It seems my best driving stories are the ones where I do something stupid, so here goes another one I'm ashamed of.

I was driving home from work. It was a typical bleak, dreary, rainy Portland day. I was upset about something. I can't remember what it was. But I was driving really fast. Not dangerously fast, but fast. I was in the left lane, and I needed to be in the right lane soon to make a turn. But there was a car beside me, pacing me.

So I went faster. The other car sped up. Dammit, I didn't want to get into a race, but I was too angry to just slow down and get behind the guy. Despite the fact that my turn was coming up real soon, I sped up. I figured my car could handle a fast corner. And it could...on dry pavement. The fact that the road was soaked slipped my mind.

I managed to get in front of the guy, after quite a bit of acceleration...just in time to slam hard on the brakes and swing a vicious 90-degree right turn at about 50 miles per hour. I lost all semblance of traction, of course.

There was only one oncoming car. It was in the left turn lane, approaching the red light. It was one of those nice shiny new silver Lexus SUVs, driven by a soccer-mom, with several kids in the back. I slid sideways, right past them, nose to nose, almost touching bumpers.

Then, as if I had planned it all, I regained traction at the perfect moment, just as I became centered in the far left (oncoming, but empty) lane. I was stunned beyond belief that I hadn't totally lost control and died, but I managed to put a big stupid smile on my face and waved at the woman in the Lexus. All the kids were in the back with their faces plastered up against the windows, watching my silly stunt, and the woman was in a state of shock with her mouth hanging open.

Then, without losing momentum, I whipped around them, got back in my lane, and went on home.

I very severely mentally whipped myself for this for quite a long time afterward. It was a very, very stupid move on my part, and very immature. I could quite easily have injured or killed someone in that Lexus, if not for a convenient bit of accidental stunt driving on my part. I promised myself I'd never be that stupid again.

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