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TitleThe Art Of Unpredictability: Escape Routine. Go On Adventures. Live The Life You’ve Always Wanted.
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Total Pages170
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Page 85

Chapter 10: That Thin Blue Line

I’m that guy. You know, the one who drives fast and obnoxiously down the
street and zips in between slow drivers. I hate slow drivers. Despite the jokes
that “I could have had a V8,” my Mustang’s 365 hp V6 serves me well. Your
girlfriend likes it.

Either way, I learned quickly that a blacked-out custom ride with light
blue racing stripes is like a bull’s-eye to police. I’d wanted this ride ever since I
was nine years old and saved for it since. By my junior year in college, I had
enough money to pay for it in full off the lot. This was the beginning of many
hard lessons in driving. If you’ve ever driven a Mustang, you understand how
impossible it is to drive like a law-abiding citizen. The allure of speed and
burnouts tempts you every time you sit behind the steering wheel. It’s an
American classic, full of heritage and nostalgic memories to make anyone smile.
It even transcends wealth. You can make six figures or six dollars an hour and
still appreciate American muscle when you see it. (Obviously I don’t have a
girlfriend, and this is my pride and joy.) I was driving “The Dark Horse” one
night with Rob Jones riding shotgun. We were on our way back from Cook Out, a
North Carolina version of In-N-Out or Whataburger. Rob Jones and I had two
wonderful girls in the back seats, Karli (also involved in the golf car incident) and
Jenna Hess. Jenna took a stab at uncertainty when she moved from La Crosse,
Wisconsin, to Chapel Hill based on a BuzzFeed top ten list. She didn’t know
anyone or have a job. She just packed her things and drove to North Carolina. Her
funny, Midwestern way of saying “bag” and “sad” made me love her instantly.
Any angel as sweet as Jenna deserved the world and all the friends in it. Rob
Jones and I were gasoline to her fire of unpredictability, so naturally before we
returned to campus, Rob Jones asked, “Can we do a burnout?”

If you’re driving a Mustang, burnouts aren’t a request; they’re a
requirement. So I started to look for an open parking lot. I took it to a church I
knew that was always empty that close to midnight. I had done burnouts almost

Page 86

five consecutive nights in a row. I just bought the Mustang, and it had Michelins
on it, so I was good for plenty of smoke shows. Plus, wasn’t buying tires.
(Sorry, Pops.) But as we pulled into the lot, we noticed an unmarked police car
sitting in the back of the lot. I guess they noticed all the tire tracks from previous
nights and decided to post some security. This site was no good. We dipped and
continued our search for a new place to turn and burn.

After driving around for an hour in the darkness, blasting classic
essentials like “Dirty Little Secret” and “Scotty Doesn’t Know,” we came across a
massive empty space beside the lake where our school’s rowing team practices. It
was far away from any neighborhoods or streets, and I could tell The Dark Horse
wanted some of that untouched pavement.

I slowly rolled into the parking lot with my headlights off, the idle
rumble of the 365 hp engine gurgling underneath us. I looked at Rob Jones and
the girls in the silence and just smiled. We reached the center of the crisp
blacktop and Rob Jones picked up his iPod. I turned off the traction control and
shifted the Mustang into first gear. I gave the gas a few taps to rev up the engine
while I held the hand brake up. The opening lyrics to Rob Jones’s song selection
played as we rolled our windows down.

Bon Scott,
the lead singer of AC/DC, sang.

Rob Jones and I looked at each other. We were about to experience life.

“Hell, yeah!” we shouted in unison.

I dropped the hand brake and held both pedals down as the engine
started to heat up. Bon rolled through the speakers as I revved the engine:

The snare drum hit, and in a moment of perfect synchronization, the back
tires ripped free from the concrete, and the fastback tail of the Mustang whipped
counterclockwise as we were thrown hard against the backs of our seats.

we all sang together.

RPMs shot up into the 7,000 range. A massive plume of smoke fired out
of the Roush exhaust pipes, and like a roller coaster I could control, we whipped
around traffic islands in the parking lot. I was whirling the steering wheel around

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[1]. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (New York: Harper and Row,
[2]. Chloe Sorvino, “Inside Billionaire James Dyson’s Reinvention Factory: From Vacuums to Hair Dryers
and Now Batteries,” Forbes, August 24, 2016,
[3]. Rob Jones coined the term “hibatchers” in college to replace literally any word. Example: We hibatched
those hot dogs. We ate those hibatchers. The hibatched hotdogs were delicious—don’t think too hard over
[4]. Boston: Beacon Press, 1959.
[5]. New York: Riverhead Books / The Penguin Group, 2009.
[6]. Beyond Boredom and Anxiety, quoted in Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.
[7]. Steve Hawk, “Authenticity’s Paradox: If You Flaunt It, You Lose It,” Insights by Stanford Business,
August 23, 2016,
[8]. New York: HarperCollins, 2001.

[CR1]Can’t finish
[CR2]DESIGNER: please ensure front matter uses roman numeral
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[CR4]Who took the photo below? Missing credit
[CR5]DESIGNER: italicize this only
[CR6]DESIGNER: make sure this entire copy appears in small caps,
including the 12:00.

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