Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Give Me A Brake

A few years after college, I was with a straight friend in the old Greenbelt 1 parking lot. (Back then Greenbelt 1 had no “1” to its name; it was the only Greenbelt around. The parking lot is where Greenbelt 2 is now located.) It was an open parking lot, and we were driving out under the cruel heat of the afternoon sun when suddenly a car from the left came barreling towards our path. My friend, who had been driving a lot longer than me, screamed, “Aaaaaaaaaah!” In fairness, it was a full-bodied, full-throttle man-scream, not some girly screech or shriek. I, on the other hand, stepped on the brakes. The other car hurtled past in front of us, not even slowing down. What an asshole driver.

My friend looked at me calmly holding on to the wheel and, after a few seconds, remarked, “Wow, how could you have been so cool just now?”

Truth is I wasn’t even trying to be cool. Even now I remember what happened very well. As soon as I saw the car coming, I figured out in a split second that: [a] the driver wasn’t even looking at our direction; [b] he wouldn’t slow down; [c] if I immediately slammed on the brakes really hard, we’d prevent an impact. So I did.

Was I afraid? I don’t think I had time to even allow myself to feel fear. It happened so fast it was over just like that. And the danger disappeared just as quickly so I didn’t find the time—or even the necessity—to experience post-traumatic syndrome.

But what I had was a perfect cinematic moment. So I looked at my friend and nonchalantly asked, “Do you think my car would’ve stopped had I just screamed too?”

To my straight friend I looked so cool behind the wheel that day.

10 comments:

J said...

Pogi points!

Aris said...

grace under pressure.

antaray ng bagong pic! love it! :)

Flipping Felipe said...

natandaan ko yung commercial ng shrimp KFC....

LOL.

joelmcvie said...

@FELIPE: Hahaha! Huy, out naman ako sa friend kong yun. =)

gbic said...

sadya ba yung "brake" sa title pero "break" sa text? ;-)

Jedd said...

Actually, your buddy was at a disadvantage because he was in the passenger seat. Having no control of the brakes or your car, the only way his body could let all the tension out was to scream. His role was to make noise so as to alert you, and yours was to step on the brakes.

joelmcvie said...

@JEDD: Actually we both reacted at the same time.

Quentin X said...

I would have sit on the horn straight after braking.

gbic said...

may isa pa =)

joelmcvie said...

@GBIC: Thanks online editor. Give me a brake!