Special Note: I now write for newsblaze.com. Click on “Opinion” to view my articles.
Grateful for the Little Things
My Sunday morning started off well. First, the cat hadn’t pooped in front of the litter box, a habit she picked up a couple of years ago when she was diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease. We’re still dealing with that but it’s pretty much under control now. Anyway, I didn’t have to start the day on poop patrol. Second, the mutt hadn’t peed on the living room tile in front of the baker’s rack, a habit he began for no good reason a few months ago. He does this occasionally in the middle of the night when I’m asleep and it has been raining or when the sprinkler system has been on. Apparently the little darling doesn’t like to get his delicate little tootsies wet, opting for the floor instead of the pet door. So I didn’t have to clean up after him either.
I had my Sunday breakfast of scrambled eggs, sausage, and pancakes, washed the dishes, cleaned up the kitchen, and got ready for Mass. For once I had time to spare and arrived at church early, walking to my pew like a normal person instead of rushing in the usual blur like Taz, the Looney Tunes Tasmanian devil.
Ah, Sunday the way it should be—calm, serene, and gentle on the nerves.
After Mass I socialized with friends a while, then started for home. A mile or so later I was coming up on a traffic light; it was red and the car ahead of me was stopped. The speed limit is 35 miles per hour in this residential area and traffic was moving smoothly despite the wet pavement caused by the intermittent afternoon rain.
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’
I applied the brakes and although I could feel them engage my care didn’t respond. Again I hit the brakes; same result. I pumped the brakes. Pump, pump, pump. Nothing. By now my brain was screaming, “Stop, stop, stop!” as if by some fluke of nature that would do what the brakes did not.
Bang! My front bumper made nose-to-tail contact with the rear bumper of the car ahead. In all, I figure my car slid some 50 or 60 feet. There were no squealing tires; they couldn’t get any traction on the oil-slicked, rain-soaked street.
Now I know how a duck feels when he tries to execute a landing on an ice-covered pond—Sho-o-o-om! And plows into a fellow web-footed friend—Phlo-o-o-omp! (Say, do you suppose that, as they’re making that slide for life, the ducks, instead of “Geronimo!” squawk out “Afla-a-a-ac!”? Next time there’s a waterfowl documentary on TV, I’ll be sure to turn up the volume.)
But back to my version of bumper cars. Most importantly no one was hurt and the damage wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected. As the Car Fates would have it, though, my vehicle got the worst of it. The front bumper looked like a botched dental extraction job: The top, pulled away from the body, had all these “teeth” exposed, like the jaw of some maniacal creature in an old Japanese movie.
Ever on Sunday
The other driver and I exchanged the required information and, once home, I notified my insurance agency. Now, this is the third time in three years my car has been involved in an, er, involuntary vehicular convergence. The first time, as I was driving home from Mass just four months after I bought it, it was crunched, front and rear, between two large trucks at another traffic light—on the same street!—just a half mile away. The second time was last year as I was leaving home for Mass. I was threading the narrow space between my house and a neighbor’s car parked on the driveway we share between our houses. The right rear quarter panel of my car came into contact with the left rear of his, scratching both.
And now this. All three times my car got the brunt of the damage. And all three times on a Sunday. Rumor is the body shop may even start awarding me shares of stock in their company in appreciation for helping keep them in business, their equivalent of the airlines’ “frequent flier miles.” Personally, I’d prefer their giving me cuts in line. The earliest they can schedule my repairs is three weeks.
As for the next time I consider getting a car, maybe I’ll just call a cab.
© 2012, The Wit’ End Scribbler