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Bare-knuckled in the snow.

Around the time we first met, my (now) wife had just acquired a long-in-the-tooth Mercury Zephyr. Never heard of one? I'm not surprised.

The most salient feature of the Zephyr was that, rather than feeling like it had a four-wheel independent suspension, it instead felt like it was riding on a single, large blue exercise ball wedged underneath the car between the driver and the passenger seats.

And so it was, one day when I was driving in the snow and ice to take her back to her place, that the "exercise ball" almost got us:

Map with the items that are listed below
Image: Not the actual Zephyr we drove, but hey, close enough

1. We come into the intersection at what would be considered a normal speed for most cars given the snow and ice
2. I begin to turn left
3. The car turns more aggressively than my steering inputs
4. The rear end kicks out side, sliding on the slippery surface
5. We are now 90º off from our desired path, but have managed to miss both the waiting car "A" and the curb behind us
6. As the car begins to slow, I noticed inbound cars "B" and "C", both of which may have trouble slowing to avoid us
7. At just the right moment, I actually press on the gas, rather than the brake, and begin to gain a touch of traction
8. I avoid cars "A", "B", and "C", and the curb on the right
9. I come to a full stop, turn on my right blinker, and wait
10. I proceed to the right, loop through the parking lot, and we go on our merry way, mission accomplished

That car later caught fire and burned to the ground. Appropriate.

 

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