It’s been a very demoralizing week, including failed fundraisers, meetings that did not materialize, and medical bills going to collection agencies.   I had this massive meltdown yesterday, which I do not need to discuss.  I can be glad of one thing, however–I’m glad that I did not die today.

There was a rally in Columbus to raise awareness about the Copenhagen talks today.  I was supposed to go up there and collect petition signatures again, march to another location, then address the assembled crowd about Copenhagen. 

I was driving up I-71 on my way to Columbus, just like I have done many times before.   The car is the sort that is supposed to beep at you when a light comes on, which is something my libertarian grandfather (who previously owned the car) had destroyed, illegally. 

As with pain, there is a reason that such a system exists, even if it is annoying.  In the case of my story, such a system might even save lives.  Luckily, and for no particular reason, I happened to glance down at my speedometer and gauges and saw that my brake light was silently on. 

For all the children out there reading this blog, it is very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very bad and dangerous to talk on your cellphone while driving, and your parents must not think that I in any way endorse such actions under any circumstance.  But that is exactly what I did, and you must admit it saved my life.

I called my mom, and said, “The brake light is on, what should I do?”  My first inclination was to ignore the issue, and I figured that’s what she would say too.  Instead, she told me to pull over and figure out why it was on.

I turned off at Field’s Urtel Road, where there conveniently happened to be a Michel Tire mechanics shop.   I went in.  I said, My brake light is on, and I don’t know why.

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This is sort of what my un-trusty car looks like

Several minutes later they called me back to show me my car suspended in mid-air.  Apparently, the entire brake line had inexplicably ruptured on the left side, draining the car of brake fluid; it left a gaping hole in the line through which its life-blood now dripped onto  the floor of the shop.  They said it wasn’t safe for me to drive it home, and I must have had mere seconds before the brakes failed on me entirely.

What if I had been careening down the highway at my usual speed of 85 mph and I had to slam on my brakes?  I would have died, that’s what.  And maybe killed someone else.  Let this be a lesson–don’t disable the beeping devices in your car.  The next driver might not be as lucky as I was.

And that’s why I didn’t go to Columbus this morning.

I did, however, go to Columbus in the evening with my friend and co-activist Jeff.  We attended the Ohio Environmental Council’s annual meeting and Green Gala, which was a lot of fun. 

I didn’t know anybody, so I started talking to the woman next to me who told her husband about me and my trip to Copenhagen.  Because he showed enthusiasm for my mission, I had him introduce me to several other people who might be interested.  Then I asked them to introduce me to others.  If any of the kind people I spoke to at this event are reading now, then I thank them for their interest, and hope they will continue to return to this site and support me!

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you network and not die.

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