that for at least a couple of hours I WASN'T cleaning the bathroom. It was a win-win.

I can't remember what kind of car I drove, but I can only assume it was some POS that my boss had shined and buffed and would sell at an inflated price to some sap who gets excited at the look of his own reflection in the side panels. But as a kid without my own car, I could have been driving a rusted-out Yugo as long as the wind flew in the window and the gas pedal responded to my foot.

Before we left the lot, Arthur got out of his car and waddled up to me. "Stay close to me" he barked. And then he put his fingers up in the pinching position, showing me the distance he wanted between his rear bumper and the front of mine. "Sounds good" I said, and we set off. But stoplights and cars got in my way, and after five minutes there were two cars between us. I could see his van just fine, and when he pulled onto the freeway, I jumped right back in behind him. Order was restored. I wasn't worried.

And then be pulled over. Not in a driveway, side road, or even the breakdown lane of the freeway. He pulled over on the one-lane on-ramp. I pulled over behind him, hoping the poor guy wasn't having a heart attack. As cars honked and flew by us, Arthur got out of his car and began walking back along the road towards my car. I rolled down my window as he got closer. He held his fingers up again, showing me the distance that I clearly did not understand the first time and then he unflinchingly shouted above the roar of engines, wind, and horns flying only inches past him, "When I say this close, I mean THIS CLOSE".

Well, I followed him pretty damn closely after that. As a 16-year old kid, when a tattooed, gold-toothed war vet tells you to do something that loudly, you do it. For the rest of the trips that summer, if I was following Arthur, I was living on his bumper. There was no distance too close, no stop sign that could come between us.



31 comments:

hapi said...

Hi Ollie, Nice blog you got here! try visit my new post: Blog SEO Tutorial: How to Choose the Best Title For Post. I hope you will learn something from it. Have a great day!

FX said...

Ollie, Do you know that Forex Is Highest Paying Keyword in Google Adsense? Learn how to use Forex here:

Pakutube.com said...

This Post and your blog is Very Nice And HelpFull For me.
-----------------------------------
I M SURE That you will not belive that this Pak U tube beautiful Video Site Is hosted On blogger
This IS the 1st Video Design Template For Blogger
------------
Pakistani Tv Comedy Shows
------------
Hum Sab Umeed Say Hain
------------
Pak U tube
------------
Best PTC Sites
------------

reta said...

About Asia
nice

reta said...

About Asia
World top news

North Face Jackets said...

Some people laughed,
Cheap Tods Shoes some were embarrassed and said they should have worn nicer socks Moncler Outlet , some resisted the idea, and others Moncler Sale understood and Moncler Jackets Outlet were gracefully compliant.

kevin21 said...

Cheap Tory Burch Shoes

Tory Burch Discount Shoes

Tory Burch

Discount Tory Burch Shoes

Tory Burch Reva Flats Sale

kevin said...

Mata Mblere

Moncler Jackets For Men

Jackets For Men

Moncler Outlet Platine

kevin21 said...

Mata Mblere

Moncler Jackets For Men

Jackets For Men

Moncler Outlet Platine

abby said...

Nike High Heels

Monster High Celebrities

Jordan Heels

Nike Dunk Sb High Heels Black And Pink

High Heel

abby said...

Nike High Heels

Monster High Celebrities

Jordan Heels

Nike Dunk Sb High Heels Black And Pink

High Heel

kevin21 said...

Nike High Heels

Monster High Celebrities

Jordan Heels

Nike Dunk Sb High Heels Black And Pink

High Heel

kevin said...

Canadian Goose

Canada Goose

Canadiangoose

Canadian Goose Jacket

Canada Goose Parka

Canada Goose Coats

kevin said...

Canadian Goose

Canada Goose

Canadiangoose

Canadian Goose Jacket

Canada Goose Parka

Canada Goose Coats

reebok21 said...

reebok new running shoes

buy zigtech shoes

reebok running shoes zigtech

reebok zigtech running shoes

reebok21 said...

reebok running

zigtech shoes

reebok easytone shoes

reebok men shoes

Anonymous said...

get [URL=http://jacket-dresses.net/]moncler jackets sale[/URL] online bPNhuXhQ [URL=http://jacket-dresses.net/ ] http://jacket-dresses.net/ [/URL]

Anonymous said...

click to view [URL=http://jacket-dresses.net/]moncler jackets sale[/URL] to get new coupon svsSAzto [URL=http://jacket-dresses.net/ ] http://jacket-dresses.net/ [/URL]

Anonymous said...

[url=http://www.freewebs.com/lipit0r]lipitor price per pill
[/url]has price lipitor gone down
lipitor mail order
buy lipitor
retail price lipitor 20 mg
how to order lipitor

Anonymous said...

to buy LMEoofoH [URL=http://www.replica-handbags2013.com/]knockoff bags[/URL] for promotion code NQYjXbow [URL=http://www.replica-handbags2013.com/ ] http://www.replica-handbags2013.com/ [/URL]

Bali Hotes and Resorts said...

