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24 September 2005 at 18:23

california dream

I was asked to post some more holiday snaps. This picture is from my trip in a hire car from San Francisco to L.A.

As you can see, I wasn't driving. I had injured my toe on some coral while swimming. I didn't want to pay for a U.S. doctor, so I just let it fester. I still have the coral in my toe as a souvenir.

The driver was a young guy I met at the hostel in S.F.

The mountain road started to wind charmingly downhill. The guidebook says "The twisting two-lane highway ... clings tenaciously to steep rock cliffs."

The guy behind the wheel got a bit nervous. I asked what was wrong, and he explained he had never driven on mountain roads before. I wondered what the big deal was. Sure, there was a sheer drop at the edge of the road, but with careful driving there was nothing to fear.

As the bends got tighter and the road steeper, the car went faster and faster. In those days I was very polite, so I began saying, in a measured tone to disguise my own rising panic, "perhaps it would be an idea to brake on this curve" ... "you might like to brake here". He explained to me, quite seriously, that he only recently passed his test and had never really mastered how to use brakes.

As we gathered even more speed and started to slide into the curves, he was wrestling with the wheel and I was screaming at him: "just step on the effing brake" ... "stop the effing car" etc.

It was as if he was deaf. It was like some kind of psycho movie. He should never have been allowed to drive. I could have driven better with a septic toe. If he's still alive today, he must have mastered the footbrake in the meantime.

Blogger hotboy said...

Adolf! Heil! What year was that? I might have passed you going in the opposite direction. I was on Highway 1 (that's the coast road, isn't it?) going from LA to San Franscisco in 1980, I think. Got my photie taken with a statue of John Steinbeck in Monterey. Couldn't buy a book though. Irony, thought I. They don't do much irony there, I've heard! Hope this helps. Hotboy  


Blogger Heather said...

Nice nailbed!





Blogger hotboy said...

Adolf! Heil! Just been looking at Lee Ann's blog. What to do with child molesters is too difficult for me, but it sounds as if you're somewhat unnaturally attracted to the penguins. I was going to find a colony of emperor penguins so I could go right in and huddle in the middle of the masses all winter. Not to sure about my motives now. Fancying the naked mannequins in dress shop windows was the worst I ever got! I'm very confused now. Do you think you could help? Hotboy  


Blogger robmcj said...

HB - 1990. Wanting to rub up against penguins is perfectly natural, as well as being environmentally sound. No greenhouse effect. I hope this helps.

H - my perfect feet do have that effect on some people. It's the rest of me that turns people off.  


Blogger robmcj said...

HB - I was hoping for some visits from the crazed lynch mob. Do you have any contacts in those circles? You know, people who think it's OK to slaughter seal pups but not to seduce them.  


Anonymous Anonymous said...


reminds me of the panic attack i had on broadway when i still just had my permit

i thought swerving was better than braking and sideswiped somebody, it was a good learning experience  


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