Monday, January 30, 2006

Walk away Renee

I read this morning that Joaquin Phoenix survived a car accident unharmed after his brakes failed. The headline read "Oscar contender Phoenix flips car, walks away". I've always liked the sound of that in news stories. Walked away. It seems to imply disgust—just throwing up the hands, walking off, and not looking back. Unshaken, but shaking the head in annoyance. Getting simply fed up and stalking off. You know what? Fuck this shit.

That's how you react to a near-fatal situation: with a certain annoyed sangfroid. My older sister did something similar once, although it was a decidedly more hot-blooded reaction. She had just bought a used car and was driving it home on the 401 at highway speed, when one of the wheels flew right off and she nearly crashed. Her husband, who was driving behind her with their two kids, was horrified to watch her nearly make their children motherless, with him powerless to save her. But she managed to pull over to the side of the road safely, and by the time he rushed over to her, trembling, she was already out of the car, cursing and kicking the shit out of it. She wasn't shaken up at all—just incredibly pissed off.

When I heard about it later, I just thought, Yeah, that sounds like her. She always did have the worst temper I ever saw. She's never been the type to just walk away.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sangfroid was the word of the day today. I read it just seconds before reading your post. It was weird. Especially because it was one of the few words of the day I didn't know and I thought "I'm going to slip that one into conversation somewhere and confuse people" but you beat me to it.

1/30/2006 05:05:00 PM  
Blogger Peter Lynn said...

Interesting coincidence. I'm going to have to start reading the word of the day -- or perhaps writing it. I've been slipping more foreign words into conversation lately. For example, I told my ex-girlfriend she was experiencing Torschlusspanik.

1/30/2006 05:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Tom said...

Was she in awe of your lexical prowess or do people expect you to just bust them out these days?

1/30/2006 11:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Riley said...

When I hear the phrase, "X flips car, walks away," my first response is, "What a fucking bully! He just walked up to someone's car and flipped it over?"
Maybe I should stop watching re-runs of the World's Strongest Man competitions.

1/31/2006 12:35:00 AM  
Blogger Peter Lynn said...

Tom: We've known each other for many years, so she knows I have a few 50-cent words up my sleeve. Also, she probably knew I was doing it on purpose, because she'd just told me about how she was repulsed by her unintellectual boyfriend, who had scolded his young daughter for using the word "certainly", demanding to know if it made her feel smart to use words other people didn't know.

Riley: I heard a story once about Andre the Giant doing that to some guys who pissed him off, then hid in their car.

1/31/2006 01:51:00 AM  

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