Never Tell Me The Odds

"Sir! The possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is approximately 3,720 to 1."

Threepio's high-pitched wail screamed in my head as we drove back from Minneapolis*.

Why you ask? (Erm, you DID ask, didn't you? Otherwise, you may as well stop reading now. There isn't much of a reason to continue if you really aren't a curious lot now is there?)

Okay then.

Well, about two hours into our trip home, we had the unfortunate luck to come up behind a white half-ton truck in the fast lane, blocking our advance since the slow lane was packed with a convoy of courier vans. Yes, Courier Vans... but that's a story for another time.

As we drew near the truck in the vain hope he would pull aside and let us pass, we began to hear a strange sound. Well, numerous strange sounds, in fact.

Tic! Tac! Tuc!

The closer we got, the louder the sounds became.

Clink! Clank! Clunk!

Bing!! Bang!! um... "Bunk"!!

And then we spotted them. Like asteroids pelting the Millennium Falcon*, the contents of the half-ton's load hurled at us as we soared down I-94 at 130 KM/hr.

Oh. Crrrrrrap.....

The I94 on Friday
That wasn't sand.

Or gravel.

Those were ROCKS. Propelling out of the truck bed, bouncing off the highway and smacking into our candy-apple-red rental van.

With every strike to the windshield, I cringed; certain it would shatter at any moment.


Like Leia to Han*, I ordered strongly suggested to Hubby to back off and somehow get into the slow lane. After what seemed like an eternity, he finally squeezed in between the convoy. But we weren't out of the schrapnel field yet. Even though the couriers were providing some protection, we were still being hit with debris.

Bastard!

Of course, after we pulled into the right lane, traffic behind us began to advance and take our place behind He-Who-Does-Not-Know-What-A-Tarp-Is...

...and each one soon realized what a terrible mistake that move was. Car after car swerved and braked, attempting to avoid the onslaught onto THEIR windshields.

The only way out was to speed up and overtake the truck. Gritting his teeth as a John Williams soundtrack swelled to a crescendo, Han, er Hubby finally had a chance to pass HWDNKWATI.

We did it!

As the white truck, now devoid of his load, faded to the horizon behind us, we worried about the next "dent" we would have to endure. The one Enterprise** was going to ding our credit card with when we returned the rental. But when we made the obligatory IHOP Stop at Fargo, we examined the 2008 Grand Caravan and to our relief, no obvious damage was done.

Talk about beating the odds.

Hah! Take THAT, Goldenrod!*

* (With deep apologies to those that cringe when I admit that yes, I AM a Star Wars geek, thankyouverymuch).

** It is therefore ironic we should have rented from a company naming itself after a Star TREK ship; however, I can appreciate that naming your business "Death Star Car Rentals" really wouldn't be a shrewd marketing decision.









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25 People would rather be commenting:

Dorky Dad said...

Eek. I HATE that when I'm behind a vehicle like that, though for some reason I don't necessarily care if I'm driving a rental ...

Pand0ra Wilde said...

Oh my hell--I'd have been tempted to just pull over til there was enough room to get back on the highway and the death-spewer was well on down the road.

BonnieRose said...

U were here in Fargo and didnt say HI? LOL.. U were in Ihop.. only a few streets away from me.. next time Maureen! Big hugs.. and omg.. what a story!

Jay said...

Hahaha!! I too have been behind load-shedding trucks and it ain't funny, but the way you told it was hilarious!

Star Wars is great - but for a moment I thought that quote up top there was from Red Dwarf! There are some great quotes from that, too!

BusyDad said...

HAHAHA I for one would totally rent a car from Death Star Car Rental. It would have been really cool if police cars were chasing you and the rocks destroyed them as their less skilled drivers attempted to keep up with you guys. Star Wars has such a wide ranging application beyond the movie screen. You rock.

Babs (Beetle) said...

Oh my! Didn't somebody flash the driver of the truck and tell him?

You may guess that I have no idea of driving on the roads in the US.

Tara R. said...

I have a brand new spider crack in my windshield having traveled for a time behind a similarly thoughtful truck driver. Where is that death ray when you need it?

lotus07 said...

I knew what the reference was immediately when I red the tag line. The fact that it was YOUR blog simply solidified it before even reading it.

I wonder how many other every day occurances you attribute to Star Wars Scenes. Do you secretly unlock your blaster below the table when a waitress gives you grief over your lunch order?

Maureen said...

