If there’s a worse-designed stretch of road in metropolitan Sacramento than Fair Oaks Boulevard between Howe and either Munroe or Fulton, I’d love to see it&emdash;but from a safer distance than I did recently when a driver shot through a red light and pured Candy Dahl‘s car. I was riding shotgun; in the back seat was a quiche I’d somehow constructed, which we were heading to Dahl’s Carmichael home to consume. (I was going to say to enjoy, but since I already told you I made the quiche, I don’t want to lose credibility this early in the column.) As you might guess, dinner delayed was dinner denied. Dahl was roughed up pretty badly but finally allowed her brother and law partner, Walter Dahl, to drive her home from UC Davis Medical Center around 3:30 a.m. (The mishap had occurred around 8:30 p.m.) I suffered several rib fractures&emdash;an exact count hadn’t been determined by press time&emdash;as well as a scarred lung and, a few days after being released from the trauma unit at the med center, a bonus infection. Well, one likes to get one’s money’s worth.
Doe? Oh Deer&emdash;The med center was so busy that Friday night that Candy and I were assigned placeholder names: Trina Doe and Rick Doe. Walter&emdash;he’d been at a YMCA fundraiser and arrived at the ER clad in a tuxedo, looking a little like Dr. James Bond&emdash;later told his sister that after he took her home, he spotted a three-point buck wandering through her neighborhood. It was probably looking for the Does’ home, Walter suggested.
That Street Smarts&emdash;Our accident took place at the intersection of Fair Oaks and Howe. My friend Tony Bizjak, who writes the weekly, witty Back-Seat Driver column for The Sacramento Bee, reported on this spot in 2004, revealing that State Farm Insurance had decreed it (but only semiscientifically) one of the 10 most dangerous intersections in the entire country. It’s the only intersection in California to make the list, Bizjak wrote at the time. He clarified that police stats revealed there’d been 23 reported collisions at Howe and Fair Oaks the previous year, among the most in the city&emdash;but that the intersection’s ranking fell just behind Mack Road and Valley Hi Drive, Folsom and Alhambra boulevards, and Folsom Boulevard and Power Inn Road. Guess Fair Oaks and Howe needs to try a little harder.
Crash Advance&emdash;What I’d really like to see are the numbers for how many accidents occur between Howe and either Munroe or Fulton. (Is there a stupider or more abrupt street-name change in the county?) People who’ve been shopping and dining themselves into heightened states of satiety are then expected to dart with ruthless speed from the service roads that bracket Fair Oaks Boulevard back into traffic. It’s like playing dodgeball&emdash;starring you as the ball. Sac County really should drop its contract with Beelzebub Traffic Design Consultants. As for me? Glad to be alive. And more mindful than ever of that line from Casablanca: You must remember this, a quiche is just a quiche.
Rocklin Role&emdash;After 23 years at their extremely cool graphic-design studio near East Sacramento’s McKinley Park, Michael and Lindy Dunlavey have decided to take their work home with them&emdash;to their equally cool home offices in Rocklin. The Dunlaveys have been married for 37 years, without a work-stopping injury. As of this writing, their two-story, multiwindowed studio is attracting a number of potential buyers&emdash;which means that as of this reading, you may have missed your chance to buy it. But I still think you’re extremely cool.