Thursday, April 16, 2009

The World's Dumbest Car Scene

Okay, I must confess that sometimes, especially on vacation, I do read schlocky novels. Right now I'm reading The Villa which is a murder mystery set in Napa Valley. This is certainly not literature, but it's done a decent enough job of keeping me guessing without being too embarrassingly bad in the writing department. Then I came to the thrilling climax with the run-away car. What follows has been deeply paraphrased for the sake of space:

Person 1: OMG! The brakes! I don't have any control!

Person 2: OMG! What will we do?!

Person 1: I will steer this speeding car along this curving road that has a cliff to one side!

Person 2: You won't make it! Look at those s bends up ahead!

Person 1: OMG! Try pulling the emergency brake!

Person 2: It doesn't work either!

Person 1: OMG! We're going to die! (car fishtails wildly around bends, tires squeal, other cars honk in protest)

Person 2: What about shifting? I'll try down shifting through the gears. Hold on, this is going to hurt! (crunches car into fourth)

Person 1: (whacking head on steering wheel) OMG! That hurt! We're still going waaay to fast!

Person 2: Here we go again (shifts into third, then second, then rams it into first with a horrible twisting of metal, but the car finally stops)

Person 1: OMG! I think someone is trying to kill me! Thank goodness you knew what to do!

Sure, it's a badly written scene, but there have been many badly written scenes in this book. What makes this scene hilariously bad is the one key omission. Did you spot it? At no point, in all that frantic action, did anyone suggest the driver take her foot off the accelerator. Sure, the author could have claimed the pedal was jammed, or that the car was going down hill, but she didn't and that makes all the difference. I can hardly wait to see what will happen when they finally catch the killer. Maybe it will be as unintentionally funny as this part. I guess this is what happens when you try to write 27 books per year.

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