Monday, March 24, 2008

Mother...son of a...ASS. I just...

So Teri stays home from work today because she's still sick. I think to myself that my car gets mid-20's on premium gas, but her car gets mid-30's on regular gas, so I'll drive her car today and save a couple bucks.


The morning commute was mostly normal. As usual, I get stuck behind slower moving traffic. Normally there is a lot of room to pass people, but this morning there was a lot of oncoming traffic. The sun isn't really up yet, so most intelligent people have their lights on. I have to plan for more passing room than normal because Teri's car has about half the horsepower of mine. I finally see an opening, plenty of room, so I step on it to get around the 18-wheeler I'm behind. As I'm about halfway along the truck, I finally notice that there is indeed a car up ahead coming towards me. No lights on. Brilliant! Oh yeah, and what little sunlight is starting to creep up is behind him, so he's nearly invisible. He's not like oh-my-god-I'm-going-to-die close, but close enough that if I had seen him, I probably wouldn't have elected to pass at that moment. So I speed up and get in front of the truck, plenty of room to spare. Per my usual public service for the idiot drivers in this area, as I'm pulling back into my lane, I turn my headlights on and off a couple of times to alert the guy that he doesn't have his lights on. Sometimes, not often, they react fast enough by turning their lights on before they go by me, so I can see they got the message. More often than not, they are past me before they get their lights on, if they ever do. I will watch in my rearview to see if the message was received. By the time I can see the guy in my rearview, I notice that he has pulled over to the side of the road. I'm really puzzled by this, as there is just no possible way he can think I tried to run him off the road. It simply wasn't close. Then he starts to turn around. At this point, I notice that the car is white, and shaped rather like a cop car. Great. He's unmarked, of course. I also notice that as he gets turned around fully, his headlights are now on. I keep expecting the flashy-blinky lights at any time, but he doesn't turn them on. The 18-wheeler clearly believes he is a cop, because he pulls over towards the side of the road and slows down, allowing the white car by. By now I have resumed my normal cruise speed, and made a point to set the cruise control at 55 on the nose. The white car clearly accelerates to catch up to me, but then hangs back at an odd distance. I figure he's running the plates, trying to decide which reason he might use to pull me over. Thinks I was going too fast (duh, in the process of passing). Mad that I flashed my lights at him (uh, your lights weren't on, officer). It's Monday. Who knows. So I keep waiting for the inevitable, when suddenly he turns left into a driveway, turns around and resumes his original direction.

I'm sorry, what? What just happened here?

So I figure there are two possibilities. 1) He was a cop, or 2) he was a road rager. Either option could explain why he would turn around and come after me. But then, why didn't he do anything? I mean, either way... wouldn't a cop pull me over and at least find out what's up? Wouldn't a road rager at least ride my ass for a while, if not worse? I'll never know.

But that isn't the fun part of the day. It was merely the first clue that this was going to be a bad day.

I'm on my way home, minding my own business, enjoying the lack of traffic. Cruising along, when I notice a little dirt devil/mini-tornado thingy forming in a driveway just off to the right side of the road. As I watch, it picks up speed and gets bigger. My mind went from "oh hey, that's kinda cool" to "oh crap, it's heading towards the road" really fast. I'm starting to envision the scratches in the paint I'm about get, when the tornadlet picks up the trash can that was at the end of the driveway and hurls it at the car. Woo, didn't see that one coming. I hear a loud boom, realize that the view out the front of the car wasn't as clear as it was a second ago, and pull over to the side of the road. Might be worth mentioning I was going around 55 at the time.

So Mr. Garbage Can left the following note on the car (click for larger):

I sat in the car to collect my thoughts for a moment before taking pictures, but do notice there is no sign of the twister or the garbage can. No idea where it went.

Here we have the glass shards on the dashboard...

...and the now-unusable rearview mirror. That's as high as it will pivot.

It was if the hand of a god that I don't even believe in reached down, grabbed that garbage can, and threw it at me. He's a jerk!

There was, of course, no one around to see this happen. And, of course, this is after hours so my insurance agent doesn't answer the phone. I sit for a while and try to decide if this is the kind of accident worth calling the police over. I finally decide that there wouldn't be anything useful for the police to do, and just drive home.

As far as I can tell, the damage is limited to the windshield, and maybe that black strip seal across the top of the windshield. If that is indeed the extent of the damage, I'm only out the $250 deductible to get the windshield replaced. So once I get past how unlucky the entire situation is, at least I can feel lucky that the damage isn't that bad. I don't deal well with car damage, so if this was my car, I'd already be planning to sell it and get a new one. And this could easily have been my car.

Watch me hit a deer tomorrow.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bummer of a week. Hope it ended better. In the best tradition of conspiracy theorizers, my theory is the road rager from the AM followed you just long enough to get your license number, the cyber stalked you to figure out when/where you'd be driving home and hid behind a tree at that driveway until he was able to hammer throw the trash can at you as you whizzed by :-)