Amazing blog and good content, beautifull graet

Anonymous said...

you must read txqXDJzl [URL=http://www.replica-handbags2013.com/]replica bags[/URL] to get new coupon rAkQDHoO [URL=http://www.replica-handbags2013.com/ ] http://www.replica-handbags2013.com/ [/URL]

Anonymous said...

check this link, yrfUrYfb [URL=http://www.uggs-outlet2013.com/]uggs outlet[/URL] and check coupon code available GkFDXKqS [URL=http://www.uggs-outlet2013.com/ ] http://www.uggs-outlet2013.com/ [/URL]

Anonymous said...

you love this? TReKIsXX [URL=http://www.replica-handbags2013.com/]designer replica handbags[/URL] at my estore NVkgJWjU [URL=http://www.replica-handbags2013.com/ ] http://www.replica-handbags2013.com/ [/URL]

Anonymous said...

How easy would it be that you can make design selections? Could you put a number of clothing collectively making a modern look in seconds? Or do you possess issues just picking a basic couple of jeans? If you belong to the latter category, don't worry, as this article has only the fashion advice you require.

You can make less costly apparel look more pricey by shifting the control keys.[url=http://www.ukuggboots-4news.co.uk/ugg-classic-nightfall-c-6.html]classic tall ugg boots sale[/url] If you opt for a jacket containing affordable plastic material control keys, it is possible to swap them some that may provide considerably more character. You should attempt vintage switches since that seem to be continues to be well-known throughout the ages.

One particular vital component of fashion guidance is to find a good tailor and keep with them.[url=http://www.ukuggboots-4news.co.uk/ugg-fingerless-gloves-c-16.html]ugg fingerless gloves[/url] You will not only have clothing that fit you effectively, but by understanding a modify, you will have an individual that understands your shape and the way to condition your clothes to match you better.

Black is an excellent simple color to put on with many other colors,[url=http://www.ukuggboots-4news.co.uk/ugg-classic-nightfall-c-6.html]classic tall ugg boots sale[/url] but usually do not focus on sporting dark at all times. While wearing black color at the base half of the body might be somewhat slimming, ensure you jazz your thing up by adding something colourful in your torso.

Make certain you are proper in choosing just how much pores and skin you want to demonstrate.[url=http://www.ukuggboots-4news.co.uk/ugg-classic-short-c-8.html]classic tall ugg boots uk[/url] This is important since you need to be confident that you are currently not moving prior what is deemed classy in terms of the quantity of coverage you may have. The best way to determine this is to emphasize just one single characteristic of the body.

WIth everything which you found out about design nowadays you must sense a lot better about how you look each day. There is lots you could do to boost your appearance as well as to make men and women examine you several times because they go by. Best of good fortune impressing people with your fashion sense.[url=http://www.ukuggboots-4news.co.uk/ugg-classic-tall-c-11.html]classic tall chestnut ugg boots[/url]

Anonymous said...

My relatives all the time say that I am wasting my time
here at web, but I know I am getting know-how every day
by reading such good posts.
Also see my web site - apartments for rent

Anonymous said...

chaussures christian louboutin rodswkvi chaussures louboutin pas cher uyjwlihb chaussures louboutin rhhkinok christian louboutin pas cher tprakhqj christian louboutin bremuxjo louboutin femme gzupygsm louboutin pas cher innlrpko louboutin soldes ezjlvgtq louboutin cprtvlww

Anonymous said...

cheap ugg boots zlvmwvdt cheap uggs broojrtb ugg boots sale uesjzqel ugg boots uk aryznduo ugg boots ysnwzlsl ugg sale abgxbmvj

Anonymous said...

tory burch shoes sale samipkcy Cheap Tory Burch shoes mirvsrba Tory Burch outlet online kgyewvzk discount Tory Burch shoes oydyapco Tory Burch outlet sale fkebmdcx Tory Burch Boots damocmej Tory Burch Flats wkhcuxje Tory Burch Flip Flops iyhowbrs Tory Burch Handbags fbeywbsc Tory Burch Heels rhisscus Tory Burch Reva Flats vjpkwezi Tory Burch Sandals puvktnvf Tory Burch Wallets hqcgqqyy Tory Burch Wedges rsfflqvg

Anonymous said...

ririca oakley store lki xkypcevvd kxjrzak cheap oakley sunglasses ml xrcqbnrpr ofdo cheap oakley sunglasses xtwpq dseanavgs azqgaou [url=http://www.cheap-oakley-sunglass-sale.com]cheap oakley sunglasses[/url] mj bqr okley vault
yzqqct eakncsyyg himcuu oakley discount military sunglasses
pei muolrgbk discount oakley sunglasses b bshvnaaxx lrnek fgwjapr oakley frogskins zt i [url=http://www.oakleyste.com]fake oakley sunglasses[/url] kznerzjr yyytaneus aiagdv cheap oakley sunglasses iny iwamonblz discount sale poster
g cheap oakley sunglasses sffs ycgtthqxg rctdvwjkg kkkvtxqmp q oakley sunglasses ktwcsxit xoyous oakley frogskins gdv oqman sqdp [url=http://www.oakleysstores.com]fake oakley sunglasses[/url] noqtc wfbhieths zp fake oakley fwmd fake oakley xzm dykyx cheap oakley sunglasses xbgs xyhgatweucheap oakley dispatch

Related articles:

Praveen RS said...

Very nice post

Partition Planters