Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Marriage 301, Lecture 493: Anatomy of a crime and the coverup
Before I say anything else, I want to know why on earth they are called "bumpers" if they do not BUMP but CRACK expensively. Shouldn't they be called "expensive crackers?" "Bumper" implies that you lightly bump into each other with the bumper absorbing the force of the bump and thus sparing the vehicle. It does not imply, "taking all the force and caving into it, thus necessitating the possible replacement of said item."
Nobody was hurt. Our car was barely damaged.
I was backing out of the driveway at 8:45 a.m. as I do on most days to go to the gym, where I let myself be bossed around by overly peppy exercise class instructors. I do not do this because I like to exercise but because I like to eat and I usually consume far more than I would burn just by lying in bed reading my friend Jeff Abbott's new book, Adrenaline, which is not available in this country yet but that he delivered personally so hahahahaha.
There was a red pickup parked on the street in front of my next-door neighbors. The front of the truck was almost flush with our driveway. I backed out slowly, then stopped before crossing the sidewalk, as I always double check to make sure there are no kids behind me. We live half a block from an elementary school, so it is always a possibility.
Then I edged out further, making sure I didn't hit the truck and watching to make sure nobody was coming around the truck to wallop me.
What I failed to notice was the big white van parked behind me on the other side of the street.
Not a good thing to miss a big white van.
I bumped into something.
That's when I noticed the van.
I had hit it right on the corner of the bumper, which everyone knows is the damage-maximizing spot.
I jumped out of the car and ran horrified to the van, which conveniently was surrounded by the men working on the house across the street. One of the guys was the owner of the van. Extra convenient!
"I am so sorry!" I blurted. "I didn't even see you! Is your van damaged? I am so sorry!"
The van guy rubbed his chin, then bent down to look at the bumper.
"It looks like you've scratched it some and maybe pushed it in," he said.
I sighed. Crap. "Let me give you my insurance information."
He shook his head. "Nah. They'll just raise your rates. I think I can just pull it out. It should be fine. You don't need to worry about it."
"Are you sure?" I asked.
He looked at the bumper again. "Yeah, I think it's OK."
I didn't want to insist because what if he changed his mind? Plus now I was late for the gym and I wouldn't be able to get the good spot in the back where I don't get hit by the hurricane-force wind from the two big fans the instructor insists on operating, even though we are now getting frost in the morning.
As I drove to the gym, I thought, "Cool! My karma is finally paying off." Twice I have been bumped in traffic and found myself with cosmetic damage to my car but nothing that affected drivability. Both times, I was hit by sincerely apologetic harried moms and both times, I told them not to worry about it.
Tralalala. I came home, not a worry in the world (except the obvious of HOW COULD I MISS THE VAN? and WHAT IF THAT HAD BEEN A KID?).
I went across the street to ask Van Guy if he wanted brownies or peanut butter cupcakes. Couldn't find him. Turned around to find SH, who had emerged from his office and come outside, inspecting the car.
How did he know?