Monday, February 1, 2010

Stayin' Alive, Stayin' Alive

I was driving to work on Wednesday, listening to the new Imogene Heap CD I'd picked up at Barnes and Nobles over the weekend, when my passenger door suddenly and inexplicably opened itself.

Fortunately, I was barely going 30 at the time, as I was turning on the Stockdale Mill bridge not far from my home.

I pulled over and slammed the door, then got back in the driver's side and closed that door, only to witness the passenger side door opening itself again, due to the air pressure.


Let it be said that I have never had a good car.

You know it, I mean, you've read these blogs. You know about the deer jumping on the hood of the Honda, and how that only improved matters, as the windshield leaked already and at least I got a good story out of it if there was an enormous dent in the hood.

But my Taurus is a good car. It has working heat, a passenger side mirror, a leak-proof windshield, and things that are Power (like the windows and locks). Also, I can start my car from my front door. That way I don't have to be cold.

So a dark chill came over me when my door would not latch shut (even after I tried locking it), and I resolved that I would spend crazy money in order to get it fixed, so I would not end up driving another Suck-Mobile.

I drove home at like 5 miles per hour, inching along because I couldn't even reach the passenger door in order to hold it closed.

I switched cars with Mom and urged her to tape the door shut for the time being, informing her that I'd transport the car to the Car Guy when I got home that evening.

She called me almost the second I arrived at work, telling me that the door had nothing wrong with it except cold. The latch had frozen open the last time I'd used that door, then it had frozen shut. When the frozen door let go, I noticed the frozen latch. Or so she said.

I think that it was Carma (get it? like karma except for it's a car thing, so Car-ma? Funny, huh? Like a homophone!).

Why aren't you laughing?

I think that all my suffering before this point in history has used up some of my lifetime allotment of car-tragedy. Meaning that the years I suffered and went car-less has impacted my current happiness, allowing me to live with relative ease, at least where cars are concerned.

Now, I must say that I am in no way tempting fate here. My car luck could run out at any moment; I don't trust it. I am only hypothesizing that the door thing ended up not that big of a deal because I have had only big deals up to this point, so I got a free pass on this one.

A free pass and a bottle of D-Icer.

This didn't even cross my mind until Friday at 5:05 p.m. as I left work for the day. I stopped at the light right next to CVS, across from where my favorite Wabash house is, and I have to mention, it is for sale. So if anyone wants to hire me for a ridiculously high salary, I'll just go out and make an offer at the real estate office now...

What, no one's hiring?

Fine, I get it.

Sitting there at the light, I looked into my rear-view window.

This is where I have to confess to something. I don't know if I'm the only one who does this, and I certainly hope not. So don't mock me, I'm being open and honest with you, which is good on many levels.

When I'm stopped at boring lights, and that light qualifies as being Boring, I usually stare at the person behind me in my rear view mirror to see if they're singing, yelling at their kids, chewing with their mouths open, or swearing under their breath. This is entertaining. Sometimes you see funny things. Sometimes you see people you know.

I was doing this at that light. Which was red, so you know. I can multi-task. I have peripheral vision. If I look at my rear view mirror, I still can see the light. So there.

While I was looking at the lady behind me in her mini-van, who was presumably on her way home from work too, I heard this weird crack, and thought, "Dude, what the heck?" It sounded like someone snapped thick plastic or some...thing.....

You guessed it.

No--I so did not hit anyone! What is your problem? You really think I am that bad of a driver?

I am not a bad driver. I am a good driver. Really.

Except for that whole sense of direction thing, but that has nothing to do with the driving, just the navigation. And I only went to Ohio that one time. But we did go to Michigan lots of times...

I really am sorry about that, Jennifer.

What had happened, as I witnessed in my rear view mirror, was this: A black SUV had 1. been speeding and 2. hadn't used its breaks resulting in 3. it slamming into mini-van lady and giving her what I can only imagine would be a killer case of whiplash.

At that moment I could only think of one thing: why didn't mini-van lady hit me?

But then I realized something else.

Do you know how in your driver's manual, the one you skimmed once or twice before your written driver's exam that had all the junk in it about getting your chauffeur's license and not a whole lot about you driving a regular car? Well, somewhere in that book it tells you to give like half a car-length between your car and the person in front of you when you stop. And this lady actually had.

I don't think I've ever seen anyone do that before in my life. That's insane! This lady had read and followed directions and, as a result, had not forced me to spend my hard-earned money (or her insurance company's check) on car repair! Christmas came early last Friday, people, which was really great because I was actually on my way to make a car payment anyway, and it would have been pretty depressing to get in a (minor) accident and then go pay for my brutalized car, even if it would have been repaired for me, quite nicely, by Mr. Other Guy's Insurance Company.

So I did my civic duty and called the cops on that stupid SUV driver, so that he didn't pull a thing like that old lady did with our friend Brandon. She put her car into reverse and slammed into him, then claimed he'd slammed into her. So, that was real nice, wasn't it? What ever happened with that, Jen?

I once again evaded almost-certain death (okay, minor injury to myself or personal property). So that's a good way to end the work day.

Meanwhile, I used all the will-power I have to keep myself from buying new yarn for the Uhura tank, something I will fail to do on Friday when Mom and I head up to the knit store in Fort Wayne.

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