S#^t I Can’t Do (Part 2): Drive… At All


Over Lent, Father shared a series of homilies focusing on the Seven Deadly Sins. Each week, he focused on a different one. This is the same… exactly the same.

Shit I can’t do:

Date Without Being a Jackass
Time Management
Cook on the Stove
Express Sympathy Appropriately
Manage Heartbreak Without Humor
Drive… At All
Share Important News Like a Normal Fucking Person

Drive… At All

It happened. I was in my very first car accident… just hours ago. The story is typical… damn near boring. I was in a rush, tried to change lanes, and was hit by a Saturn Vue. The other driver and I immediately traded information while waiting for the police to arrive. I called the insurance company, the claims department, the body shop, my dad to ask to borrow his Jeep for a few days, my Gramma and Gail to tell them I was alive, my step-mom to tell me it was just an accident, and then my actual mother who ignored my calls because she’s mad at me for some fabricated-batshit-crazy reason… and I did all of this while waiting for the aforementioned cop.

-Phone conversation-
Gail: “Hey. You get everything handled?”
Me: “If I were a rape victim, I’m pretty sure the semen sample would no longer be viable. I am still at the side of the road, waiting for the police. I have been here since the beginning of time.

In all honesty, outside of the inconvenience and 90 degree plus weather, it was pretty much the best car wreck ever. Like, for realz, if there are collisions in that town from Big Fish, they look like mine.

big fish town

If she wasn’t from Spectre (I would make sweet love to Google), I’m pretty sure I hit a fucking Sesame Street character when the word of the day was “understanding”, because that woman could not have been more pleasant. When the cop finally showed, he was the kind of friendly that makes you wonder if he’d gotten into the supplies in the evidence locker and basically told us both that he didn’t have to write a police report unless we really wanted him to, so no one (like the person at fault ::cough:: me ::cough::) had to get a ticket. Then the lady actually apologized to me for making me wait. I was fully responsible.

Is she serious?

In addition to all of that, my dad has a habit of collecting cars he does not need, so I don’t even need a rental while my car is in the body shop. My deductible is only $500 and I needed a new bumper anyway, because…

I am a terrible fucking driver.

I’m not even kidding or exaggerating when I say that I don’t know how I’ve been driving for nearly ten years and this is the first collision I’ve been in, let alone causedI curb check daily, people. I make split-second decisions that are more often than not really bad, like braving flooded streets after a tornado when I drive a hatchback that is about four inches off the ground.

flash flood
Three times, I have managed to use this picture. Fucking Southern spring.

I run out of gas almost as frequently as I get lost and most of those times, I had the money to fill up and just… fucking… forgot. Each and every time I sputter into the station, I scream “Fuck yeah! This car runs on prayer!!!!” like I’m Grandpa Joe, just saw the golden ticket, and leaped from bed for the first time in twenty years.

grandpa joe

Then there are all those times I’ve misplaced the car… with me in it. Gail and I once went shopping… or planned to… with me behind the wheel. The destination was the north side of the city and Gail was supposed to be giving me directions. She took a phone call and looked up to exclaim:

Gail: “What the fuck did you do?!? How did we end up at the Capitol?!?”
Me: “I don’t know! You were supposed to be giving me directions!”
Gail: “I looked away for two minutes! How did you even do thatBelle?!?”
Me: “So… um… you wanna tour the Capitol?”
Gail: “Eh. Why not?”

We live in a grid state. Our roads are probably the easiest to follow in America. I have gotten on the wrong Turnpike, taking myself 30 miles out of the way at least four times. I’ve gotten lost on the way to the college where I received my master’s degree more than five times in three years. I was an online student. I don’t even know if I’ve been to that school more than 15 times total. The town of Springfield practically merges with my hometown, Shetland. It’s a Shetland family’s answer to sit-down chain restaurants, the one department store, and the movie theater. Gail and I spent most of high school driving around this town and giggling in the bookstore. I once had a Springfield address and I have gotten lost there recently. It’s sad, y’all. Mice can navigate mazes, on the first trip through, better than I can navigate my hometown. Not only that, but… well… I tend to hit shit. I tore a panel off of the side of the car the day I bought it, because I didn’t see the curb. Luckily it only cost $25 to reattach it, but that was only the beginning.

