Friday, November 14, 2008

When Life Hands You Lemons...




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.

*THUD*

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.


24 comments:

Rich said...

It's getting like the bumping cars from Old Paragon Park out there.

good luck with that situation and enjoy the game...if you can.

Jenn said...

Mildly shaken up mentally is far better than majorly shaken up physically. Glad you are OK and that the damage to Roddy was minimal. I would like to point out however you forgot to mention the window incident with the lodged Kool packs in the door. Although not really damage, it would at least lighten the mood from today :)

Melissa said...

I'm glad to hear you weren't hurt, I've been in a fender bender like that before and about shit my pants! It was clearly my fault and the guy who I hit was very nice about it all.

Chuck said...

It's funny how even a minor accident can leave you shaken, isn't it? Glad that you are OK and the damage is not too severe.

I'm pretty fond of my current car...which was my Dad's old car...a 1996 Concorde. It hasn't been in any accidents that I know of (yet, anyhow.)

OperaWife said...

See the way I always heard it was, "When life hands you lemons, go find an annoying guy who has paper cuts."

Seriously though, glad you (and Roddy) are okay.

Cole said...

Glad you're OK. I got in a car accident once several years ago (not my fault),flipped my car and totaled it. Got a new car a few weeks later. 3 days...3 DAYS after gettig my new car a 78 year old guy from Canada who probably shouldn't have been driving in the first place pulled out in front of me! Luckily this bozo did it right in font of a police station and 2 cops were outside having a smoke break and saw that he pulled outin front of me and there was no way I could have stopped or avoided an accident. 3 DAYS!!!

I'm glad you are OK :)

CrazyCath said...

It's okay, Roddy wasn't listening.
He was too busy throwing lemons. :)

Buck said...

I'm glad you're OK and Roddy will be, soon.

But how strange... I thought today was exactly one year ago today that my car got bashed for the first and only time in the (then) seven years I've owned her, but nope... it was 11/12/2007. Close enough, tho!

Roddy is the best car I've ever owned. Thank you.

How absolutely REFRESHING to hear someone say something good about an American car (you, too, Chuck)! Especially since GM is on the ropes...

Thimbelle said...

I beat Cole - we went to pick up our new minivan, and had driven exactly 4 blocks away from the lot when a guy ran a red light and...

...I shook for days. Twinks shook for days. And it took 6 months to get all the repairs done.

I am SO thoroughly happy that you are OK, and that Roddy is fixable (and still driveable).

Be safe - we like you in one big Sully-sized piece!

Thim :)

Karen said...

Didn't you learn anything from your recent jury duty experience?? Shoot, Mr. French or Mr. Irish would've taken this fender bender to court and made millions! Glad no one was hurt :)

jill said...

we've always hurled our lemons back with as much gusto as possible...no sissy lemonade here.

glad you're okay and Roddy will be back in top shape quickly.

enjoy the game!

Janet said...

Glad you're not hurt. I like your version. You can only drink so much lemonade.

lime said...

first and foremost i am glad YOU are ok. i am also glad that roddy's damage is relatively minor.

ack ack and double ack. no more of that though, ok?

GreenJello said...

I hatehatehate car accidents. I've been hit so many times, I've lost count. That's not a good thing.

I'm glad you're ok, and I completely sympathize with you on having to take the time to get the car repairs done. It's a pain.

Moannie said...

You Suldog, have a guardian Angel on both shoulders, a fact for which I am extremely grateful. Could have been so much worse.

Robert V. Sobczak said...

It's the most dangerous thing we do. Between cell phones and being occupied with other stuff, not to mention what other people are thinking or doing on the road, it's a minor miracle that we even avoid them. All's well that ends well.

Shrinky said...

Give Roddy a get better soon kiss from me. So glad you weren't hurt hon, and your non-existant ulcer salutes you for having the grace to let go of spilt milk. (Hugs)

ps. I empathise with this clutz, we crap drivers know how embarassing these situations can get.

Shammickite said...

Poor Roddy.
And poor Sully.
Both of you will survive this little blip, and ride off into the sunset unscathed (eventually).

claire said...

"Heavens to Betsy; this is most unfortunate," is my new disaster catch-phrase. glad you're okay!

mlh said...

Sorry for Roddy's mishap. But I'm glad you are right as rain, my dear friend.

womaninawindow said...

Forgive me Suldog for I have sinned. You read my mind. I was thinking Roddy was a lemon when I put the title and picture together. Good thing I stuck around for the story!

Rebecca said...

LOL, well the most important thing is that neither you or YOUR WIFE were hurt. :)

It's funny, it seems like the "older" cars hold up better. I used to have a Chevy Cavalier that a girl turned left on red and hit me in -- and while her car was DAMAGED, mine barely had a dent. :)

Nowadays, you look at most cars and they crumple.

Melinda said...

"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."

Somebody needs to put that into a cross-stitch. Or one of those wooden signs people like to display in their kitchens.

Glad to hear you're okay Sully!

Hilary said...

I'm very glad that nobody except Roddy was hurt. I'm going to remember that Heavens to Betsy line for a long time. :)