Float like a butterfly, skid like a fool

Backdrop 1: there are real rainstorms in winter in Israel. They are occasions with dark, threatening skies, thunder, lightning, and rain. Lots of rain. (We have had so much rain this winter, we no longer have a water shortage…) The effect on the roads, which are not built to handle more than the odd shower, is to fill them with huge puddles that often stretch across multiple lanes. And the back spray from cars in front of you often cuts your visibility to nothing. The effect on the drivers is not capable of being measured. In short, no change.

Backdrop 2: many mornings, on the way to work, there is a large white car which speeds past me. It’s always in the outside lane, and it’s always speeding. Not speeding as in 10 or 20 kph over the speed limit, but speeding as in doing twice the speed limit. Or faster. Since I am normally in the inside lane of the three lane motorway (highway), typically I only see the car’s rear end as it flashes past. (That’s why I am not sure of the car type; looks like a Mercedes coupe with a curved rear boot line, but it might be an Audi. Whatever; it’s a big, powerful, fast car.)

This morning: there was a winter storm.  This morning, in the dark before sunrise, the usual white car sped past me. It was going way too fast for the conditions.

A second later, it spun out of control right in front of me. (I assume he hit surface water at the wrong speed and angle and was aquaplaning.) The car went round and round, across a couple of lanes, and ended up pointing in the wrong direction. His headlights were blinding the (thankfully sparse) traffic, including me. He was lucky that. not only was there little traffic about, but what traffic there was managed to slow down – without losing control – and give him time and space to spin around without causing any damage.To put it another way: he was lucky – he could have been a metal and strawberry jam sandwich spread over Kvish Arba (Highway 4). After the car halted, he turned the car round and sped away. Not so fast this time…more like limped away.

I have never seen, live, a car spin out of control like that. It was a Hollywood type stunt; this was no loss of control and graceless collision. Instead, it was like small piece of a well choreographed dance, and I was getting to watch it for free.

I guess the driver must have been pretty badly shook up. I was, and I was just a witness. However, by the time the weekend is over, and it’s the start of the working week, next Sunday morning, I fully expect that white car to be speeding past me again like usual. Yes, I know, I am cynical. Especially when it comes to the drivers in Israel. I promise to tell you if the white car driver proves me wrong.