Not long after I bought my Neon, some friends and I decided to take a late-night trip to the beach. We live in Portland, so the trip to the beach consists merely of zooming west on Highway 26 for about 90 minutes (50 if I'm driving).

So we all piled into our cars. Three cars total -- Kathreen and Steve in her Mazda 626, me and Loren in my Neon, and Eric in his Porsche 924. There was room for Eric in both of the other cars, but for some reason he chose to drive alone. His loss, as you'll soon discover.

So we headed for the beach. Nevermind the fact that it was raining cats and dogs and other small, furry things. Nevermind the fact that it was 1am. Nevermind the fact that nobody in their right mind would drive in these conditions.

After about two hours (it took us an extra long time to get there, due to the downpour), Eric (who was leading) pulled off to the side of the road. Curious, Kathreen and I pulled off behind him. Eric was in front, then Kathreen, then me, all parked on the shoulder of Highway 26. Eric hopped out and told us that we'd missed our turn-off, so we were going to backtrack a bit. Okay.

Then Eric got back in his car. He put it in gear. I noticed some approaching headlights in my mirror. I began to wonder whether Eric had noticed them. I saw Kathreen turn and look back...she'd seen the lights too. Eric apparently hadn't. He pulled the steering wheel to the left and zipped out into the road, making a U-turn. The oncoming Geo Metro, traveling at about 70mph, performed some of the most amazing road-acrobatics I have seen to this day. The driver of the Geo apparently had superhuman reaction time. When Eric pulled out, the Geo was approximately 15 feet from hitting his driver-side door. Then the Geo suddenly slammed on its brakes and literally jumped 6 feet to the left of where it had been previously, missing Eric's Porsche by about 6 inches.

That's not the end of the story...

Later that night, after we reached our destination and yelled at Eric for his stupidity, we all started heading home. Kathreen went her own way, some silly backroads or something, while Eric and I went home via Highway 26, the way we'd come. Eric was in front again. We were both speeding quite a lot, especially considering how hard it was raining and how low the visibility was that night.

Where the highway splits and 26 goes right while Highway 101 goes left, Eric went left. Loren and I began to wonder whether he knew where he was going, so we decided to follow him and get him to pull over so we could tell him that if he kept going on 101 he would end up very, very far away from home.

Of course, every time we caught up to him, Eric accelerated, because he apparently thought we were trying to race. So I was basically chasing this idiot in a Porsche down Highway 101 at 3am in what we later discovered was the worst storm to hit the area in years. Many of the roads were flooded, and it was definitely not a time to be speeding.

I finally decided that if he didn't slow down within the next few minutes, I was just going to turn around and let him be lost. About that time, we went into a dense fog... near-zero visibility. I slowed down considerably to be safe, and Eric didn't... he was way ahead of me, far out of sight. After a few minutes, the fog lifted, and there, several hundred yards in front of me, was Eric's Porsche on the side of the road, facing the wrong way, with a flat tire and a banged up front end.

Apparently, Eric had been going around a curve at an insane rate of speed, downshifted to get even more power, hit a huge puddle just as he downshifted, lost control of the back end, and the car spun around several times before smashing into a barrel and a guardrail on the side of the road.

Inside the barrel was the dead body of a dog. We're pretty sure the dog was dead before Eric hit the barrel, but it's also fairly possible that the dog was sleeping in the barrel and experienced fatal injuries after being hit by the speeding Porsche.

Needless to say, Eric was not happy. Luckily for him, I wasn't quite mad enough to refuse to give him a ride home.

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