Nov 19th

Folks, let me tell you what you need to get an up close and personal understanding of sphincter tightness.

No, it isn't anything to do with Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Donald Wildmon or any of the other anally retentive hypocritical coprocephalics on the public stage. Every one of them would squeal like a pig if you got the duct tape in place fast enough. It isn't even anything to do with my last wife, who would have stood me off with a cattle prod had I threatened her clenched little rosebud.

Nope, all you need to know about sphincter tightness is to be in my boots the other day. I headed out in a driving rain 3.1 miles to the local Blockbuster - Shrek was 6 hours late. As I'm rounding the traffic circle - feeling virtuous about Doing The Right Thing in following around it counter-clockwise instead of taking the quick little short cut - and I felt the centrifugal force build, my old P.O.S. picking up speed, and that's when I started to lightly touch the brake pedal... and my foot kept on going... and going... until it stopped flat on the floorboard. The car, however, had paid no notice to the brake pedal, my downshifting my automatic transmission, or the sudden rush of shit to my heart. The car just kept on going, up a block towards a busy intersection, traffic turning in front of me, pedestrians with no idea how close they were to gazing upon the face of their god or goddess of choice. I turned into the parking lot dodging crossing traffic, the fools backing out that can't see me careening behind them, more foolhardy pedestrians... down a block of shops and around the corner, heading around the outer perimeter of the lot and back around threading towards a slight uphill grade where I finally bumped gently up against a curb and came to rest. I had touched no other car or person on the entire adventure - upon close inspection there were no new hood ornaments.

The brake fluid, which I had filled the day prior, turned out to be bone dry. I refilled it and pumped up the pressure and drove gently home at about 10 miles an hour, to again start calling the friend who works on my cars. The next day it damn near happened again several times in the 10mph 3 mile drive to his house to trade my clunker for one of his loaners.

Yes, I'm ok. Yes, I returned Shrek. No, I rented nothing further that would require return anytime soon. And yes, it took over 3 hours for the adrenalin to wear out of my system. Life is good, but some of these adventures are just too damn interesting to do more than once a decade.

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