I’m going to set the scene early. The Bonneville Salt Flats. A vast expanse of open flat land, which was once a salty lake in western Utah, USA, but is now dried up, lifeless and empty, very much like Jessica Simpson. We are rolling down Interstate 80, heading west towards Wendover, a party town on the border of Utah and Nevada. The two lane highway is pretty empty, the two lanes going east back towards Salt Lake City are also pretty empty. The cruise control is set to 75mph, the sun is going down, the tunes are playing on the ipod and it’s a spectacular place to be. It’s also a desolate and cold place to be. Nearest towns are miles and miles away at this point, and only occasionally, cars and trucks containing actual other people appear, then vanish again into the distance. But you do have phone signal. O2 and Vodaphone should take a leaf out of American T-Mobiles book, because as we Brits all know, should you wish to discuss something with a friend or colleague on a British phone, and accidentally stray too near a tree, or a lamp post, or even a mobile phone mast, it is almost certain that you will lose all communications to your mobile telephone, with immediate effect. Here however, in a high desert, mountains in the far distance, surrounded by salt, tumbleweeds, and absolutely nothing else, phones work perfectly.
This is good, because when the Chevrolet Silverado truck began swinging around in my rear view mirror, I thought that calling someone like maybe, the Highway Patrol, might not be too bad an idea. A $60,000 truck, with a $4000 suspension lift kit and big tyres is a beast of a vehicle. Normally a 6.0 V8, it has power, and even more intimidating, sheer size. One would need to be thinking clearly whilst driving a vehicle of this size. The guy drifting from lane to lane to shoulder to lane was clearly thinking about something completely different, so I notched the cruise control down a couple of miles per hour so he could get past me and I could keep my eye on him.
He fell back, so I sped back up to 75mph, and watched in the rear view mirror as he slewed slowly from lane to lane. This guy was either high, or drunk, or just messing around on an empty highway. Either way I pulled ahead of him and out of the danger he was putting us in. We made a call to the Highway Patrol, as the swerving became actually rather frightening, and continued on our way, keeping my eye on what was happening behind.
It was then, that in the rear view and from a distance of about 500 yards, I saw the truck veer off the road completely, and roll end over end violently off into the salt flats, coming to a big stop in a cloud of dust, salt, diesel and fury. It was a spectacular wreck and our first thoughts were to stop, but as the cars behind the accident slowed to help, an eerie anger overcame us.
You see, this unimaginably stupid American imbecile, had thought so selfishly that he could go play with other peoples lives, and also had been swinging his bitch-tits around less than twenty feet from my rear bumper not five miles previously to him doing his best Colin McRae impersonation, that we decided to keep going. We couldn’t stop and back up that far anyway, the Highway Patrol would have me for that. So we pushed on, made another call to alert the cops that the guy we called in ten minutes ago was now upside down in the salt, and contemplated what had just happened.
A few hours later, we met a cop at a gas station in Wendover. He had called us asking for a written statement, which we wrote and signed, whilst he told us the guy was alive, which was great, that he had to be cut from the wreckage, which was scary, no other motorists were taken out by him, which was excellent, and that he had been guzzling Crown whisky in the truck, which was unbelievable! It was all over the interior of the truck when the rescue team cut him out, apparently. Officer Talkalot told us that in his experience, this guy was the most intoxicated he had ever seen, and it was only that which ironically saved his life this weekend – because rather than tensing up during the crash, he had gone all limp, the dribbling, stuttering, brain dead, redneck, hill-billy scum-bag. The eerie anger came over me again, and as nice as the news was that this guy was not dead, I really wanted to know that his punishment for bringing his disgustingly ignorant behaviour to within twenty feet of my rear bumper, was going to be severe enough. I guess I will never know.
However, small joy is waking up the following morning, quite correctly assuming that this guy was not only in hospital with some harsh injuries, had wrecked beyond repair a hugely expensive truck, was in a vast and cavernous pile of trouble with the police, will probably lose his job and go to prison a bit, but the cherry on top is that he would have the worst hangover in the history of the world.
How anyone could be so utterly irresponsible, to drive drunk, but not only that, drive a huge heavy pick up truck down a very desolate and in a lot of places, hard to reach highway whilst chugging away on a bottle of very expensive whisky is beyond me. I thank my lucky stars that nobody else was involved, and may we all go to bed and pray for the driver of the truck, not for his salvation, but that hopefully, one day, his head will just fall off.