Remember Your First Time? Managing Adrenaline, Merging Into Traffic

by Steve Finefrock – [scriptwriter]

Did your stomach tie itself into knots? Clammy hands? Trembling leg on the accelerator pedal? Tense neck muscles as you tried to check the outside mirror? Were these but a few of the least favorite things gripping your body and distracting your mind – the first time you drove a car into busy, dense interstate traffic?

Or tried parallel parking? An emergency stop? A car suddenly changing lanes into yours, or one ahead suddenly locking its brakes and fishtailing? Think of all these paralyzing experiences, the first time, or even the first several times they descended upon your tenderfoot driving experience.

Then, consider how less aggravating such events are today – Do you calmly merge into traffic? Analyze patterns and avoid the idiot who suddenly hits the brakes and squeals tires? Check the mirrors, adjust speed, change lanes all the while also listening to the radio or CD player?

Has the familiarity with the once-unfamiliar calmed your adrenal glands, quieted your sweat glands, settled your intestines? How safe would you feel riding with a driver during rush hour, who’s never driven in such conditions? Would you prefer a driver who’s done something like this before?


He’s been tested, at the political equivalent of rush-hour lane-changing at night during an icestorm – not only as a POW, but as a fighter pilot in combat, and then later training and managing pilots in a fighter squadron, as their commanding officer. They trusted their captain because HE’D BEEN THERE BEFORE. He’d walked in their cockpit, made decisions in milliseconds while his brain saturated with adrenaline.

Imagine Obama The One – OTO – commanding a fighter squadron, when he’s never done it before! Yet, this potential commander-in-chief who’s had more experience at redistribution than tension-dripping command decisions is beloved for giving us Hope and Change. Not much hope that he can change anything positively if he’s never driven in an icestorm of adrenaline that is the presidency.

Whereas “no one is prepared to be president” – a mantra of convenience by Clinton and OTO equally – because it’s like no lane-changing experience ever known by a non-president, it’s useful to have handled enormous responsibilities, requiring quick decision without any option to vote ‘present’ and familiarity with the situation, with less adrenaline than a less-experienced CIC would know.

Aren’t you calmer when traffic gets snarly, once you’ve been in similar danger before, many times, even if it’s not exactly like earlier times? When something more enormous than any you’ve seen before suddenly leaps into your windshield, isn’t that wealth of past confrontations with traffic a source of lower tension, and higher probability of surviving? Feel better as a passenger, riding with a driver who’s handled a range of nasty circumstances? Do ya get nervous with a rookie at the wheel in those same icestorm settings?

Ditto for all leadership – you’ve never been the Oval Team Leader? Neither has OTO, nor Mac. But Mac is a thousand light years closer to familiarity with these challenges than OTO can imagine in his most hopeful, changeling dreams.

Remember that as you attempt to handle rush hour traffic, between now and election day. Recall your early days as a green driver – and ask if you want a green driver in the Oval chair.

During any of the icestorms predicted by Joe Biden – who himself has never been The One in the driver’s seat. OTO and Biden both have had the security blanket their whole lives of being one of dozens, or in the U.S. Senate, one of a hundred. A governor, a combat commander, a president is one of one: 100% responsibility, without a ‘present’ button to push in the Oval Office.

Unlike a video game, the Oval has no ‘reset’ button – it’s not a ‘simulator’ cockpit, it’s the real damned thing. OTO hasn’t even been in a one-of-one simulator, much less the icestorm cockpit.

As you look thru the windshield enroute to the voting booth, keep this concept in mind. In fair weather or foul, who is most likely to foul up, to screw the pooch, when the kemshe hits the fan? ExileStreet

copyright 2008 Steve Finefrock

Finefrock is founder of Hollywood Forum, a speaker-bureau and panel-discussion vehicle to “Bring the Potomac to the Palisades” on issues that overlap politics and culture with the Hollywood film-TV influence on such national concerns. His scripts have addressed politics [including a TV series pilot/bible package about state political combat, called “A State of the Union”], hazardous materials [from twelve years in emergency management, including six years managing FEMA’s Superfund curriculum for hazmat], terrorism, equestrian reincarnation, serial murderer killing journalists in the nation’s capitol, and fantasy about time-wasters. Finefrock is proprietor of PhoneBooth: The Smallest Space in Hollywood…

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