We just did this, didn’t we? Damn, I hate repeating myself, but I have a new calamity: my car was totaled. I’m not joking. Not 24-hours after leaving my crummy job, we crashed with a capital C-R-A-S-H. The poor old clunker’s headed for the big parking lot in the sky.
Tell me; is there a target on my back? Seriously, whose crosshairs am I in? I literally have nothing left to lose here. Nothing. I’ve been picked clean.
My car is sitting in storage waiting for its fate to be sealed. The insurance company says there’s virtually no hope of repair. It’s simply a matter of gathering reports and photographing damage and signing documents. That’s what it always comes down to — legalities.
The adjuster told me to get everything out of it, including the license plates, because the car’s destined for a salvage yard. Okay, watch your mouth, Bub. That’s my car. It wasn’t salvage or junk, it was a refuge. It was freedom. And it was seven payments short of being paid off. That’s what really chaps my ass. I was this close, thi-i-i-s close to no car payments. Now? Square one.
Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt and the accident wasn’t my fault. I was just there, doing 40 or thereabouts, when a dude flew out in front of me. Actually, he was motioned into traffic by some clown who fled the scene. I had, tops, thirty feet to stop. On wet pavement. Needless to say, I couldn’t. I hit him like a train.
So, for a brief time, mine was the life of a pinball; I ricocheted from pillar to post. My noggin made a beeline for the rearview mirror, my knees headed for the dashboard, other stuff went for the steering wheel and the gear shift. Outside, metal shrieked, the headlights exploded in splinters, and car parts skidded on the road. It was straight out of the Bourne Supremacy, minus the tunnel.Being a temptress of fate, I wasn’t wearing a seatbelt and my airbag didn’t deploy. The other guy’s did, but mine? No. So I have two knees the size and color of eggplants, bruised shoulders, and a knot on my head like a Brussels sprout. (Do I have a vitamin deficiency or something, what’s with the vegetable references?) The other guy was okay; he didn’t limp or swell.
Two kind witnesses stuck around until police arrived — 40 cold, wet minutes later. They stood in rainy, windy, 35º weather and did their level best to distract me with small talk and reassuring smiles when they could have been warm and dry in their own cars, on their way to wherever they’d been going. People like that deserve more than thanks. If I knew last names I’d send gift cards. Or a bag of $10s.
In the end, I was ticketed for not wearing a seatbelt. I asked the cop how in the world he could know that and he pointed at the rearview mirror. It was webbed with cracks and a tuft of my hair. D’oh. If I’d pulled the hair out I could’ve saved $60. The broken mirror carries a harsher penalty — seven more years’ bad luck.
The witnesses kept telling me, ‘oh, you’re so lucky’. And you know what? They’re right. I’m chockablock with luck; I stink of luck. And now I have a fresh 7-year supply.
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