I remember my first in-the-car auto collision like it was a mere eight years ago, because it was. I was stopped behind a midsize vehicle in my sedan when *WHUMP!* -a teenage-powered Suburban rolled down the short hill and forgot to stop behind my car.
“Are you an artist or something?” the policeman teased as I attempted to draw the scene on the official record afterwards.
Laughing, I said, “No. Why?” He showed me the other two drivers’ simple, boxes-and-arrows graphics. “Oh.” And I’d been worried the insurance adjuster would notice the sloppiness of my miniature, expressionist Mazda Protegé.
I’d learned to call the police because an older lady attempted to remove our backseat door of that same Protegé just two years prior. I was parked at the time and had opened the door to unbuckle my two-year-old when she did it.
“Do you mind if we just settle outside of insurances?” She’d asked.
I had considered. Respect your elders and such. We were newlyweds, considering, and couldn’t afford much on our own. However, I opted to phone the police and our insurance.
I found out later she’d tried to contest it. She suggested that I opened my door right as she was pulling into an angled spot, from across double-yellow street lines, at an obtuse angle of entry.
The collision I first mentioned was bad because our insurance decided to total the vehicle, and we were left to fill the void with an adequate replacement of equal- or lesser-value. I also experienced minor whiplash.
“I’m so sorry to hear about your accident!” My son’s preschool director said, once I finished with the police reports and continued on to retrieve my then-four-year-old. “I’ll bet that was a real headache,” she commiserated.
“Well,” I said with a straight face, “It was more of a pain in the neck.”
My humor would keep me company over the next few weeks as I learned exactly how fun whiplash was to recover from.
This story crossed my mind early this morning, around 3 a.m.
I’d risen to facilitate an answer to Nature’s call and had nearly not made it back to bed, or even erect again to hobble there.
This was in consequence of a foolish decision I made yesterday to forego a ladder and climb our garage shelves like some lesser-intelligenced simian ancestor.
Had I been said primal ape, the resulting slip and fall would have broken my perfect prehensile tail. Being a Homo sapiens, I instead damaged my rump (and my pride).
This time, my husband got to deliver the zinger. “I’ll bet that was a real pain in the butt!” he said. (Our youngest, age 4, was within earshot. Plus, my husband never curses.)
I’m sure he’s laughing now, as I type on my backlit phone to pass the hours before a health clinic opens.
I’d assumed only minor damage last night. Though slow, I’d managed to drive, walk to book group, and water the house plants. This (early!) morning, on the contrary, I was overcome with nausea upon standing -okay, upon upright hunching. I finally made it back to bed to beg a bit of bread and Ibuprofen from my drowsy helpmeet. And an ice pack.
I suspect I’ve broken my tail after all. We’ll find out in a mere four hours.
Not that I’m counting.