Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Back from vacation, with a sickening crunch

I was just sitting there this morning, in the traffic snarl not-so-fondly referred to as the Mercer Mess, waiting for the light to change so I could slowly, slowly merge onto the highway. I was running late to work but trying not to let it get to me. