Friday, November 14, 2008
Oh, well. Not so bad, really. I wasn't hurt, and the damage was as minimal as could be expected. On top of that, the other guy seemed to be a nice fellow, and he said it was most definitely his fault, so my insurance won't take a hit.
I was in an auto accident this morning.
I was driving to work, feeling pretty good because MY WIFE and I have tickets to tonight's Celtics game. I saw him edging out from a side street - there's a STOP sign there - but I was cruising right along in the line of traffic, the light green up ahead, and it was obvious he couldn't possibly be thinking of moving further at the moment. Aside from me, and the traffic on my side of the street, there were cars coming the other way. And he was signaling to take a left into that lane. I looked ahead and drove onward.
And then he accelerated, just as I was passing him.
He hit me - or, I should say, he hit my previous-to-this-had-never-before-been-in-an-accident 1998 Grand Am, whom MY WIFE named "Roddy" - in the rear right.
I said, "Heavens to Betsy! This is most unfortunate!"
OK, that's a paraphrase. What I actually said was, "What the FUCK?!?"
After that, my first thought was, "Oh, no! Roddy! Are you OK, baby?" I mean, Roddy was basically cherry when I bought him, and he had acquired nothing more than a couple of minor nicks in his paint in the intervening six years. To have him now facing major surgery due to no fault of his own seemed tremendously unfair.
I looked over at the other guy - if looks could kill, I'd be facing a murder rap right now - and our eyes met. It's interesting how much information can be exchanged in a two-second glance. I immediately knew he was sorry, and I also knew he was going to pull over, as was I, and we'd exchange papers with him saying it was his fault. And that's what happened, too.
There was a parking spot immediately to my right, so I pulled into it. I got out and went around to the passenger side to see just how badly Roddy was crumpled. I was amazed. I was expecting to see a hideous scrape, or a huge dent, or something that would make my ride look like a shitbox. I saw absolutely nothing, at first. I thought, "How in hell could Roddy be hit as hard as that and have no damage whatsoever?"
I was just about to chalk it up to living a good life and having been the recipient of a minor miracle, but then I saw the damage. A piece of the molding around the wheel well was cracked in two. In addition, there were a couple of small scrapes on the rear quarter. Still, if I had been told that I'd be in an accident this morning, with someone running a Stop sign and hitting me - nothing I could do to change fate, so I may as well get used to it - and I had been told that this was all the damage that would occur, I'd have been mighty relieved. And so I actually was.
We exchanged papers, he contrite and me forgiving. He seemed like a nice guy. His front end was in much worse shape than my rear (and that sounds faintly homo-erotic, but I'm not going to worry about it.) His headlight was smashed, he had a major dent, and it was obvious he'd be facing a rather large repair bill, not to mention a major hike in his insurance rates come next year. Why make him feel any worse? We shook hands - he had given me all sorts of contact information, just in case there were any questions - and then we both drove off.
So far as I can tell, there isn't any major damage. Roddy rode smoothly, there were no weird noises, and nothing appeared to fall off before I arrived at work. I'm a bit shaken, but all of my parts are unbroken and still attached. I'm a bit pissed that I'll have to lose time taking care of the repairs, but I'll try to make the best of it. While Roddy is getting some plastic (well, fiberglass) surgery, I'll stroll around and maybe try out a new restaurant. And I'll try to keep in mind that it's very nice to be able to stroll around and to be able to afford trying out a new restaurant.
You know the old saying: When life hands you lemons...
All right, maybe some of you don't know that saying. Here's the whole thing: When life hands you lemons, you say, "What the FUCK?!?" and then start throwing them back at life with every bit of velocity you can muster.
Well, that's the way I heard it.
Soon, with more better stuff.
P.S. I was just struck by the thought that my title for this piece, juxtaposed with a picture of Roddy, might lead some to believe that I think Roddy is a lemon. Well, obviously, if you read the whole story, you know that's not the case. However, I just want to make it clear that Roddy is the best car I've ever owned. Thank you.