Dorky Dad: Isn't there a law against loose loads like that down there? You crazy Minnesotans...

Pand0ra: Well, we wanted to get home that day... so being stuck behind all that was NOT an option. Even at 130 KM/hr, it was an all-day trip.

BonnieRose: Well, if I had KNOWN that's where you live, I would have! Since you've gone private, I've missed reading your blog!

Jay: I haven't read / seen Red Dwarf... must check it out one day.

BusyDad: Har! TIE fighter police!!! Now THAT would be cool!!!

Babs: Oh, I WANTED to "flash" him alright.... a single digit flash, that is...

Tara: I think all cars should come with a death ray as standard operating equipment. Think of all the times it would come in handy! (I can think of quite a few....) Sorry to hear about your windshield... yikes!

Lotus07: How the heck did you know??? But I have refrained from calling my canister vacuum R2... at least out loud.

Jonny's Mommy said...

Hey, how about being pelted with a cigarette? Yeah, seriously...a lady tossed her cigarette at me on the way by the other day. OK. So rocks are worse damage-wise...but a cigarette that had been in her mouth...eeewww. So seriously gross.

I have to go click for you now....:-)

Jeff said...

THAT'S why I never follow a semi on my motorcycle!

"...was packed with a convoy of courier vans."
You're obviously talking about not-so-Speedy Delivery. Funny.

JoJo said...

I got pelted w/ gravel the other day too. My windshield has 2 small star pattern cracks and one round ding the size of a dime. Am not a happy camper.

As to the quote, I was wracking my brain...at first I thought it was Spock, then I thought it was the Robot from Lost in Space. But yeah, C3PO. Duh.

Bee said...

Is it sad that I knew all the Star Wars references? Or is that why my hubs loves me? ;o)

Maureen said...

Jonny's Mommy: Oh, how I HATE that. I would love to pick up that butt and shoot it back at her... gross.

Jeff! How the heck did you know???? Oh, yeah, you LIVE there. Yes. You are correct. And they are in fact NOT Speedy.

JoJo: Oh noes! Sorry to hear about your windshield... that really sucks. People just don't use their heads, do they?

Bee: Not sad at all (says the Star Wars Geek)... and yes, your hubs is VERY lucky! ;)

Irene said...

I can't think of anything funny or geeky to say. Tumbling rocks are not that funny, I guess. I would hate to be a motorcycle driver behind one o those trucks. Why did no one think to report him?

Karen MEG said...

Ugh. Thank goodness for the hubs' driving skills.

And Star Wars references, really not so geeky (from one geek to another ;)

Janet said...

Oh, my! You had me on the edge of my seat!!

I've been behind those kinds of trucks, too. Quite irritating. Even worse was the time I was following a truck and a very long 2x4 (yes, a BIG board) tumbled out of the bed of a truck, hurtling end over end toward my windshield. I slammed on the brakes and it somehow missed me. Big asteroid, that one!

toners said...

Ugh! That drives me CRAZY!! But I do love the way you told the story (as always!) :)

LadyBanana said...

Not funny, but the way you tell it, it is! ;)

Vegas Princess said...

Were you in Vegas? Because this happens on a daily basis here. Lived here almost five years and have had six windshields replaced. I LOATHE those trucks and they are EVERYWHERE here.

Maureen said...

Irene: Well, being a visitor from another country, we didn't know if it WAS against the law to have an uncovered load in that state...

Aw, thanks KarenMeg! From one geek to another.

Holy crap Janet! That sounds like one of those 3D horror movies!!! Glad to hear you weren't seriously injured. That's crazy.

Toners: Aw, thank you. It's only funny AFTER it happens.

Lady Banana: Ditto the above. Poor hubby was sweating bullets.

Vegas Princess: Wow, is it not against the law then? That's insane. I am amazed there isn't some kind of penalty for causing all this damage or worse.

Jen said...

Very well written! Here is a blog for you to check out...

www.marriedtotheempire.blogspot.com

She is married to a "stormtrooper"! He is part of a reenactment group - the 501st. Very wonderful couple with adorable cats!

Maureen said...

Thanks Jen! I am familiar with the 501st... being a convention speaker and all... ;) I am heading over there post haste.

Ewokgirl said...

Yep, I definitely know the quotes, and unfortunately, I can also relate to the experience of driving behind a load of rocks that aren't secured. Frustrating!

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Maureen said...

Ewokgirl: By your name and the name of your blog, I'm not surprised at all! Glad to meet another Star Wars nut, er "fan"!

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