I was in a car accident yesterday. That is, my car had a close encounter with another vehicle and it was accidental.
Okay, I’ll start at the beginning. I went out to get some lunch. Because I didn’t bring my lunch to work. Which was sort of deliberate because it was a beautiful day and I wanted an excuse to get out in it. I went to a fast food place where I could buy a delicious and nutritious grilled chicken sandwich with lettuce and tomato on a whole wheat bun. And an unsweetened iced tea. Practically health food. We just won’t talk about the cheese and bacon.
Anyway, it was one of those setups where as you wait in the drive-thru line — why, yes, I was feeling too lazy to park and go inside — you are also in the middle of the freakin’ parking lot. So I was sitting there indolently minding my own business when I suddenly felt a large confusing thud. Confusing because I looked at the car in front of me and there was quite a space between us, and then looked in the rear view mirror and no one was behind me. Then I noticed a very large extended cab pickup truck in my peripheral vision and it was . . . well, it was a bit too close for comfort. In fact, it appeared to be attached to the left rear panel of my car.
So the driver of the truck pulled forward, back into his parking space, and I thought, Damn it, I do not need this today. I really do not want to have to rip someone’s effing head off. Because, with the mood I’m in, if I get started I might not stop. Have I mentioned work has been stressful lately?
I got out of my car and the other driver got out of his truck and even as I said, with more exasperation than anger, because I’m really trying to stay calm, “I can’t believe you just did that,” he was already saying, “Oh God, I’m so sorry. This is all my fault. I was talking to someone and I just– oh God, I’m so sorry.”
A lady rushed over who apparently belonged to the car parked next to the truck and she was saying, “Oh, no, it’s all my fault. I was so busy talking to him and I distracted him and– oh, I’m so sorry.”
Okay fine, I thought, everyone is sorry. Terrific. Meantime, I was looking at my car, trying to determine what damage had been done. Because it was a really big thud and it shook the entire car and I had visions of hundreds of dollars worth of repair work dancing in my head.
Except there was no damage. The guy and the lady and I all stood there staring at my car and THERE WAS NO DAMAGE. Well, there was a tiny little door ding paint transfer thing that had been there for a while and the guy ran his fingers across it and said, “Well, at least it’s not too bad.” And I said, “No, that’s been there for a while.” And we both looked at each other with matching WTF expressions and he said, “I hit you pretty hard.” And I said, “Yeah, I know.” And then we looked back at my car. Which had nothing wrong with it.
And then he said, “Oh, here it is,” and pointed to my rear tire. Which had a scuff mark on it. No damage, just a fresh scuff mark. You could barely even see it. And I looked at my tire and I looked at the very impressive rear bumper of his very large truck. And the two did not line up. At all. Not even close. But it was plain as day that the rear bumper of his truck had scuffed up my rear tire. When all the laws of physics and aerodynamics and geometry and nuclear fusion said it should have instead plowed a giant hole through the rear panel of my car. Right there by the gas cap.
He threw his arms out wide in a gesture of relief and we both started laughing and I said, “I don’t know about you, but I think I need a hug.” So he hugged me, hard, and I hugged him back and it was very nice and we all were laughing and saying our different versions of “so sorry” and “thank god” and “have a nice day” and then we all got back in our cars and they drove off and I ordered lunch. Hold the pickle.
But I was very careful driving back to work, indeed was very careful the entire rest of the day, because I’m pretty sure my guardian angel used up all her powers in that parking lot. Probably I should stay inside for a week or two until she gets her strength back.