Monday, October 3, 2011

Creepy's Monday Misdemeanor

Today’s Misdemeanor :             Reckless Driving  
      
A high speed chase in a book or movie can be a cheap thrill or a buzz kill. I admit, I enjoy the crazy maneuvering- the screeching of wheels and shifting of gears.  And my favorite is when the car ‘flies’ off of some higher surface to land with impossible accuracy on a moving object- like a freight train, boat, or big ass tow truck. 
When the mc’s best friend/lover/mother/father
/sister/goldfish is in absolute danger and the author has made you ADORE this character- the high speed reckless driving scene can be essential to the tension.  You want to grab the wheel and scream FASTER! and have to will yourself not to turn a page or two ahead just to make sure they’re safe. (or maybe that’s just me)

Unfortunately, if were behind the wheel, I’d probably end up driving my car into some obscure, completely-out-of-my-lane object (like a gas tank) and the supporting character would be toast.  Sorry.

I’ve never been a very good driver-which is why I decided to take driving lessons in France in order to survive. You can’t just get away with knowing how to drive here.  Frenchmen let out some serious inner psycho on the road.  If you can’t predict what they’re going to do- you.will.not.live.

This is embarrassing.  But in the five years I had my license in the U.S., I managed to get pulled over for:

Speeding-  1st transgression- I got a ticket for going 60 in a 45 and I decided to take it to court. (I was 18)  I told the judge that there was no way I was speeding since I had not only slowed down at the 45m sign but was goinguphill and my piece of junk car won’t go faster than that when I go uphill.  (yes, I seriously did use this as an argument).  He must have thought I was funny because he went on to explain that they’d got me with a radar-but he told me to get my speedometer checked and waved the ticket.

2nd transgression-  The officer pulled me over and said I’d been going 65 in a 45.  I told him that was impossiblebecause my car was overheating and I was crawling to get home.  My car WAS overheating.  You could see the smoke.  He let me go with a warning. (You starting to see a pattern here?)

Headlight out-  I had a Ford Probe with those stupid batmat flip-up headlights.  One of them wouldn’t open, but I had a special way of ‘fixing’ it.  When the officer pulled me over and said I had a headlight out I asked him 'if I could get out of the car?'  He said yes.  I took my hustry trusty headband, pulled up the headlight and jambed it in underneath to prop it up.  The officer scratched his chin and rolled his eyes heavenward muttering something about ‘women’ before letting me go.

Backing Down a Highway On-ramp because there was nobody around to see me....except the officer waiting for me at the end.  Sorry folks- there’s just no getting out of that one:)

What do you think about reckless driving scenes in movies and literature?  Cheap thrill or buzz kill?  For more Monday Misdemeanor's click here.

***PS- I apologize to my old-time followers for today's rerun- I went back to work today and ended up with a lot less free time than I thought I would:( But I’ll be back to my regular schedule Wednesday!***

35 comments:

Miranda Hardy said...

I guess I have a hard time relating to the reckless driver scenario. Lol That is probably a good thing.

jabblog said...

I hate car chases/reckless driving in films - seems to me they're a way of lengthening the footage without adding to the story. I can't recall reading any but I think I'd probably feel the same about them, too:-)

Lisa Shafer said...

I think car chase scenes work a good deal better in the movies than in books. A chase scene on foot has a great deal more tension in it when written than a car chase does.

Anne Gallagher said...

I like the backing down the off ramp. I just did this on my vacation this year, so I wouldn't be stuck in 4 hours of traffic.

My father was a race car driver before I was born so I think I got some of those racing genes. I'd love to drive in France, just once. It's actually on my bucket list.

B.E. Sanderson said...

Eh, I can go either way. Sometimes a chase scene works and sometimes it doesn't. I mean, would Blues Brothers be the same without the long chase at the end? Or The French Connection? Or even The Rock (with Nicholas Cage chasing Sean Connery through the streets of San Francisco)? I can't remember much in the way of written chases (my brain's a sieve today) but I think Toni McGee Causey has a good one in her 'Bobbie Faye's Very (very very very) Bad Day'.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Okay, the last one was hiliarious (unless it was me). Would have loved to see you explain your way out of that one.

I got a warning for speeding in a playground zone. I was shocked. I had just stopped at the stop sign, and there's no way my car could have accelarated that fast in such a short time (it was an old car). I guess the stunned look said it all because the cute cop let me off.

DL Hammons said...

An oldie...but a goodie! I have a car chase scene in my novel, but the driver is a taxi driver, so its a bit unconventional. :)

Kelly Polark said...

I think most of the time a car chase scene is thrilling in a movie or book, as long as it's not too long.

And people make fun of my driving because I'm too cautious. Though I've had a few speeding tickets in my day...

salarsenッ said...

OMGosh - I can't stop laughing at "Frenchmen let out some serious inner psycho..." Haha...that's my family while driving! Like every family member I have. We might live in the US, but we carry our French heritage on our sleeves. :)

J. A. Bennett said...

That last one is hilarious! Car chases, depend on the movie and the how they make it different from other chases. They can be good, if done right :)

Sarah said...

Well, this one was new to me and made me laugh out loud. Thanks--I really needed it this morning! I hope work goes well!

Haven said...

New to me too. I have to say... I love fast cars and if a chase scene is choreographed properly it can be a total thrill. Cheap or otherwise. Double so if it's a super hot car, which is totally key.

