One of my favorite scenes in the 1993 film “Groundhog Day,” is when Phil Connors (Bill Murray) kidnaps Punxsutawney Phil and takes him for a drive. Things get out of hand, and once the police give chase, Connors let’s Phil drive the truck. However, Connors is sure to tell Phil: “Don’t drive angry.”
This scene from the movie was all I could think of, when I found myself in the backseat of a runway Audi driven by my good friend Laneit a,k,a, Nick. But let me back up a bit, and explain how I ended up rolling around the backseat of an Audi like a tumbleweed.
It was early 1998, and Laneit was working at the Uhaul in our town. One night, Nick, John, and myself decided to go play pool in Braintree. This sounded like fun, but I was surprised when Nick said he’d drive. Although he alrady had a driver’s licence, Nick didn’t own a car yet. Instead, he would often borrow the car of our other friend, Wah Kee.
I’ve lost count of how many cars Kee has owned, let alone how many he’s crashed. But in 1998 he was still driving an old Audi. This thing was old school, it was one of those big model Audi had in the 1980’s and early 1990’s. Kee seemed happy with it, but I did wonder why the backseat didn’t have any seatbelts, and I think the car only had one side mirror, but I’m not positive.
Anywho, we left the Uhaul in Weymouth and took route 3A towards Braintree/Quincy to pick up Kee from work. Nick decided to drive fast, doing what felt like 80 miles per hour. That’s how I began to tumble all over the place, because Nick kept passing cars like he was playing a video game. John, who was in the front seat, thought it was hilarious. Then came the moment that flashed be back to “Groundhog Day.”
You see kids, in order to get into Braintree, you have to cross the Fore River Bridge. And on the other end of the bridge, there’s a rotary or as some may call it, a roundabout. As we crossed the bridge, a car cut us of, setting Nick off. He started chasing the guy, and every possible curse word in the English dictionary was spoken. But as we neared the rotary, Nick says to John: “Hey, John, pass me the gun under the seat.”
I’m sure I aimed my fair share of swears at Nick during my tumbling, but I also managed to tell him not to drive angry. Meanwhile, John let out a loud “Whaaaaat?!” but did as he was told, well sort of anyways. John found “the gun” under the seat, but he told Nick he couldn’t find it after all. Smart move John boy, very slick.
Luckily for me and John, we lost sight of the guy who cut us off. By the time we got to Kee’s work, Nick had cooled off somewhat. But while we waited for Kee to meet us, Nick decided to search for “the gun.” He found it, and it wasn’t what John or I were expecting. The “gun” Nick was looking for turned out to be a paintball gun. Not that it mattered, he still scared the Oreos out of John and me.