it starts with a gentle pop


This is the wrong kind of smoking car.

My experience may be different than yours.

My car is still in the shop….having a used transmission put in it….slowly and surely.

I was finishing up the mail route on Wednesday…..right at the end of a day of moseying around the 71.25 miles….never pushing anything, just trying to make it home.

I was getting on the highway….and this STUPID WOMAN in a new red Volvo station wagon was tailgating the heck out of me.

I was going 5 miles over the speed limit….and this crazy was right on my tail.

I get tailgated all day long….and I hate it.

If anything gets my blood boiling, it’s IDIOTS who can’t read my signs or see my flashing light.


Anyway….I don’t like being tailgated.

So this WOMAN….this SMUG LOOKING WOMAN IN A SHINY NEW RED CAR….was tailgating the heck out of me….and it was bugging me.

It was bugging me….like crazy….so I GOOSED IT a little….something I never do in the old Jeep….I goosed it and pulled away….and when I pulled away, I heard a little “POP” sound….and that lady backed way off in her shiny new car.

Hah!! That’s the way to do it!! She got the message…..”Don’t mess with Peter….he’ll smoke you in a heartbeat!!”

That’s when I looked behind me and noticed something that I can use the word “copious” to describe.

(I don’t get to use the word “copious” very often…)

My car was pouring out all this greasy smoke….big clouds of smelly, greasy smoke.

That’s why she backed off.

She didn’t have a moment of renewed kindness… new awareness that tailgating wasn’t very neighborly.

She was worried about getting her car all dirty in the greasy cloud that I was trailing.

When I looked under the car….when I was off the highway and could stop….the car was pouring out transmission fluid all over the hot exhaust.


Smoky and kind of dangerous….trans fluid is pretty flammable.

And…you know….now that I think about it….after a couple of days of writing posts about riding a bicycle….if you keep your chain lubed….and everything that needs grease….greased….you are going to have a hard time making a bicycle smoke or burst into flame.

A bicycle is so much gentler somehow than a big heavy box on wheels that carries mail and one reasonably light person.

These cars….these cars that sometime pop seals and blow fluid….that motorvate because of a constant cycle of small and contained explosions…..that use powerful hydraulics to come screeching to a sometimes violent stop….that must be maintained and inspected and taxed and repaired…that suck up oil that must be pulled up from below the ground and refined…..that pollute and make the air less than what it should be…..that carry less weight than their heft would support….these cars…..

These cars….it’s a pretty crazy habit we have….driving all these big cars.

Driving all these big cars that make it just a little bit terrifying to get out on the roads on a gentle piece of two-wheeled locomotion.

My car may run again….I’m spending some money on it, so I hope it recovers OK.

I hope I can use my “mail tool” again soon.

And….to the woman in the shiny red Volvo who wouldn’t back off….to the pushy woman without any kindness or sense…..


I hope you had a hard time cleaning off that crud.

Maybe you’ll back off next time.

“the longer i run” Peter Bradley Adams

About Peter Rorvig

I'm a non-practicing artist, a mailman, a husband, a father...not listed in order of importance. I believe that things can always get better....and that things are usually better than we think.

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