© 2010 Aaron Atkinson

Ten and Two

Laura and I were driving from Des Moines to Kansas City last week. I was cruising in the middle lane of a three-lane highway, cruising along at 71 in a 65 when I heard the tinny, electric razor zzzummmp of an approaching motorcycle. Before I knew it, a crotch-rocket style bike shaved up the fast lane next to me and passed us by like we were sitting still. I blinked twice and he was gone, a speck on the horizon.

Laura: Holy cow! How fast was that wacko going?

Aaron: Had to be at least 120. (And for my Canadian readers, that’s miles per hour. Think 193 kph.)

Laura: Geeze!

Since bikers usually travel in speeding herds we instinctively look around for another approaching organ donor.

Laura looks to her right at the minivan driving in the slow lane next to us. The woman that’s driving is also reading a book, peeking above the pages every few lines to keep her bearings on the road.

Laura is too shocked to speak. Wide-eyed and disbelieving she looks back at me. I speed up, putting a little distance between us.

If there was ever a case to be made for defensive driving, we’d just seen it, twice, once on each side, twelve seconds apart.

I shimmy up in my seat, adjust the rearview mirror, turn down Lady Gaga’s Poker Face on the radio, and reposition my hands on the wheel.

I have to be ready. We are sharing the road with crazy people.

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