So I'm driving down the 101, downhill into Hollywood. I change lanes to the left, but there's somebody behind me and they honk. I'm already halfway into the lane when they honk so I'm like oh shit, blind spot, better change back, so I swerve back in, but I swerve too hard, and my car's gunning at an angle towards some other car, so I swerve to angle back into the lane, but you can't swerve like that headed downhill on a curvy hill, so now my car's at a right angle to all the other traffic, still moving down the hill, with its front end in the leftmost lane and its rear on the lefthand shoulder. And now I'm moving backwards with five lanes of 80mph traffic headed towards me, and the only way to keep from flying right back into all that traffic is to keep swerving, so I've got my steering wheel turned as hard as it can turn, and there's this huge fucking CRASH behind me as I hit the wall, and blue smoke everywhere from my brakes, I've had my foot on the brakes slammed to the floor for a while, and my car's not moving, but I drive a 91 Toyota Supra, and that turbo engine is still gunning forward with all its mighty ferocious heart, so I keep my foot on the brakes, but it starts lurching forwards, so I drop it in park and it's still driving forwards, grinding like a motherfucker, so I turn off the ignition and the car stops. So I'm like, oh shit, I killed my car, will it ever start again? And I'm trying to figure out whether or not I'm in the carpool lane facing against traffic, or just on the shoulder, and if I'm in the carpool lane, how will I survive, but then I see for sure I'm on the shoulder. And this lady pulls up and she's like are you OK? And all the traffic's behind her. And I tell her what happened and she's like that was me! And I'm like HOLY SHIT! and I realize my calves are twitching uncontrollably. So the lady pulls into the shoulder and calls CHP but an LAPD car sees us and tells her since nobody got hit and nobody got hurt I should take her license to be safe but she's basically free to go. So off she goes, like ok bye have a nice day, and then CHP shows up, two cars, and they stop the traffic on the highway so I can turn around, because my car's like parked perfectly on the shoulder, exactly parallel to the center divider, but pointed in the wrong direction, so they do this, they put me back on the road, and MY CAR IS ABSOLUTELY FINE! Body damage on the right but it runs perfect. So I'm like doot dee doot dee doo and fucking PERFECT no problems at all. So I hit the wall going backwards at least 70 miles per hour against the flow of LA traffic and CHP tells me I don't even need to file a report and they're like you can file it with your insurance if you want to, where are you headed? And I'm like, you see that restaurant over there? And they're like, there? That cafe? And I'm like, yeah, I wanted to get a cup of coffee, you know, little bit of energy to start the day, and they're like, well, I guess you're here, but you got your energy already, and I'm like, yeah, I guess I did, and they're like, well, have a nice day sir, and I'm like HOLY FUCKING SHIT THAT WAS THE SCARIEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO ME AND I'VE BEEN HIT BY A CAR AND I FELL DOWN A WATERFALL ONCE AND EVERYBODY THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO DIE BUT THIS WAS SO MUCH MORE TERRIFYING! And they're like, ok, have a nice day, so I went to the restaurant and now I'm having a latte and a pesto crepe. And this cafe is filled with all these like special FX nerds with English accents and hot blonde chicks and emo monkeys with tattoos and sexy Latinas and people writing screenplays and posturing on their cellphones and I've had the most terrifying experience of MY LIFE ever and emerged totally unscathed and they've got the Pet Shop Boys on the radio and the food is delicious and LA cops are so much smarter than New Mexico cops and so much more law-abiding than Chicago cops and the sun is shining and I nearly died but barely even broke a sweat in the process and I'm like I love LA!
By the way I obviously have an awesome car. Takes a licking and keeps on ticking! Needs a bit of body work now though.
Anyway, the moral of the story, obviously, is if an LA driver cuts you off on the freeway, don't honk at them, just let them in, otherwise they might freak out and nearly kill twenty different people, including themselves.
Update: although this post is absurdly manic, as an exercise in writing style, it is pretty successful, because I have been talking pretty much exactly like that all day. Slamming into the center divider and bouncing down the hillside backwards at absurd speeds can affect your speech patterns for hours afterwards. Also, I have to say, this is just what it feels like to have a scary but ultimately painless car accident. It's sufficiently powerful for me to realize how totally I can't imagine what actual shellshock is like (or, to use the jargon of the day, "post-traumatic stress disorder").