Secrets of LA Freeway Driving

First you require a vehicle. I tested Lamborghinis, Range Rovers and Hummers—each more disappointing than its predecessor. So many imperfections. A moon roof whistled at 200 MPH, a gas cap was crafted poorly, the horn did not scatter pedestrians effectively and...

First you require a vehicle.


I tested Lamborghinis, Range Rovers and Hummers — each more disappointing than its predecessor.

So many imperfections. A moon roof whistled at 200 MPH, a gas cap was crafted poorly, the horn did not scatter pedestrians effectively and on and bloody on and on.

These things fall apart when your crash test them.

On a whim I called Mac, whom my gardener had confided was a “car salesman and student of psychology.”

Supposedly Mac could procure “the perfect vehicle” for me. A tailor-made vehicle, if you please.

Mac, a queer duck, arrived at my estate and after asking me countless inane questions, quacked that he would provide a car that would surpass my hidden fantasies.

(When I use the term queer duck it is not my intention to impinge homosexuals or fowl. As far as I could tell Mac was neither but who cares if he were both, just as long as I was accommodated.)

I went to sleep, dreaming of a mode of transportation finer than a Ferrari.

The following day, Mac waddled up with a thirty-year-old Chevy Caprice. The roof liner was shredded and the ceiling painted with psychedelic colors. The upholstery was in ribbons.

The pathetic odometer registered in excess of 270,000 miles.


I assumed the car was a practical joke and ordered Mac off my property.

“Sir, drive this car and discover true happiness. It is perfect for your psychological profile.” His beady little eyes seemed so confident.

This gaze or maybe something else about Mac or perhaps something about the weather (hail threatened to devastate crops) persuaded me.

In the Caprice I soon encountered a neighbor who possessed a restored Pierce Arrow.


I did not know the driver by name — I simply referred to him as Jackass.

Jackass drove down the center of the road.

I accelerated directly at him.

Jackass’s mouth fell fully open — as his feeble brain finally deduced that I would be quite pleased to ram him head on.

He could then spend twenty-five thousand dollars repairing his classic motorcar.

I, on the other hand, had little, well — nothing to lose.

Jackass swerved and stuck a fire hydrant.


Grinning from ear to ear, I sped away.

It was more exhilarating than the time I saw a mountain goat miss its footing and plunge to its death from a 7,000 foot pinnacle in the Rocky Mountains.

Later the Caprice and I pursued children through one muddy puddle after another.

We happily sideswiped (and obliterated) a telephone booth containing a priest (not my religion).

The day was, if you will forgive a pun, turning into a smashing success.

Together the Caprice and I ran a Greyhound bus into the harbor, cut off a near-sighted grandmother in an ostentatious little Volkswagen and then caused a delightful rear-ender by jamming on our brakes in front of an obnoxious yuppie, yapping on an infernal cell phone in a white Mercedes.


A contented man, I motored home to discover that Mac — salesman and student of psychology — was waiting for me.

“I will take the car,” I said, reattaching the front bumper with duct tape. “Even though I doubt one could sell it to a scrap metal dealer.”

“I am not selling it to a dealer, I am offering it to you for $10,000.00.” His beady little eyes were unblinking.

“You are one queer duck,” I said. “This car is not worth a nickel over $250.00.”

“You are under no obligation to buy. I will remove this vehicle and you will never hear from me again.”


I paid the entire amount without further discussion and received not a cent in discount for cash.

The following day I drove my new trophy onto the most dangerous roadway known to humankind for I finally felt at one with the travelers of that famous asphalt.

I was ready to DRIVE the LA freeways.



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Jaron Summers wrote dozens of primetime television and radio programs, including those for HBO, CBS, ACCESS TV and CBC. He conceived the TV and Film Institute of Canada. Funded by the University of Alberta and ITV, Jaron ran the Institute for 12 years, donating his services for a decade.

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