Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Just your Average Friendly Neighbourhood Serial Killer

Yep, that's me. As you can see I'm all dressed up for a night on the town...

I hate looking at photographs of myself but when there's occasionally one that's at least semi-good, I just have to show it to everyone. So, there you have it. With beard, nasal hair and hair on it's end.

In a day or so I won't look like this anymore. It's shaving time! Maybe, just maybe, I can convince someone in the family to hold the camera when it's all done. Hopefully there will be at least one good picture.

At last we've got some chillier weather. This morning, at 6.30 am, the temperature was just above Zero degrees Celsius (32 F) and two hours later it was bright sunshine and 12 degrees Celsius (53.6 F) in the sun. We're expecting the same weather tomorrow.

This weather is not your average Swedish November type of weather. At least not in the southern parts. Wind, rain and the occasional snowflake is more like it. It's said that 2005 will break all previous records on average temperature throughout the year.

Another twist on the weather is that there was a serial collision on the freeway leading to Helsingborg (about 45 km from where I live) due to a sudden hail storm. Remember, here at our little municipality the sun has been gazing down from a unclouded sky... Anyway, as usual drivers in southern Sweden are caught completely by surprise. This happens every year.

We have a word, blixthalka, that roughly translates to flash-slipperiness. This means that the road surface suddenly, and without warning, becomes extremely slippery due to weather conditions. This must be one of the most miss-used words in the Swedish vocabulary. It essentially means that the road gets very slippery and that there was absolutely no way of foreseeing it.

This word is used all through the winter season, especially down here. Winter starts (normally) roughly at the end of October and lasts until the end of March. All Swedes know this. That is, all Swedes except those stupid half-danes I'm surrounded by. During the last week the meteorologists have been telling us that cold weather is approaching southern Scandinavia. During the last week they have been telling us that the time has come to put on winter tires.

Now, what do my fellow southern Swedes (swedes?) do? Do they take it easy in traffic? Do they lift their foot from the gas? Oh no, they charge on, in about 120 km/h (75 mph) and when they smash their steel-boxes into each other or into a ditch, they have the nerve to say they were caught by surprise due to flash-slipperiness! Damn it people, this is winter! Slippery roads at winter time is in no way any surprise!

Last year, I freaked out at a local radio station as they were reporting about an accident and blamed it on flash-slipperiness. This was in late January, THE most dangerous month when it comes to sudden snow falls and temperature changes. I called them and told them that winter had been going on for the last three months, so that accident had nothing to do with a surprisingly slippery road, but all with stupid and ignorant drivers. The reporter agreed but told me that he couldn't say that on the radio. But next time I listened he didn't use that word, just "slippery roads".

Damn it, I almost freak out just by writing this stuff.

And while I'm at writing about stupid drivers, I just have to tell you about the knucklehead that ended up in an field right in front of my eyes.

It was a few years ago, in early November. LazyWorm had an appointment at the eye-clinic in Lund about his squinting. I had a pretty old Opel (Holden?) and couldn't afford real winter tires but the weather had been mild so I didn't worry to much but of course, weather changed during the night.

We started early. Normally it's a fifteen minutes drive but knowing my tires weren't the best, we took it slow and easy because it was oil-on-glass-slippery. On a long straight stretch uphill I drove about 35 km/h (22mph). And let me tell you, I was a bit nervous, since the radio announced that a snow storm was heading towards Scania, and it came straight from Denmark.

Suddenly I saw a brand new Volvo 850 coming up really fast from behind. He didn't slow down as he passed by but as he was changing lane to get in front of us, a sudden gust made him loose control of the car. He skidded from side to side, fighting frantically to keep his Volvo on the road.
(This Volvo, the 850, is a front wheel drive and one of the best cars ever built for winter conditions. To skid with it is almost impossible, unless your really provoke it.)

Anyway, he was damn lucky. There were deep ditches on both sides of the road but he, now skidding in circles, had the tremendous luck of skidding off the road exactly at a point where the farmer had an small overpass to the field. The Volvo stopped about 20 meters into the field, all muddy and... well, muddy.

I carefully stopped my car and went out to check if he was alright. The driver's door opened and out comes a guy in his fifties, wearing an expensive suit with a cellphone in his hand. And boy, was he MAD! First of all he yelled something into the phone, than he looked at me and screamed from the top of his lungs: HOW THE HELL COULD THIS HAPPEN! I HAVE NEW WINTER TIRES FOR CHRIST'S SAKE!

