Maine is known for four things:
- pictures of lighthouses on the rocky coast,
- and the fact that whenever anyone finds out you are from Maine, they ask, "Oh, do you know such and such? He is my cousin's brother-in-law's cousin!"
Anyway, I grew up driving in the snow. I learned to drive in a rear wheel drive Chevy Suburban, and in fact I think I took my driver's test in February. It was not uncommon for us to take one of our cars to an empty parking lot to slide around on four wheels. Sure it was reckless and fun, and a great many times we got the cars stacked up in snowbanks and spent an hour digging out, but I learned a great deal about controlling a car in the snow and recovering from an unplanned slide.
The most important things I learned from my years of driving in the Northeast are:
- Drive slower than you think you should.
- Don't tailgate.
- Hand-pull emergency brakes make turning a lot more fun.
- Four wheel drive won't slow you down any faster.
Forgetting that karma is a bitch, I was bragging to some coworkers yesterday about my winter driving abilities when it started looking slippery outside. Snow was falling as I recounted my experience behind the wheel in questionable road conditions. As I left work, I took a look at my bald, directional tires and thought, "No problem." Sure enough, the drive home was a little sketchy, but by following standard winter driving etiquette, I got home in once piece.
Now our driveway has a slight incline to the garage. I know from experience that my tires don't do a great job getting me into this driveway. As I approached the turn into the driveway, I pulled the e-brake and put the car into an elegant drift to maintain my momentum into the driveway. I feathered the gas pedal and parked the car perfectly next to my flat-mates Scion. I take the car out of gear, and pull the parking brake, and I step out onto the snow-covered driveway.
As I take a step away, I hear a near-silent sliding sound and turn around to see my car gently sliding backwards into the street - the front tires turning as they are not in gear; the rear tires sliding under the unweighted back of the car. I run into the street to stop any possible oncoming neighbors, and step into the car just as it stops. Pulling into the street parking next to the house, I nonchalantly step out. Yes, that was all planned. The Maine boy just wanted to execute a ghosted 3-point turn in style. Just showing off for the neighborhood.