Imagine yourself in a multiplex movie theater. Curiously, no walls separate the half-dozen theaters that form the multiplex. Miraculously, you are watching six different screens all at once, thoroughly understanding and enjoying every scene, word, character.
Welcome to ADHD.
[You in the Real World, be sure to click on the red underlined hyperlinks! And know these accounts are true … without exaggeration!]
Right now portions of the East Coast are battling their sixth biggest blizzard in recorded history. I’d feel bad about it, but I too fight no small storm of my own.
Tell ’em, Black! cheers Screen Six. This madcap mishap is just as dangerous. In a smaller sort of way, I mean.
Radio endlessly blaring blizzard-bashed Boston reports, I point my car into the graceful circle of roadway that takes me off slower surface streets and up onto speedy I-75. One-third of the way into the loop, however, I notice my steering –
Is no more effective than that found on bumper cars, laughs Three. Might as well take your hands off the wheel. Use ’em to clap as the show unfolds.
Reports Five, Courtesy of black ice, your vehicle’s rear is pulling even with your vehicle’s nose.
Meaning, clarifies Two, we’re sideways, sliding forward. And our tail is oh so close to the left-hand guardrail.
No need for panic, assures One as he scans for competing cars. We are alone on the loop.
True, agrees Four. But now the car itself is spinning 180 degrees and we’re sliding back to the right. New guardrail and huge light pole just ahead. Great obstacle course!
I quietly sit amid the maelstrom, helpless.
Helpless! scoffs Six. Not while we’re here! Don’t you remember last time?
“Six, right now I really need to – ”
It is a bitterly cold day for this Wood County boy to be driving the company Ford Ranger F-150 in distant counties. Snow flurries cut visibility and wind blows the light truck all over the road. Despite my best efforts, the combined elements declare victory when I hit black ice and rocket across the road, fully jumping a snow-packed culvert.
Telephone pole! calls out Four, but the ride is not mine to command. Missing that by two of the tiniest feet ever, we travel 100 snow-filled yards into a farmer’s frozen field.
Furrow with your fine Ford! Five directs.
Screen Six agrees I should I keep gunning the protesting engine. Blasting through heavy drifts in a wide arc, I roar back to within 10 yards of the road before tires spin uselessly.
Running the truck for heat until help comes won’t work on this quiet road, especially with a gas tank sucking fumes. Donning my few items of winter gear, I plod through the deep snow. Incredibly, within mere minutes I flag down a State Highway patrolman.
Who impatiently tells us he’s calling county cops to come and ticket, sighs Two.
The few passing drivers slow but don’t stop. They wave but not with all fingers. Just as my body temp feels it cannot drop another degree, two guys in a snow plow pull over.
No tow chains? spouts One in disbelief.
First guy drives, second helps me push. Tires spin, slinging mud across my entire front, and suddenly the truck takes off so fast I must leap for the tailgate and hoist myself aboard. Culvert ahead, we turn left, slide across 200 feet of snow-buried farm turf, reach a driveway and shoot to the road. I quickly express thanks, shake hands, and jump into the truck at the same time I knock pounds of dripping mud off clothes.
Hope that same spun mud covers the company logo and slogan touting our truck-driver training school, notes Four as I blast off before the Ticket Terror tumbles into view.
Your car is about to tip, comments Three, and likely will roll sideways. Several times. But if you –
Gun it now! shouts Six. I do.
The car straightens and points forward as its front drops over the edge. I drive into the abyss, hugging angled slope at high speed. The field rushes up to me, snapping both front-end stabilizer bars.
On I roar toward the lower portion of the street I left seconds ago. “Gonna make it!”
Not! counters Five, seeing the only other car in the area intentionally accelerate and cut off my longed-for loop re-entry. Brakes smoke. Momentum and hope die together.
Easy touch will do it, coaxes gentle Two, and we do, indeed, inch our way onto blacktop and black ice.
Raps Three, Our slow-mo lets us go forward ho, my bro.
I tell Three, “Never say that again,” then joyously join I-75 drivers bound for Toledo and brighter shores.
What a ride! shouts Six. Do it again?
Postscript: Boston catches the nation’s attention for reasons other than blizzards and bad news when a formerly anonymous bartender shovels nearly two feet of snow off the finish line of the city’s much-ballyhooed marathon (set for April 20 this year).
Chris Laudani, himself a five-time competitor in the race, decides on his own to clear the yellow-and-blue marking of the area … and tells nobody about that deed. His kindness is known only because another local posts Chris’ photo and propels him to 15 minutes of fame.
Cheers! shout five of the screens, leading confused Two to ask, Are we applauding a man or a TV show?
No matter, replies Three. Both celebrate Boston.
Meanwhile, other regions have their own troubles …