Linda Kage said...

Dude, I wish I had a cool ticket story. The only time I got pulled over was when my hubby (cop) was working and saw me drive by. Scared a little pee out of me.

But I was only going 50 in a 55 (hey, it was late; I was tired), so now he tells everyone I drive like an old grandma. Grr.

Old Kitty said...

I don't drive but I love love love the mini cars chasing each other in The Italian Job - the original film of course!

p.s. you bad girl! LOL! Take care
x

Becky Mahoney said...

I tend to zone out during most car chase scenes, but I was playing a video game recently in which I had to make a character drive the wrong way on the highway. THAT got my blood pressure up!

Jennifer Groepl said...

What purpose does the car chase serve in the story? That would be a deciding factor for me in whether or not I enjoyed it. Also, a long description of a car chase would be tedious unless it is interspersed with dialogue or gives us some insight into the character's feelings. I can't think of a book I've read with a car chase, but I do enjoy them in the movies if they don't carry on forever. :)

NiaRaie said...

This is TOO funny. Can't believe you got out of all of those tickets!

Tony Van Helsing said...

Try driving around the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, it's insane. there are no rules and as far as I can tell no insurance company will cover you for driving around it. It was like being in Ben Hur in a Renault Megane instead of a chariot.

Johanna Garth said...

Love that you were one of those people who back down on ramps. I always wonder who does that!?!

As for chase scenes, 9 times out of 10 they bore me but every now and then I'll see a good one.

Bethany Elizabeth said...

Hah, cute post! I know what you mean about the drivers in France, totally crazy... Although my dad was speeding at least 20 kilometers once on highway and a French police car pulled up next to us. We were thinking we were gonna get a ticket, but the cop just kept on going, talking to his buddy.
It was awesome. :)

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Katie, bah! We still love you! I loved this post. You know, an officer pulled me over, hoping to book me. Yes, book me! He took every DUI test on me and said that he would have me go down to the station to give me a test for drugs.

All this because I was swerving a little bit. My legs wobbled a bit while doing the 'walk the line'.

Guess why?

I was swerving just a tad because I was looking for my favorite CD to play. *guilty* My legs wobbled because I danced hard for 3 hours straight and I was wearing heels. *guilty*

He was mad because he had no evidence and still he sneered me. He even made my DROWSY sister drive so that I wouldn't. Stinker, hu?

Well, I think a highspeed chase in a movie/book is great if written well and realistically done. I hate it when the villain gets away with everything. I want a weakness so that I can hate him better. ;)



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Cynthia Lee said...

I hate car chases. They bore me to death. Even if it's a really famous car chase like the one in The French Connection or Bullitt.

I suspect I am in the minority on this.

Angela Brown said...

Fast cars make fast times and fun reads when worked well in a book.

Reckless driving for the sake of reckless driving...hmm...only if I'm no where around.

In that same tone, I make no claims of perfect driving *blush*

Meredith said...

Haha, that headband story is priceless! You definitely deserved to get off with only a warning for that--genius.

Melissa Pearl said...

I have to say, I love a good chase scene - whether it's on foot or in a car speeding recklessly through the streets. Bring on the tension!

vanyelmoon said...

As to the book or movies, I love a good chase scene, IF it is well filmed. I can't stand when the film is all herky jerky, it makes me dizzy :(

As for your misdemeanor traffic infractions, I work in the records division of a police department, so I have heard them all :)

Shelley Sly said...

Ha! Backing down the up ramp is great. Never did it, but saw people who did.

(I'm also one of those people who is tempted to flip a page or two ahead just to see if the characters are okay.)

Alleged Author said...

"Unfortunately, if I were behind the wheel, I’d probably end up driving my car into some obscure, completely-out-of-my-lane object (like a gas tank) and the supporting character would be toast."

ME, TOO! ME, TOO!

LTM said...

Katie! Don't EVER back down an on ramp! You'll be killed! But that one about the headlamp out was just ridiculous. Warning is all you should've gotten there...

As for what I think, well, I don't care for the cheesy ones, but if they're done well, I like a car chase or reckless driving scene every so often. I've even used one myself... once. :D <3

Carolyn V said...

lol! I love your transgressions. I never got out of one of mine! That is awesome.

Unfortunately, I don't have any chase scenes in my book. I think I might have to add one.

Samantha Vérant said...

I HATE driving here. Well, it wouldn't be that bad if we had a car with an automatic transmission, but we don't. I think I'd cry if I got pulled over. Yes, I'm a baby...

Marie Rose Dufour said...

I think in the right setting the crazy car scene can be a great plot device. If it's just thrown in, it can seem awkward and out of place. Good luck with driving in France that should be an experience.

Writer Pat Newcombe said...

I'm not a big one for car chase scenes - even in movies. But I can see that some people like the thrill of the ride and can probably imagine themselves riding along. For me, I hate fast car drivers and careless driving so am not keen.

AmieSalmonYAWriter said...

This really made me laugh. The headband - the reaction was so real and funny.
I love car chase scenes, if done right. I think sometimes they can be predictable. Not sure the last time I read one in a book...doesn't sound good. Have to have a think back.

Rebecca Emin said...

This is such a funny post (in a very good way) I can't stop laughing at it. And OMG you had a Ford Probe. I had a big love for those cars when they were new, but I only ever saw the adverts.

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