Driving through a thunderstorm – you’re doing it wrong
So, a lot of things freak me out. Planes, bugs, elbow skin, Lee Kernaghan, people that turn up in my stairwell. And driving in the rain.
I spent a lovely Easter at the coast with some friends, only to insist on going for an hour-long walk (also known as overstaying your welcome) and missing the window of opportunity to drive home without being caught in a massive thunderstorm (also known as a standard Brisbane sunday afternoon thanks to the effects of global warming. See also my non-existent blog post called “Global Warming: Is it Real? If you’ve ever lived in Brisbane, then um, yeah, you know it bloody is”).
So the usual 50 minute coast run turned into a 1 hour 45 minute white knuckle drive from hell.
Here is my interior monologue* from that drive. I’m still putting together the pieces of my damaged psyche.
*By inner monologue I mean actual conversation between myself, my car and… myself.
- (singing) I bless the rains down in Afffffffricaaaaa. Hear that Brisbane weather? Keep the rain in Africa, thanks.
- Gatsby (pats dashboard), you’re doing just great.
- Hmmmm, raindrops. That’s ok. They’re just raindrops.
- Hmmmm, clouds. And more rain. It’s ok. They’re just big, fast moving raindrops.
- Hmmmm, thunder. And pitch black clouds. And lightening. It’s ok. It’s just torrential downpour. As long as it doesn’t get worse than this.
- Ok, it just go worse. Now, just don’t get worse.
- Ok, it just got worse.
- Why can’t I fucking see?
- Why is every fucking car still driving at 110?
- Why are Gatsby’s tyres sounding weird? Dammit, Gatsby!
- Why are there so many goddamn trucks? Jerk-trucks!
- WHY DO I LIVE IN QUEENSLAND?!!! Ok, Jessica, don’t pull at that thread…
- Oh, it seems to be improving. Now, as long as it doesn’t get worse.
- FUCK IT WHY IS IT GETTING SO MUCH WORSE?!
So if I can offer you any advice on staying calm and carrying on, it’s the following:
- Don’t slow down to 40 km/hour. Even if you literally can’t see and you’ve entered a grey-out worthy of a blizzard. Apparently, according to the number of aggressive honks I received, it’s poor road etiquette.
- Don’t change lanes submissively.
- When you do change lanes submissively, try not to immediately swerve back because you thought you saw a puddle. (I feel puddle doesn’t accurately sum up the hallucination of a fast moving body of water across the lane that I thought I saw, but then I guess that’s a matter of perspective)
- Don’t exit at Yatala south. You’ll just get to a massive roundabout with less visibility and more… um, puddles. Big puddles.
- Don’t drive a silver car. You’re just asking for trouble. And yes, my car is silver.
- Don’t feel smug that the car that swerved around you at such a breakneck speed that you feared for your life, later rear-ended another car. I mean, you can, but that seems to invite karmic retribution. (Note: all parties were safe. I don’t find car accidents hilarious.)
- Slowing your windscreen wipers will not magically slow the rain down, however misguidedly optimistic you might be feeling.
- Don’t visit your friends at the coast. Frankly, they had this nightmare planned for you all along.