Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!

Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!
Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Don't Touch the Emergency Brake!

Chevy Chevette Interior (photo from Galleryhip.com)
I was driving my normal commute this morning and like every morning, I let my mind wander. Just looking over the pastures racing by, the Blue Mountain in the distance running parallel to the highway, a turkey vulture flying overhead, I glanced at my speedometer and then down at my emergency brake. A memory flashed into my mind and I laughed out loud.

Back when I was five years old, I was riding with my Dad in our Chevy Chevette. I mentioned that car before, it's the one my big brother Adam crashed up whilst in college. LOL sorry Adam. :)

Being that it was the 70's, I was riding up front (with my seat belt on) and not in the back in a child seat. Luckily, Dad and Mom were big on wearing the seat belt in the front but not in the back seat those days. We were speeding along one of the local highways, I think it was actually Route 130 in South Jersey. It's crazy how some memories are so vivid.

I was looking around the car and focused on the long black handle in the middle of the front seats. This, I would later come to learn, was the emergency brake. I thought to myself, just ever so briefly, "What does this do?  Hmmm."

In a split second, my childhood instinct and naivete' took over. I grabbed the lever, pressed the button, and pulled it up fast and hard before Dad even noticed. Dad screamed "What the!!" as the car swerved all over the lane before coming to a screeching grinding halt in the middle of the road. Thank God traffic was able to avoid us.

"What were you thinking!? Why did you pull the emergency brake!?" he exclaimed.
"I don't know," I whimpered on the verge of tears. "Because it was there?"

Dad pulled the Chevette over to the side of the road visibly exasperated. After a minute he calmed down and explained to me why a passenger in a car never pulls up the emergency brake while the car is moving. I said OK, I'm sorry, and we eventually continued on our way.

BUT ... I looked over at that emergency brake and I was sooo tempted to pull the brake up again as soon as the car started!

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