Cars and why I don’t like them.

Posted on 23 August, 2011

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This has nothing to do with petrol. Or the environment. But it does have something to do with why I like planes so very much and that has to do with fuel … and the environment. When I started this not flying thing the problem seemed to be in getting overseas. I’m used, now, to saying goodbye to wane looking winter friends and then having them return smelling of Summer and Abroad. I stare up at planes crossing the sky like strange birds. I’m grounded. Good excuse for a local holiday, right? I’ve got a car, right? Riiiiight. My car. Lovely little thing. Trucks and anything bigger than a shoe can’t see it on the road and so tend to maneuver dangerously in front of it, breaks squealing, head so close to windshield … there … you see what happened? Talk planes and I’m all birds and adjectives. Talk cars and it’s blood. I’d like to remind you that I’m not actually in a car at the moment. I’m sitting at a desk overlooking a river and I road my bicycle up a big hill to get here. Still, I feel a little short of breath …

The fear of riding in cars is called Amaxophobia and ‘the symptoms typically include extreme anxiety, dread and anything associated with panic such as shortness of breath [yep], rapid breathing [yep], irregular heartbeat [probably yes], sweating [uh huh], excessive sweating [sure], nausea [not really], dry mouth [oh yes], nausea [again?], inability to articulate words or sentences [huh?], dry mouth [again?] and [a little] shaking’ (http://common-phobias.com/amaxo/phobia.htm). Yep, yep, probably yes, uh huh, not really, no, yes, again?, huh?, again and yes. Cars make me a little nervous. It’s not that I never drive. Or just that I’m a shit driver (I am). When I drive it’s white knuckled and I can see all the possible ways I or someone else could be impaled, crushed, squashed or generally upset. When pull into the driveway my car and I give each other a secret low five and whisper ‘You made it! You drove/were driven!’ then avoid each other for the next month.

There are probably many solutions for this. I’ve found that a slightly sped up version of a Dolly Parton tape, of which I now know every word but miss most notes, is the key to my driving okayness. ‘You can have your choice of men,’ eases car to an excellent stop for sudden amber lights hazard, ‘but I will never love again,’ swerves and gives two neat toots at man in Hellcruiser trying to run little car over, ‘he’s the only one for me, Jolene’ expertly avoids all small children in car park and stalls.

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