From the Hat: Car Wars

Oh yeah, didn’t I say I was gonna pull a prompt from the hatbox once a week or so? And didn’t I say I was gonna do that more than two weeks ago?

Yes, dear reader, I suck at keeping writing promises to myself.(1) But it’s that start of a weekend, so fresh with determination and energy, here I am.

Tell about a frustrating experience you have had with a car.

So, how’s about a funny car accident story?

That may sound overly flippant. But you see, my family has a pretty good record of having strange and somewhat bizarre car accidents where, luckily enough, no one gets hurt. So each new event simply adds to the family lore we tell each other over drinks at Christmastime or at the summer barbecue.


Perhaps my favorite such example was the time a pedestrian ran into us.(2)

Mom, my sister and I were in the car driving to meet Dad for dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. It was one of those hidden gems in a small town, so it was back roads and small town main streets the entire way from Point Home to Point Dinner.

One of these small town centers had a super-low speed limit on account of the bad visibility for the side streets and crosswalks. So we were putt-putting along, and even going a little extra slower because we were coming to the “main intersection”(3) and we couldn’t see the intersection at all because of a big ol’ double-parked van.

Lucky for us Mom was being so extra-dextra-cautious.

‘Cos suddenly this 12- or 13-year-old girl darted out into the crosswalk from behind this van. Mom caught the motion out of the corner of her eye and stopped instantly, whereupon this girl ran into the side of the front of our car. Her momentum carried her enough that she sort of bent forward at the waist over the car hood, denting it with her elbow.

Weird, right?

Even weirder was when we realized that this had all been precipitated by this poor girl’s mother, who’d been on the opposite sidewalk—no double-parked anything there, so she was fully able to see us approaching in our station wagon. Yet she still decided it was a good idea to wave her daughter out into the crosswalk.

It didn’t occur to me at the time, but now that I am old and cynical, I half-wonder if this was a poorly-executed scam to try and get some random driver in an insurance scam/lawsuit. This woman certainly kicked up enough of a fuss about our supposed carelessness.



(1) If i had a dollar—hell, even just a dime—for every time I wrote in my journal expressing regret at the time that had passed between entries, and my hope to be journaling more often, I would be a very rich woman indeed.

(2) She even dented our car, a tiny little bit.

(3) Such as it was.


Image credit: Flickr user Daniel Spils, via a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

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