Da-da's Darwin Award #3: Death Car on the Freeway

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Da-da used to be a professional musician (jazz and classical) in Southern California a while ago, and hence was in his car a lot. On one such outting, he was transporting other musicians who seemed to take it for granted that Da-da had a car and would drive them around from gig to gig. This went on for months, with no one offering to pitch in for gas, to drive, or to do anything that might help the driver; no one even bought Da-da a burger, or some coffee.

Having grown infinitely weary of these freeloaders, Da-da hatched an evil plan of revenge at 2:30 am one dark and non-stormy clear night on the way home from a gig. Everyone in the car was fast asleep -- everyone except Da-da --  and had been for at least an hour. Since Da-da had traveled the same freeways for years, he knew them as well as the highway patrol, so he knew what he was doing. Seeing his opportunity, Da-da slowed and stopped his small car in the middle of the freeway, at the crest of a hill, such that he could see behind him for a good three miles. There was no one out on the road, on either side, no headlights for miles. Being a weeknight and very late, it was totally dead. Da-da rolled down his window, so the cold air and silence would creep in on his passengers. Then he turned the car's lights off -- again, with a keen eye on the mirrors for any headlights -- and just sat there for a good minute, listening to his passengers snore. Da-da then took a deep breath and yelled at the top of his lungs:

Four guys suddenly snapped awake and started screaming, heads whipping back and forth in terror at the reality of Da-da's words. They could FEEL the cold night air on their faces, the lack of acceleration, the SMELL of the cement, SEE that we were really stopped dead, lights out, in the middle of the damn freeway. Sparse street lights revealed grooved cement of the empty lanes, six across. Green freeway signs glared at them blankly, surrounded by tire chunks and freeway flotsam festooning the fence beyond. Their frightened screams rose in pitch... which was Da-da's cue to start the car.

"I'll try to start the car again!" Da-da shouted, in a rare, Academy-award-winning first-person performance.

It started immediately, of course. Da-da flipped on the lights and floored it, roaring up and over the freeway's crest to the cheers of his passengers. Da-da was a hero! And his passengers? They were WIDE AWAKE for the duration and, for the record, never fell asleep in Da-da's car again.

What's the moral of the story?

Da-da's a moron.


Because lots of drunks and low-lifes and stupid musicians turn their lights off when they drive, so the police won't see them weaving around playing air hockey with two-ton automobiles and the center divider, or pulling pranks in the middle of a freeway. Despite that, there was Da-da, sitting in the middle of the freeway with no lights on, a sitting duck. Worse, he had sleeping people depending on him for their safety, trusting him. Sure, Da-da COULD see very well for at least three miles behind him, so there was very little danger, but it was still a dumb thing to do. Thing is, those guys are STILL AWAKE somewhere, eyes saucer-wide and unblinking.

Needless to say, if you're reading this and you're some stupid kid -- or worse, you think you're really smart -- DO NOT DO WHAT DA-DA DID. It was a dangerous stunt that just happened to come off without a hitch. And don't have kids till you're old and know better. There. That's all the free advice you get for today. Ya dumb kid. Btw, "Death Car on the Freeway" was the name of a terrible "CHiPs" made-for-TV embarrassment in the late '70s, but Da-da couldn't resist recycling it. Ya dumb Da-da... er, kid.

Punch it, Da-da!

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