Tuesday, June 24, 2008

It Was Only a Matter of Time

I said it right here in the second-to-last paragraph. If I loved driving whatever car we bought, I'd end up getting in a wreck. This afternoon as I was on my way to get the kids, I got rear-ended as I sat at a red traffic light.

Thankfully, I am not hurt thus far, just a little tightness in my upper-middle back between the shoulders. Thankfully, my kids weren't in the car with me. I suspect they would have been fine, but the half hour or more that it took for the police to arrive would have left me with two cranky, starving, sunbaked kids.

Much like one of those little psycho dogs that must challenge the slobbering, Cujo-type Saint Bernard next door, our substantially-sized Pacifica was attacked by a little Dodge Neon. I don't know how or why its 19-ish driver didn't see me stopped there, but she whacked me hard enough to knock my exhaust system askew, and she thoroughly mangled the front end of her car. I suspect her car is a total loss.

All those years in 9-1-1, and who did I call first? I called the House Fairy to let him know I was delayed and why. DUH. Why didn't I call 9-1-1 first? I sort of noticed that nobody exited the car that hit me, and I came to my senses and cut off the call before it connected. I went back to check on the driver, and she met me at the rear bumper. We pulled off to the shoulder, and I dialed 9-1-1 instead. A witness stopped and gave me her information.

I can see on the display that my 9-1-1 call connects, but why isn't it ringing, and why is nobody answering? It took me two attempts to remember I was wearing my "Bluetool" headset (an Oracle term) before the hit. She whacked me hard enough to knock it off my ear, and my nerves were rattled enough that I didn't even notice its absence. DUH. I found it under the gas pedal and turned it off.

I call 9-1-1, I call the House Fairy. The House Fairy calls The Oracle and initiates a string of calls to my cell phone that I don't want to answer until I calm down this poor kid who hit me. I needed to calm myself, too, but focusing on her miseries made that easier to do. I think she thought I was going to throttle her or something, and I confess that probably would have been the case if my family were in the car.

The girl tells me her cellular battery is dead, and I had to clamp my mental teeth down upon my cynical imagination as I handed the girl my cell phone so she can call: Work, boyfriend, dad, uncle, mom of her passenger friend, and some other person she was supposed to meet or pick up. We exchange information and wait some more.

The policeman finally arrives and takes our paperwork and statements. Before disappearing into the air-conditioned comfort of his patrol car to write the report, he tells me my car is drivable. Huh? My tail pipe is dragging. Isn't it going to fall of and rain more misfortune upon my head? Nope, he says, "they're welded on" he says and not going anywhere.

The girl's uncle arrived just before the officer, and he used a bunch of those plastic zipper-type fastener things to lift my tailpipe off the ground.

The Oracle calls again and starts venting about this new mess. I understand he's upset, but I really have nothing to offer, partly because I don't want to say anything negative in front of the other driver. Whatever her reasons for not seeing me there, I know she didn't set out this afternoon with, "I think I'll rear-end somebody's brand-new car today."

Amid his flood of words is a typical Oracle question. "Did you start dinner?" I suspect that when The Oracle eventually presents himself to the Pearly Gates, his first request will involve directions to the buffet.

At almost 5:00 we're on our way, and I drove to my in-laws' to get the kids. The House Fairy replaces the plastic strips with baling wire, and I'm eventually on my way home. We arrive and The Oracle has cooked dinner, and I am utterly thankful for that because I am starving and sweaty stressed and really didn't feel like fiddling with a hot stove.

I am not looking forward to initiating the circus that is damage assessment and appraisal by my insurance company, but at least Nationwide pays fairly quickly. Thankfully, tomorrow's deposition is in the City and I can take the train.

1 comment:

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

They deleted his DC points? I would curl up in a fetal position and die a slow death.