Sharon Stone made me a better driver.
I'll admit something: I'm at best an OK driver, not a great one, sometimes not all that good a one. Probably over-cautious, which has bothered my more aggressively-driving co-workers when I've driven them. (Though I was more aggressive the most recent time I drove the Marketing team to the airport, and Justin one of my supervisors said "Good driving, Mario." I don't know if he meant Andretti or Mario Cart.) Other times I don't pay enough attention, and have had close calls. I've been in two accidents, at least one basically due to my inattention and my doing something stupid (my 1997 one, not my 1990 one; the other driver's stupidity contributed to that), and the sound -- even of a low-impact accident that doesn't hurt people, only cars -- is one of the worst sounds in the world.
Thing is, I'm exceedingly aware of how much damage a car can do. Says the guy who's known at least three people, including his best friend, get killed in car crashes. The point is to respect the power of a car and be careful, not get intimidated by that and be either too careful or miss something you need to see.
Here's where Sharon Stone comes in.
One of my Eighties-Nineties indulgences was movie-celebrity coverage. Lots of Entertainment Tonight, followed by subscribing to Premiere and Entertainment Weekly; I burned out very suddenly on ET, where almost overnight I got to the Why am I watching this? point, but the magazines felt a little more "me" and meaty. (By the way, I'll also admit: sometimes I still watch Extra.) I knew, for instance, that I'd like Premiere when it ran the side-bar about -- no lie -- the TV edit of Blue Velvet. Yes, there is a TV edit of Blue Velvet. Wrap your mind around that. MASSIVE re-dubbing on that one, because how do you make Frank Booth safe for television? I read that and others, even sometimes Us Weekly.
There was an issue of Movieline with a Sharon Stone profile, circa Basic Instinct. I'd been aware of Stone (and aware of how good she looks naked) ever since her early career, thanks to Irreconcilable Differences. Heck, I even saw King Solomon's Mines in the theater. That profile mentioned her early career. Including how, early in her career, Stone was in a car accident. It happened because she turned onto a one-way road -- and promptly got hit head-on by a driver driving the wrong way. Promptly. Head-ons HAVE to be vicious collisions. I'm cringing just writing about them.
To this day, when I turn onto one-way roads, I look where traffic is coming from, in case -- JUST IN CASE -- someone's attention failure has led to them going the wrong way. This has yet to happen, but it might. Be prepared. Let Sharon Stone teach you something.
Though now I'm wondering: why didn't Planes, Trains and Automobiles teach me the same lesson? Oh, maybe because I was too busy laughing at