Friday, February 22, 2008

I THINK THE UNIVERSE IS TRYING TO TELL ME TO GET A NEW CAR

My car got hit by a truck yesterday. Which then slammed me into a concrete wall.

OK I'll admit that saying it that way makes it sound way more traumatic than it actually was. It was snowingsleetingwintrymixing during the morning commute. I was on my way to the train station and had meant to take the side roads, but out of habit, I found myself on I-44. But it's good, I thought. Traffic is moving at a good pace, even if they are rubbernecking to get a look at the 3 accidents in the westbound lanes.

And then I see a blue pick-up truck heading across 3 lanes of traffic right at me. He hit me in the door on the driver's side. We were on an overpass and I know I hit the concrete wall on the side of it because I remember thinking, "ah, man! I'm going to hit that concrete wall!" And I did, which bounced me back out across 2 lanes of traffic. I braced myself to get hit by other cars --- but they missed me, YAY!!! I backed my car over to what little shoulder was left after a re-striping project a few months ago. The truck that hit me ended up facing the oncoming traffic. He, too, managed to miss other cars -- just hit me. The whole thing was almost like a well choreographed ice-ballet. Spinning, sliding, and gracefully pirouretting into walls. When it ended, we got ourselves to the shoulder and sat there, back to back, calling 911 and work from our cellphones. Well, that's who I called, I'm assuming he did the same. We did acknowledge each other's presence and waved, signaling we were both OK.

Looking out of my side mirror, I didn't see any damage to my car. Dang, I thought. They are right about these Saturns being made of plastic. The dents jut bounce right out. While we waited, I saw a Ford Escape flying along in the far left lane and thought he was going way too fast for conditions. As I thought that, he spun out of control and slammed into the concrete wall on the other side. He hit it hard, too, because it knocked off a tire and made his vehicle lean sideways. I saw him moving around inside his vehicle and talking on his cellphone, so he was OK. Just a dumba$$ for going so fast, but you know, he had a 4-wheel drive so he can drive like an idiot in ice, right?

When I called 911, they told me there would be quite a wait as they were answering a lot of calls. So I was pleasantly surprised to see the Webster Groves police arrive 10 minutes later. He confirmed neither of us were hurt. I asked him if my car had any damage. He looked at me rather strangely and said, "Yeah, your DOOR?" I hadn't gotten out to inspect it because I was sitting on a very narrow shoulder on an ice-covered overpass and cars occasionally spun out of control. I figured I'd do the inspecting later. The cop had blocked off the lane next to us, so I did get out to look and yup. What my side mirror hadn't shown was the outside portion of the door had shattered. And, it had affected the rear-door so it wouldn't close all the way. I looked to see what hitting the wall had done.

Nothing. I had hit it with my bumper, which is rubber and it just bounced back into place. But getting back into my car was tricky. I no longer had a door handle and have to climb in through the passenger door. I have bucket seats. "Graceful" is just thrown out of the equation. What I have since started doing is leaving the driver's seat reclined so I can open the back door, lean w-a-a-a-y over and open the door. I ventured out later in the day yesterday to run a couple of errands. I left the door slightly ajar (let's face it, the door looks MORE than slightly ajar) . There's nothing inside the car to steal and if anyone wants to steal it and take a 10 year old damaged Saturn off my hands --- then who am I to stop them?

It has 140,000 miles on it and had been slowly disintegrating around me. The sunroof leaks when the rain comes in from a certain direction. The rear windows tend to slide down of their own accord whenever they feel like it (so I've surreptitiously wedged pieces of cardboard into them to prevent that) and my windshield wiper will occasionally take a swipe whenever it wants. Meghan was driving it last summer as we were running errands. I hadn't told her about the windshield wiper action. When it happened on a clear day, she turned to look at me and said, "Seriously, when are you getting a new car?" She actually had the nerve to refer to it as a ghetto car!!!!

I was thinking about getting a new car this year (which for me means newer -- I don't buy brand spanking new cars. I'll let someone else take the hit on depreciation.) But with Meghan getting married in April and my trip to St. Thomas next month, I thought that maybe I'd wait until later in the year.

So with this.... maybe I'll go ahead and start thinking about getting one sooner. Maybe.

9 comments:

Epic Anderson said...

Holy Cripes! I'm glad you're ok. I hope you get something shiny that makes vroom noises. Just don't get anything with the word 'van' in the title anywhere. They make you age 20 years when you drive off the lot. And speaking of raucous parties, what's up with Beale St. this year? You down?

LabSpecimen said...

I'm all over Beale Street this year, Epic.

Jenni said...

I second the "no van" motion!

Jerry said...

A van has lots more options when it comes to getting in/out after the drivers door becomes inoperative. Get a van. Cover the inside with shag carpet. Put in some bitchin speakers for that 8-track. Let's party, man.

Meghan said...

as I recall jenni, your soon to be bro-in-law drives a van...so watch what you say! :)

Anonymous said...

It's time, sly. You are an important person with an important job and you cannot be driving around in a ghetto car. What's next? Starting it with a screwdriver? :)

Eleanor

Tramp said...

Friends don't let friends drive minivans.

Don't buy new, Sly. I made that mistake with my truck. I paid too much, and it got old anyway. Buy a two year old, Their price drops fast the first two years. After that, the savings become minimal, the wear gets maximal.

Is that even a word?

wickedwitch said...

hey, get another Saturn. They are relatively inexpensive, great on gas and very safe in accidents. i have driven the wheels off of four Saturns and love them. easy to maintain, easy to drive. My Vue saved my butt after being hit by a Chrysler and a Ford Expedition. i walked away. Neither one of the other drivers did. Great car, more importantly, safe car.

Anonymous said...

Please don't send me to the junkyard!

~ the GLH