Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Ode to Penny Lane

Saturday night, lying in bed, two words popped into my head: car accident.

Like most everyone else, I've had strange feelings about people and events before (most recently, there was my feeling of dread right before I left for the party on New Year's Eve...probably would have done well to heed by that one, Becky), but it’s not often that specific words shoot straight out of left field and into my consciousness. Yet “car accident” sure as hell did, and there they stayed until I went to sleep.

Two days later, Monday, I drove downtown to run an errand and I couldn’t find a place to park. I must have circled the same four city blocks three times before finally deciding to suck it up and pay for parking. I slowed down to round a corner and *POP* heard something go in the front of my car. Clunk, clunk, I was still moving but not well, and couldn’t steer worth a damn, but by an extraordinary stroke of luck, I was within feet of a corporate parking lot and the space closest to the street was wide open (all that circling for a place to park, and suddenly there was a slot waiting for me). My car just made it into the spot.

Blown tire was what I figured. I got out, checked, but no, all the tires were fine. Also by an extraordinary stroke of luck, my parents were not at their house (a good hour away from Memphis), but in a nearby suburb. I called and they promised to head my way as soon as they could. I then called the insurance company to set up a towing service (my insurance switches next week, but by a third extraordinary stroke of luck, in changing companies, I had reviewed my current policy and therefore not only knew that I had free roadside assistance but knew exactly where the number to call was). And then I called my car repair guy, who has seen me so much in the past two years that he and his wife and all of his employees know me by name and greet me heartily every time they see me.

“Sounds like the transmission," the repair shop told me. "But don't start to worry yet. Let us look at it."

The insurance woman who had helped me with the tow truck had also said it sounded like a transmission issue, and prematurely offered her condolences on the repair costs.

My parents showed up, and not long after they did, so did a security guard for the corporation whose parking lot we were camped in. It was a warm day, but by a fourth extraordinary stroke of luck, there was a patch of shade and grass near the parking lot and we were all more than comfortable as we waited for the tow truck. As we waited, the security guard entertained us with his life story...all about his kids and his time in the Vietnam War and his recently-cured colon cancer…

When the tow truck arrived, the driver looked at my car and noticed something that none of the rest of us had: my two front wheels were pointing inward toward each other.

"You've broken off your tie rod end!"

Lo and behold, the ball joint connecting my front driver’s side wheel to the steering wheel had snapped clean off, leaving me with no steering control for that tire. My initial thought was only that this would be much cheaper to repair than the transmission.

The security guard, however, stepped up behind me and hollered (like something straight out of a horror movie), “ARE YOU BLESSED, CHILD?! If you’d been driving down the highway…”

He left the rest unsaid. As did the woman at the repair shop, who said, “If you’d been going at any kind of speed! Or on the expressway! YOU ARE BLESSED!”

But it wasn’t until I was sitting in the backseat of my parents’ car, analyzing the condition of my poor car on the back of the tow truck (“Your car is pigeon-toed!” my mom said) that I remembered “car accident.”

And I kind of freaked myself out. (HOLY CRAP, I'M TOTALLY PSYCHIC.)

Sunday, the day before all of this happened and the day after I was receiving ghostly messages in my head whilst lying in bed, my mom called and invited me to come visit her and Dad for the day. I rarely turn my parents down, but for some reason on Sunday I did. Instead, I went to see The Hunger Games. And I saw it in Bartlett because it was only $6. I had a $20 bill in my purse, so after the ticket, I had a ten and four ones.

My insurance paid for thirteen miles of towing, but the repair place was fourteen miles away. The rate was $4 for every extra mile, provided I pay on the spot, in cash, and had correct change. Which, by a fifth extraordinary stroke of luck, because of going to the movie, I did.

And if I'd driven to see my parents, in calculating the mileage I drove before the joint broke off, it almost undoubtedly would have snapped on the highway when I was going 75 mph, and not ten feet from a parking lot when I was going about 20.


And my dear car…despite doing its best to deplete my savings account these past couple of years (I'm up to $1200 so far just in 2012), my car has caused me problems only when I am either in my driveway or when my parents are coincidentally nearby and can pick me up. The last time the battery died, it did so when I was literally across the street from a repair shop. And this time, it could have killed me, but instead it politely waited until I was going at a slow speed and near a parking area before falling apart on me.   I appreciate the way it's got my back and all.

(But, er, despite its good behavior, I've decided that it might be time to start looking for a new one.  Don't tell this one yet, though.  If this is the way it treats me when times are good, I don't think I can afford to have it angry at me.)


  1. wow, that was luck at it's best. You are blessed my dear.

    If I come to visit you and rub myself against you, do you think it would rub off on me?? Just a teeny-weeny bit of course, I'm not greedy. ;)


    1. HA! If I could spread it around, I'd be more than happy to. :) I suppose if I were REALLY lucky though, I'd never have any car trouble in the first place...but I'll take what I can get. ;)

  2. I realize that this is so NOT the point of this post, but HOW WAS THE HUNGER GAMES MOVIE??!!!

    I'm going Saturday (I hope), SO exited!!

    Also, I'm very, very glad you're alive :D


    1. Malin, without spoiling anything, I would say it was the best book-to-film adaptation I've ever seen. It was amazingly well done!! While I was watching it, though, I thought a couple of times about our conversation about the books and...I can't wait for you to see it!!! Because I want to make a comment but I have to wait!! :D

      ENJOY ON SATURDAY!!! I'm pretty sure you won't be disappointed... (And then as soon as you see it, I'll say what I'm dying to say right now! :D)

    2. OMG!! I'm ridicuosly excited!! I'll let you know as soon as I can that I've seen it. Can't wait to hear your thoughts!!

      How's the car?

      Have a great Saturday my friend *hugs*

    3. YAY, can't wait to hear what you think!!!

      And the car is working again, thank you very much for asking. :) I had my dad's car for a couple of days while it was getting fixed I just have the daunting task of starting to do some research for a new one. There are too many kinds of cars out there! :D

      Hope your weekend is off to a wonderful start and that you had (have?) fun at the movie!!! *hugs*

    4. The reply to your reply to the comment that should have been written here is now in your inbox :D


  3. So, you could technically say that The Hunger Games saved your life?? Kind of ironic...

    1. Sam, COMMENT WIN.

      That is the most awesome way of looking at it EVER. :D

    2. Well, lets just say if the Hunger Games is ever real, you should enter. Chances are you will win ;) hehe

    3. Hahaa! Well, we would hope so at least... (That'd be a rough way to go!!! :D)