My senior year in high school, I was awarded "Most Likely to Fall Asleep in Class." A few characters in my graduating class of four hundred provided a great deal of competition. However, I obtained the final honor by procrastination and persistence in my sleeper reputation. That, and I drank.
I almost earned the distinction of "Worst Driver." I made the final three, but ultimately my dear friend Pills conquered my efforts. The morning that our graduating class voted, she had made a left-hand turn on a red light. An oncoming car honked, she accelerated through the turn, the other car swerved, and she drove headlong into a line of idling vehicles. I couldn't compete with that.
Over the years, I've attempted to redress my missed glory. I've been cited for illegal turns, running through stop signs, cutting off officers of the law, failing to indicate a turn, having outdated registration, driving without a seatbelt, and being in possession of an open alcohol container in my car. I once had a warrant issued for my arrest because I didn't send in the processing fee after I fixed my side mirror. However, more than any other violation, I persistently get pulled over for speeding.
It's not that I forget meetings or appointments. I just assume it will take me less time to get places. I pride myself on my ability to leave later and arrive earlier than Google maps tells me to.
My Real Estate office is near the bottom of a hill in Santa Rosa called Fountaingrove. I was scheduled to show three houses located up the hill. Google maps estimated eleven minutes. I mentally allotted myself eight minutes. I got caught on the phone and sprinted to my car five minutes before the viewing.
I planned on tearing out of the parking lot and flying up Fountaingrove. Unfortunately, I was driving a 2000 Toyota 4Runner. The car had four cylinders and a lot of weight. I floored it and leaped up the hill at a steady rate of 15mph. A gorilla could have outrun my car.
Seven minutes later I was late and the hill leveled out enough to gain some speed. A bicyclist prevented me. The guy was swerving all over the road. My five-year-old cousin can ride in a straight line. He wobbled to the left and then would suddenly jolt to the right. Every time I tried to pass him, he lurched directly in front of my car. I slammed on the brakes three times to avoid hitting the nutter. The fourth time he wavered to the right, I smashed the accelerator to the floor and inched past him. The sun glinted off his red helmet and into my eyes.
"Get the f*** off the road," I screamed at him out my open window.
There was a sidewalk. I failed to comprehend why he couldn't use it.
Three minutes later, I opened the door to the house and turned on all of the lights. I was sweating and breathing like a rapist. I was wildly thankful that my client wasn't there yet. I looked out of the window to see a bicyclist ride up and dismount in front of the house. He wore a red helmet.