Okay - so, I let myself get jealous of squirrels. I got full of myself. I offered to take the old woman out for the day. Really, I just wanted to show off my cute little monkey mobile.
And, boy did karma teach me a lesson. I should have remembered that the old man would have to come along since he needs to be fed on a regular basis. If the old man comes along, then he will insist on driving. And, we were going traverse Cowee Mountain.
For those of you who aren't familiar with Cowee Mountain. I'm pretty sure it's named for the sound people make as they fly over the side of it just before they die a fiery death. This "highway" is lined with "run away truck ramps" - which are just places where they've piled up a stretch of sand in order to keep the truckers from killing the innocents. It has a very steep grade (and what befuddles me is that you end up going both up and down hill both directions) and is rather curvy.
The old man is fond of braking in the middle of a steep curve. He also likes to signal for a turn a couple o' miles after he's made his turn. I've even known him to signal to turn right and turn left and giggle "ha! tricked 'em" as he was doing it.
I should have known I was in for it when the old woman was so quick to insist on sitting in the back seat and me in the front.
It was one of the most terrifying rides I've ever been on. I realized why I hate roller coasters -- years of riding shot-gun with the old man. But, we made it home alive - and I've learned that my heart is much healthier than I would have thought before today. At one point, I realized that we were going to die - and if I closed my eyes, at least I wouldn't see it before it happened.
But, I did wait until the old man went back into the house before kissing the ground - I figured he might be a tad insulted if he saw it.