I just looked at him, turned around and walked back to my car. LazyWorm asked me if I wasn't going to help the guy.
-No, he was an idiot. I won't help idiots driving like that, talking on the cellphone, at a temperature below freezing point. Especially when they don't recognize their own wrong doings. Guys like that are a menace to other drivers. He could just as well have hit us from behind." LazyWorm looked at me and sat quiet while I slowly left the Volvo and it's owner behind us.

-You're right, Dad. He really was an idiot. If he had hit us I might never had gotten my operation. And then I'd be squinting in heaven too."

Tomorrow I will be completely alone at home for the first time in more than, at the least, two years. I'm going to enjoy that. Or maybe not, since I have to fix my Volkswagen before Christmas. And Friday, I'm skipping class since LittleAngel's day care center is going to be closed that day.


ScandinavienNova said...

I don't have the time right now to read all, but I must say that the pic was great!! BUT.. Plz bring out the shaver NOW!!!! LOL

You know that you look at least 10 y younger without all that hair ;-)

Virginia Gal said...

hee hee, you don't look like the average friendly neighbourhood serial killer...more like a college professor :-)

Have a good day off!

ScandinavienNova said...

Every winter we laugh our ass off when we watch the news from your part. It is totallay CHAOS! And we smile a bit evil and say just what you did.. we all KNOW it is coming snow and ect.. hehe.. Here it never a problem, not even when we get at really nasty storm.

Even our self-made shortcuts is free from snow, that is "lyx" !!

The guy's sits in their trucks and just waits for this shitty wheater to get worse..they LOVE it..
Good pay I guess, can't see any other reason..

PissedOffPencil said...

ScandinavianNova: You told me you prefer older, mature, guys and now you want me to look ten years younger?
Inconsistency, thy name is woman...

Of course it's good pay. Had I got the chance on a job like that, I'd take it.

VirginiaGal: You know that serial killers can be college professors too...*evil laughter*

And thanks, I really did enjoy it. All five hours... ;o)

Francesca said...

What is this?!!!

You don't even look "pissed off"...I think you've been running a scam on us! lol

Then does say "Pissed Off PENCIL" I guess it's the pencil that looks pissed off! lol

Yes, you do look like a very knowledgeable professor! I totally agree!...But I also agree: You will look even younger with it "clean shaven"....(Ermmmmm...and I'm referring to the beard, in case you were wondering!!! hahahahaha) just might have inspired me to show my pic on my blog...but then again, I wouldn't be invisible, now would I? hee-hee

Hugs to ya! ;)

Me said...

Enjoy your alone time tomorrow! It doesn't matter if you still have chores to do. Just the silence and the absence of others in the house can be really blissful if you haven't had it in awhile!!
As far as stupid drivers go, i could dedicate a WHOLE BLOG to Greek ones!!! hehe

PissedOffPencil said...

Francesca: Just because I don't look pissed in this picture doesn't mean I can't be... ;o)

Regarding pictures.. you can put up pictures on flickr and select that only friends and/or family can see them. :) I did that. (No nude ones though.. ;o) )

Evangelia: As I stated above, I enjoyed all five hours.

The worst driver I've ever met was from Scotland.

ScandinavienNova said...

Bara en snabbis förbi innan det är dax för 3 timmar med Harry Potter :)

Bara så du vet så är du jättefin på kortet.. Du ser precis ut som "min" Bugga :)

I found another great pic of you in my hd yesterday night.. Do you remember that one with the ugly theet??!!

The one that made me laugh my pants of.. You are sooo cute on that one too :)

PissedOffPencil said...

ScandinavianNove: That's what I love about you, your great sence of humor... ;)

Piggy and Tazzy said...

Do you know, I *knew* you looked like that, somehow!

I like the word 'blixthalka', but I like 'flash-slipperiness' too. I might just add them to my vocabulary.

You do realise you are going to look like a baby when the beard has gone, don't you?

Francesca said...

Okay! I think you have held us in suspense long enough! Show us the goods...We wanna see the "after" pic, with the beard shaved...or did you chicken out? lol


PissedOffPencil said...

Piggy or Tazzy: Yeah, I know, flash-slipperiness is a kinda cool word. Sounds like something that might hit women... ;o)

How come you *knew* I looked like that? Do I give that impression writing?

One of the reasons I shave everything off is that my wife hates it, since I look younger than her, he he...

Francesca: I haven't backed down, believe you me! It's just that... I can't decide if I'm gonna keep the mustache or even a goatee. :)

I've shaved hundreds of times so I'm not afraid of doing it. Then again... it's fucking cold here now... :D

Francesca said...

Oh! Please try the goatee! I think they are sexy! Of course, if you don't like it then you can always shave it completely...

PissedOffPencil said...

Francesca: Well... I would try it... but according to Piggy it's exclusively for gay guys.