Snap Shot #6: Oops

Beach Parking

I’ve just read about it on the net but still don’t believe it. So I head out into the wet and dreary day to see for myself. As I near the beach, the evidence trail begins. Exhibit A: a shattered shop window. I cross the road and begin to walk down the grassy hill. Exhibit B: a stretch of tire tracks scarring the grass like a couple of muddy trenches. I hop down from the wall and onto the promenade to check out Exhibit C: a collapsed aluminum fence. I look further out towards the beach and there, finally, is Exhibit D: a lonely looking hatchback, its wheels buried in the sand. Wow. So it is true. There are a couple of other onlookers sheltering under umbrellas but mostly there’s no one about. Lucky. Had this car ended up in the same spot on a weekend or especially during a hot summer’s day, carnage and chaos would reign. Trying to imagine how this could possibly have happened, I become the driver of a hatchback not all that different from my own. I am driving along Campbell Parade. The windscreen wipers slide and thump a steady beat. My right foot starts to cramp. I take it off the accelerator and reach down to rub it. As I do, the steering wheel starts to turn towards oncoming traffic. I quickly swing it back and stomp my foot on the brake. But it’s the wrong pedal. Instead of stopping, the car races towards the footpath. I pull on the the steering wheel. The car fishtails. The back bangs a shop window. Glass rains down. I am pointed away from the footpath and shoot across the road, missing a truck by millimetres. A horn blares. My foot has cramped completely and is cemented to the accelerator. Grass and mud churn and leap. Then I am flying. A fence surrenders as sand rushes towards me. Impact. Airbag. Silence. Adrenaline and shock battle for control. I sit there. Waves crash nearby. After what feels like a decade, there’s a knock on my window. I see a wide-eyed face. “You okay?”. And at that moment, I am the most embarrassed being on the planet.

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