Friday, March 09, 2007

The Accidental Tsuris

I got behind the wheel of the 2007 Chevy Cobalt and fastened the seatbelt. Leafing through the case of CD’s, I picked one out and inserted it into the CD player, which sprang to life. I turned the key in the ignition and the engine started so silently I couldn’t be sure for a moment if it was running.

Tapping the gas, the car lurched out of the driveway. It took the slightest amount of pressure to zip up to 50, 60, 70, in addition to which I could scarcely feel the road beneath me as I went. I felt hermetically sealed, floating on a cushion of air. The heat kicked in immediately, something the old car took about 20 minutes to do.

This was me today, driving to work.

Wishful thinking? A pleasant daydream? Nope, it’s all true.

But these things are paid for in one way or another.

To explain my landing in the lap of luxury, we have to turn back the clock about 24 hours.

The wife and I had gone to the local organic supermarket because it was “Pickle Bag Day.” Yes, with the purchase of a sandwich, one was entitled to a free insulated pickle bag, a handled bag that was specially insulated to keep things cool and crunchy. Attractively designed, the bold lettering on it read “What’s The Big Dill?”

Of course you would have gone.

We were about a block and a half away from the house when it happened.

It was just like that commercial where the people are driving and talking and you can’t figure out what the commercial’s for, when a car pulls in front of them.

We had just passed through an intersection when it seemed like a brick wall appeared out of nowhere. With less than a second to process it, I hit the brake, knowing it was futile. We did what we could to brace ourselves.

The truck that had decided to pull out of the driveway and directly into traffic pushed the hood of our car up into a pyramid. A circular design of spiderweb cracks appeared on the passenger side of the windshield. Steam appeared from underneath the hood.

We got out and saw the debris all over the road. The kid driving the truck gets out and, after we ask him what in the world he thought he was doing, tells us that it was “unfortunate” that it happened. His truck barely has a scratch on it.

We wait for the police as a sickly green river of radiator coolant begins to make its way down the gutter. The wife’s more bruised and scratched up than I am, but otherwise appears to be ok.

The info is exchanged and the policewoman follows us the remaining block and a half to make sure we can get the car into the driveway, which we do.

The rest of the day is a blur of aches, pains and phone calls, which ultimately result in the loaning of the 2007 Chevy Cobalt mentioned above. It’s ours either until the car is fixed or until it’s declared unfixable.

If they can’t fix it, then we have to figure out how to afford another car.

Which…well, I needn’t tell you.

Just a longer traffic light, or another turn, or 3 extra seconds at the store and…

In the meantime, the 2007 Chevy teases me with dreams of grandeur.

It’s so insulated, it’s like a pickle bag with wheels.

No bumps, no noises, no struggling uphill.

Who drives such a thing?

2 Comments:

Anonymous uncle cleetus said...

I too have been there! The sudden thud and twisted metal. Is this really happening to me?

I hope the both of you are OK.

I still have moments of anxiety behind the wheel- but it is getting better. 4 accidents in 3 years- not good! How can you go 20 years and all of a sudden...

Saturday, March 10, 2007 12:41:00 PM  
Blogger Count Screwloose said...

We are fine, Uncle C. Just a little shook up, but that happens whenever you deal with insurance companies.

You know how they can be.

RG

Sunday, March 11, 2007 4:58:00 AM  

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