Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Hit and Run

One year ago today I bought my car.

Exciting, I know.

Today I got a car wash in celebration of a fantastic first year together, then lamented at the paint-cracked, scratched rear bumper from my hit-and-run.

I never told you about that, did I?

I headed home for the evening January 16, all excited to have a girly evening, involving the fantastic Leah Jacobs doing my hairs for me.  I almost hate that there is something so wonderful about the feeling of being pampered and sprucing up with a little cut/color.  Silly money-wasting things like this should not feel so blasted fantastic!  To make the evening even better, I always pick us up some dinner for us, which requires commuting a different direction than normal.

Murray State Street during rush hour can make you feel as if you are a chess piece on a board with three times as many pieces as there should be, shuffled against your will in a general direction by an unseen hand.  With my destination in sight, I pulled up one-car's length behind the car in front of me at a stop light, as per proper-driving rules.  Yes, I'm a law-abiding driver to a fault. 

Before I could realize what was happening, I found myself slamming on my brakes, my gym bag flying off the seat, and my head flipping backwards into the headrest.  There is a moment of panic no one can quite describe in a situation like that.  To say I was an idiot is mild.  I put my car in park and got out in the middle of four rush-hour lanes of traffic.  The scruffy young riff-raff who hit me did the same.

His license plate dangled from one overly-jagged screw on his ghetto early-90s tan compact truck.  My little blue Honda was covered in winter salt and sludge, but I could clearly see the cracked paint, the outline of a license plate, and two screw-punctures exactly where his license plate met my bumper.  He smiled and said, "Well, there's no damage, so I'm fine if you're fine!"
"Umm...there actually is damage."
"Really?  I don't see any?"
"Umm..yes there is, right here. (I gesture to the two holes and the scratches as I try to brush off the grime)."
"Oh, okay, so you wanna pull over into that parking lot right there and get information?"
As I looked down at his license plate to memorize the digits thinking that I'd be an idiot not to, I responded, "Yeah...yeah...we're gonna have to do that."

Riff-Raff got back in his truck with his tattered clothes and equally bedraggled looking company.  I signaled to turn left, made sure he was behind me, then turned.  Would you believe that as soon as I turned left, he took off?  Yep.  And would you believe that in my panic I forgot all but the first three digits of his plate?

Lesson learned.  My estimate for the damage is only $600, which isn't even worth submitting to the insurance, but it it the principle of the thing, you know?  Knowing what I know about insurance, I would have, in all likelihood, let that scraggly young man go if he'd have let me know his situation instead of dishonestly running off.

I'm a big believer in the Golden Rule, "Do unto others as you would have others do to you."  All I can do is shrug my shoulders and keep smiling.  C'est la vie!

I know, I know - it really isn't that bad, but keep in mind this photo was taken in the dark and you can't see both punctures clearly, the outline dents of the violater's plate, or the cracked paint running the length of the bumper.


Aaron said...

Dang, that sucks! First thing I'm going to do if I'm in an accident (and we all should probably do) is take a picture on my phone of their license plate. Just in case.

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