Sunday Terror on Highway 10
Ben Stein
by

Yesterday, I was being visited by my pal, Mike Visser, and his son, David. I wanted to go down to the desert just to soak up the sunshine. Normally, I would have had my super pal Judah drive me down but he has been having back trouble so he’s resting up at home.

I decided to drive. It all went fine until I ran into heavy traffic on the 10 and tried to change lanes just east of downtown. Bad idea. A driver came up behind me and was in my blind spot. He was moving into my lane just as I was moving into his lane. CRASH!

Actually, it wasn’t that nasty a crash. More like an agonizing scrape. But it was terrifying. I could just imagine my car flipping over and his car flipping over and then a wild mash up on a six-lane freeway.

But God spared me. I just got a horrible scraping sound, some vibration, and a feeling that I was blessed to be alive.

Once again, God has saved me. The other car and I should have pulled over to exchange information and I did pull over at the first exit I saw and went into a McDonald’s to wait for him. But he never showed up. I just got a cheeseburger and a Dr. Pepper and felt much better. (Thank you, God, that I have a VERY heavy car. I will never have a light one.)

McDonald’s are God’s gifts. They always provide a tasty outpost and safety.

After that, I let Mike Visser drive. He’s 20 years younger than I am and a lot smarter. So, we made the rest of our way uninterrupted to our house in Rancho Mirage. I lit a fire in my bedroom fireplace and went into a deep sleep. As I did, I started to make a mental list of all the times God has saved me from my own mistakes (although in this case we both made a mistake).

I could start with many different near fatal traffic incidents (although this was the first one where I was driving). I always recall one in 11th grade where I was letting a friend drive my Cherry Red ’62 Impala and he started to leave the road on the not yet finished Beltway. That was in ’62 and God put our car back on the road. Then there was an incident at a theater where some drugged-up fool started to pull a gun when I asked him to be quiet and I was thoroughly sure I was about to die but my gf Pat made him put the gun back. This was at the glorious old Circle Theater on Pennsylvania Avenue near GWU.

The movie that was being shown was The Killers appropriately enough.

Then there have been times when my wife came close to death, especially recently, and God spared her life. That’s the same as sparing my life.

Plus, I have had many drug-related incidents where I could have died and God saved me. The worst of these were when I was at Yale and the Yale Student Health prescribed meds that could have killed me on route 95 as I was heading down to Barnard to see a close friend. Yale was paradise but their student health service was homicidal. That was long ago. I am sure it’s all better now.

Of course the main way God has saved me is by giving me my Alex, my goddess/angel. Not the richest billionaire, not the most talented quarterback or NBA power forward has what I have by having Alex, world’s most beautiful, forgiving woman as my wife for life.

On close to a par is being an American. There is no gift besides Alex that compares with being born in America. If I had been born in Poland, as so many of my fellow Jews were, or in Russia, or Lithuania, my life would have been short and miserable and cruel. America is heaven on earth.

But alas, that’s changing as the Democrat Party becomes a sanctuary party for anti-Semites and Jew haters. It’s tragic that a few really rotten freshman apples are spoiling the barrel of a great political party. I give full marks to Nancy Pelosi for fighting hatred, but the tide in her party is running against her. Somehow, certain non-white members of the Democrat Party have kidnapped it and sold a little tiny piece of it to David Duke. It’s been a long time coming — top Democrats kiss the ring of America’s number one hate monger, Minister Farrakhan. Even Mr. Obama poses with him. And of course, Mrs. Clinton was close pals with Yassir Arafat, proud supporter of the murderers of Jewish children. The amazing thing is that almost all the Jews I know are Democrats, despite the clearest of clear warnings that the Democrat Party is the party of hatred and fear of Jews. Obviously, I am not referring to all of the Democrat Party, most of whom are fine people. But enough find themselves agreeing with the unfortunate Al Sharpton and the morally disastrous Minister Farrakhan to taint the whole party.

We Jewish Republicans had better be strong and generous to our party. It’s our main hope in an increasingly threatening world.

And in the meantime, thank you, dear God, for saving my life and Mike and Dave Visser’s lives yesterday. Thank you for everything and please let me have the permanent gift of gratitude.

The Vissers and I had a fabulous meal of spare ribs and salad and now I’m back home in Beverly Hills feeling as grateful as can be.

Ben Stein
Ben Stein
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Ben Stein is a writer, actor, economist, and lawyer living in Beverly Hills and Malibu. He writes “Ben Stein’s Diary” for every issue of The American Spectator.
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