Thursday, October 18, 2007

For want of a bungee cord ...

I love those Nationwide Insurance TV ads with the tagline “Life Comes at You Fast,” because the writers are so darned creative in coming up with semi-absurd chains of events, things a previous generation called Rube Goldbergs.

Yet, I know all of you have seen things equally absurd and improbable. And unfortunately, you’ve probably been on the receiving end of that chain of cause and effect a few times.

Last night in Nashville, two big-rig wranglers minding their own business got caught up in a tangled web. A ladder fell off a pickup truck – raise your hands if you’ve ever seen stuff flung from a pickup – causing the four-wheeler behind the pickup to stand on his brakes.

The semi behind the car couldn’t stop in time and hit the car, turned over and careened across the interstate into the path of another semi. Loads were scattered in all directions, closing the super slab for a while.

Amazingly, there were only minor injuries. Click here for a link to the story and video.

To paraphrase the proverb, for want of a bungee cord, an untold number of lives were put in jeopardy, livelihoods interrupted, property damaged, and so on. Kind of an asphalt Butterfly Effect when you think about it.

This was the most recent of several chain smackups around here lately, so I’m backing off even more than usual. Just in case.

By the way, you can send in your “life comes at you” ideas and moments here.