Turn the wheel into the skid! Scrunch against the curb. No! Turn the other way. Now back into the skid. Foot off the brakes. Watch out for that parked car! I was trying to maneuver a couple tons of 1988 Ford Bronco down an ice-covered hill in downtown Seattle. Did I mention that there were plenty of cars in front of me and behind me? The worst occasion was when I must have slid within centimeters of a parked car and street lamp-post but presumably the Flying Spaghetti Monster put a little noodly appendage on my vehicle and nudged me just the right way and I straightened out again.
I should hastily add that I wouldn’t have been hurt; it would have been one of those slow motion slide-into-something collisions that happen on hills whenever this city ices up.
I’d been watching it snow off and on most of the day from Maggie’s hospital room. What a novelty when it snows here. Some hospital staff mentioned that I might want to start home before it got late and all that wet snow started to freeze. Good plan. I hit the road and found myself in the Worst. Traffic. Ever. After moving about one car-length every ten or fifteen minutes, I finally got onto Boren Avenue, at the top of the hill, headed down. Surely, I thought, this road will have been salted, sanded, and the snow worn away down to the pavement by heavy traffic. Wrong. I inched my way down, slowly. One block. Then two blocks. Sliding into the curb regularly. When I saw people in apartment buildings taking photos of all the cars coming down the hill, I knew I was definitely on the wrong side of the camera. At the next stoplight a man on the sidewalk let me know that the next and last block down the hill was a disaster, everyone sliding into everyone else.
He gave me some good advice and I miraculously was able to make a turn, round a block, and take the big elevation drop on Seneca Street instead of Boren. That was much better except for one out-of-control monster truck demolition slide. Things were better downtown when I finally got to sea level. I gradually made it through the city and out onto Elliott Way, where I could even take it out of first gear and make some headway. How far would my faith in FSM get me, I wondered?
Ballard was looking ugly when I turned off onto Market Street. Not many people driving — a bad sign. Then I branched off onto 24th; getting close to home. It turned out that the Spaghetti Monster would see me to within five blocks of my house, past three of the four jack-knifed or stuck Metro buses sitting at various angles where 24th starts to edge upward. That’s where my tires hit ice and would go no farther. I managed to half-slide, half-maneuver the truck backwards off the street and into a parallel position against the curb. Facing the wrong way. On the wrong side of the street. Also half-way blocking someone’s driveway, but it was the best I could do.