Incident 1: My extended family is huge. On Christmas day, we rent out the gymnasium of one of the local Catholic schools, where the kids put on a nauseatingly cute talent show, the women fight over their Dirty Santa theme, and the men grudgingly pretend they give a shit which Home Depot card they take home, because their wives made them play. It’s a blast and last year’s was no different… save for the ice. In my area, we don’t get a lot of snow, so when we do, everyone freaks the fuck out. My dad sent me a text Christmas morning telling me not to get out, because of the ice and insisted the party was canceled. My cousins all told me otherwise on Facebook. While I enjoy my solitude most of the time, it was Christmas day and I was not going to stay holed up inside alone like the star of some depressing as fuck Peanuts Gallery special. However, the storm had been raging for days and when I went outside, the entire car was encased in ice.

haird dryer on car

I know what you’re thinking, mostly because I got the same responses when I posted this picture on Facebook.

“That’ll break your windshield!” – Ward
“What the hell are you doing?!?!” – step-momma

But, no. That is not how I damaged my car on Christmas day. That is just an example of one of the “brilliant ideas” of which I researched no possible consequences. Gail actually refuses to listen to anything I preface with the quoted phrase. Close-minded bitch. After about an hour of scraping, during which I slipped on the ice only once, I finally cleared the window enough to drive through the ice and fallen tree limbs to the church. I fishtailed a few times, texted my dad at stoplights to ensure him I wasn’t leaving the house, and finally arrived, no damage to my car. Whew. Then, I pulled into the parking lot and didn’t realize that that curb was a half-wall and rammed the fucker. That is correct. I drove through a Southern apocalypse unscathed only to crack my front bumper in two on a wall while parking.

Incident 2: Shetland is a suburb and I work in the city, so I drive about 70 miles per hour on the highway, to and from the library. The speed limit is somewhere between 50 and 70. I couldn’t tell you for sure, because I don’t pay attention.

texting and driving

My Gramma is the most adored, most paranoid person in my life, with my dear Gaily taking a close second on both counts. Every night, when I get off work, she calls to make sure I’m no longer in the “bad” (read: not “wealthy and lily-white”) part of town. She’s an elderly white woman from the South and I mock her for it, but she worries, so whatev. I’ll appease My Favorite Lady. This particular night, she called right as I got on the highway. I don’t know that the reason I busted my bumper is because I was on the phone. It probably didn’t help, however, that I only had one hand available for any possible evasive maneuvers when I saw a dead pony in the road. Fine. It was a dog, but it had to be fucking Falcor, because that thing was huge.

falcorI saw Falcor in plenty of time, there just weren’t any options. I was going 70 miles per hour with only one free hand. Had I not had the phone plastered to my ear, I don’t know that I’d have had any other options than to hit it, either, because there were cars on either side of me.  Were I a typical Southerner in a pickup truck, this wouldn’t have been a problem. I, however, drive this…

little tykes car

The guys call it my “roller skate” and the four-year-old boy that Chad and Jay babysit once asked verbatim “Why do you drive that?” It’s a reliable car and I don’t want to replace it yet. It’s cute… because it’s small, and not meant to be driven over stray cattle. Having been the only one affected by said accident…

Me: “Hey, I’ve never even been in an accident, thank you very much.”
Chad: “Technically, hitting that dog and busting your bumper was an accident.”
Me: “That dog was already dead!”
Jay: “That dog could’ve been napping!!!”

… I didn’t bother to make an insurance claim. I know how much the parts are for my car and I know they couldn’t replace a single piece, but would instead need to replace the entire front bumper. It wasn’t worth reporting an accident to my insurance for cosmetic damage, so I… got creative.

hill billy bumper

Psh. I’m kidding. I’m classier than that. I used zip ties. That brings me to today, my “very first accident.” As far as accidents go, it was peachy, since I happened to be driving through the town from the Hidden Valley Ranch commercials at the time.

$500 to fix my bumper / (three separate accidents that destroyed my bumper + the damage done to the other vehicle) = $125 per incident and/or vehicle.

hidden valley ranchThe car won’t actually be serviced until July 9. What can I say? Don’t get into a car wreck during tornado season. I’ve had worse days, though. At least I’m not married to a man who’s insisting the oil was changed and the engine just fell out of the car for no reason, amiright?!? Perspective people.

1 thought on “S#^t I Can’t Do (Part 2): Drive… At All

  1. Pingback: Real-Life Photoshop: How Cosmetic Surgery Resonates 10 Years Later | Belle of the Library

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