Traffic Life : Passionate Tales and Exit Strategies
Edited by Stephan Wehner
An Anthology
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 2                    Touched by an Angel?       'Stay with me here, Gregory. A couple of seconds ago you were riding through an intersection on your bike when a 16-year-old kid driving a small hatchback blew through a stop sign right in front of you. You didn't have time to avoid it so you've nailed the side of the car. Hard. Right now you are in the process of flying over the hood. Momentarily you are going to land on the other side of the car in the middle of the intersection. Because your perception of time slows during an accident, this unscheduled trip over the handle- bars will seem to take an eternity. So, seeing as you have some time to kill, I figured this would be a good opportunity for us to have a little chat.'      'Wait! My bike! Is my bike okay!? Did that idiot hurt my bike?'      'Your bike? Your BIKE!? Gregory, you're poised on the edge of oblivion, actually in the process of (ahem) Meeting your Maker, and you are worried about bits of steel and carbon fiber?'      'Well God, it is a brand new bike, and I'd sure hate to see it get dinged...'      'What the heck is it with you cyclists? Run these guys over with a car, give them a little face-time with the Creator of the Universe to talk things over, and what do I get? Do they want Me to explain the meaning of life? Are they cu- rious about Jesus or Buddha? Heck, I'd be satisfied with a question about whether Elvis is still alive. No! It's the same stupid question every single time! The only thing that these yahoos want to know is whether their precious bike is okay...Gregory! Don't distract me with questions. I need to speak with you right now.'      'Uh, sorry God. I didn't know that the 'bike' question was a pet peeve of yours. Hey! Wait a minute! If I'm talking with you, God, does that mean that I'm dead?'      'No, you are not dead. You are going to be a little banged up when this is over, but you most assuredly are not dead. Credit for that small miracle goes to your bike helmet. Be- sides, I've decided to save something far more entertaining for your Big Exit than getting run over by a car.'      'Well, that's a relief, I guess.'
                          Greg Taylor                        3     'Not to give too much away, but your Grand Finale in- volves a troupe of female gymnasts, lots of Jell-O, and a poorly wired hot tub. How does this headline sound: 'Sep- tuagenarian Love Shocker: Gal Gymnasts Jolted In Geri- atric Jiggle Fest.' You will become an urban legend on your way out. Cool, huh?'    'Wow...really?'    'Hah! Gotcha! I was just kidding with the bit about the gymnasts. You might want to be careful around Jell-O, though. Frankly, not enough people are. Anyway, Gregory, I want to talk with you.'    'About what, God?'    'Well, it's about this accident that you're having. I want your little aerial trip across the asphalt this afternoon to serve as a wake-up call. Think of it as an invitation from Me, the Creator of the Universe, to do a priority check on what's going on in your life.'    'A wake-up call? Say, wait a minute...is this about me buzzing past that big pack of joggers in the park, God? Man, I'm sorry about that, but those guys are the spawn of Satan. They take up the entire bike path and then just dare you to hit them. Those skinny little assholes have to be taken down a peg or two, dammit, and...oops. Sorry about using the a-word there, God. Just a little nervous, I guess.'    'No offense taken, Gregory. I do know what you mean about the runners, though. Definitely not my best work. Actually, it's the dog-walkers who don't pick up after their pets that Satan claims as his own, but I digress.'    'Okay, so where am I screwing up, God.'    'You're not screwing up, Gregory. At least not yet, any- way. What I want you to do after you hit the pavement is to take stock of what's important in your life, especially the people who love and care for you. You are going to find out today that there are a lot of them, a whole lot more than you suspect.'    'Really?'    'Yes, really. Complete strangers will treat you with kind- ness. Your friends and family will rally around to make sure that you are okay. Oh, and the bicycle thing will get

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