Thursday, April 14, 2011

Vinegar Hill Road

The newly named Aquaplane Corner on Vinegar Hill Road

Vinegar Hill Road is a back road to my place of work that avoids the stop and start centre of town with its traffic lights. It is also shorter and has a lot less traffic driving on it. Last week while driving briskly to work I hit the brakes a bit too hard coming into this corner in wet weather and found the tail of the car lurching to the right (we drive on the left in New Zealand - our steering wheels are on the right hand side of the car) - I over corrected and the tail then lurched left; another correction and I was straddling the road with the front of the car almost in the hedge to the left of the picture. I am sure the brief quick pressure on the brakes got the car aquaplaning. The road has plenty of good coarse surface and the tyres on my car have good tread. Scary stuff indeed! Luckily nothing was coming the other way.

On Monday night of this week while driving home from school I nearly bowled a black cow that was standing in the middle of the road not far from where this photo was taken - Another teacher was right behind me and as I stopped I put my Hazard lights on to warn her. She told me the next day that she had an uneasy feeling when she left school and decided to follow me rather than go ahead of me in her car - she reckons she would have hit the silly black cow - but that's a questionable conclusion considering that she drives a lot slower than I do.

The next morning, Tuesday, as I turned into Vinegar Hill road I was stopped at a police road block and given a breathe test (good job I wasn't drinking before school!!! ). Of course I was in the clear, but I got to thinking how this road was becoming such an interesting part of my early morning drive.

Maybe next week I will be abducted by aliens who will investigate all my orifices and poke me with sharp implements and I will henceforth roam the world attending UFO conferences enduring endless recovered memory hypnosis sessions and ranting somewhat.

Maybe I will crash through a hedge into the living room of a remote country cottage and find that Elvis is still alive and living in Hikurangi - Elvis will come out of retirement and we will make an album together called "Al and Elvis - Road Songs From Vinegar Hill", of course I will let him have a few solo spots on the album, that's only fair dos eh.

Maybe I will aquaplane again on this corner as I try to avoid a possum on the road just as the CEO of Porsche Italia comes driving towards me - he will of course be amazed at the skill of this aging Honda driver and I will be given a job testing cars at the Porsche factory in Italy (between driving formula one cars for them). It will of course be hard to leave New Zealand for an international career but the salary I will demand will be an offer I cannot refuse.

Anyway, today as I headed home listening to 'Coast Radio' which plays all the classic hits endlessly "without ever playing two advertisements in a row" I was thinking about Elvis when a large dog lept onto the road at the exact moment as Elvis's song "Ain't Nothing But A Hound Dog" began playing --- and do you know, out of the corner of my eye I was sure I saw a dark haired man in a white sequined suit disappear through the trees towards an old cottage.

I know its hard to believe, but that last paragraph didn't actually happen - but it gives the story a nice symmetry don't you think?



Katherine said...

How odd that all those things happened at that place in the road. "Al and El" sounds like a great team.

Alden Smith said...

Yes a great team - perhaps we could get you to paint a picture for our Album cover (I use the word 'Album' advisidly - Elvis is sooo 1960s)

Katherine said...

I'd be honoured.