Immortals in the Fog

Why do people drive around in the fog with no headlights on?  Do they think they are immortal?  This morning we had to go through a thick fog on the way to school, which makes me nervous to begin with.  I mean it’s one thing when I’m alone in the car, but when my children are with me I worry much more.  It seems like one in every four cars has no lights on–the drivers oblivious in the pea soup.  Now I don’t know about the rest of the country, but most vehicles where I live are HUGE.  For example one particular “immortal” I passed this morning was driving a 1-ton, dual wheeled pick-up truck.  To make matters worse, it was a BLACK pick-up truck, and it was about 6 feet from me when I finally saw it–traveling at seventy miles per hour.  YIKES!

And did I mention the little old lady driving at speed down the shoulder? Large white sedan, no lights. It’s amazing she didn’t kill anyone. Combine that with the never-ending road construction, the high speed limits, and the lead-footedness of most of the drivers in Madison County, and you really take your life in your hands when you venture out in the fog here.

And then there are the fog lights.  After living and driving in Europe for many years, I became familiar with the rules for using fog lights.  A friend once told about being stopped in a rental car in England because his fog lights were on when they shouldn’t have been – the policeman leaned down and asked “Foggy in there, is it?”  Here in Texas, the cars have BIG fog lights on the front, and none on the back, and there are no rules in the state of Texas to govern their use.  The result is that you see these yahoos in their pick-ups with fog lights blazing at all hours of the day and night in every kind of weather EXCEPT FOG!!!

Stoplight Fright

Two super-sized vampires ran the red light
Looking neither left nor right.
Pointing pick-up trucks like spears,
They raced before the dawn.
Red gash lips on snow-white faces,
They didn’t see us there.

We daytimers waited
and they went by.

by Kim Davis

Steering the Craft

In 2010 I belonged to the Madison County Writers Guild where we worked our way through Ursula K. Le Guin’s Steering the Craft. It was a lot of fun.

Here’s a part of the first exercise we did. The instructions were to write a paragraph that included at least three repetitions of a noun, verb, or adjective.

Crunch, crunch, crunch, came the noise from across the aisle as the man chewed his Fritos. She tried to ignore him, staring straight ahead as the elevated train squealed going around a bend in the tracks. Crunch, crunch, crunch – it was growing louder as to her horror, the man leaned across the aisle. He stank and his clothes were foul and stained. The smell of him was even stronger than the smell of the corn chips. Crunch, crunch, crunch, Smack! She heard closer still as he reached out and tugged her sleeve. She squeezed her eyes shut and tried to will him away.

“Excuse me, Miss” he exhaled his foul breath across her, “but can you tell me what stop comes next?”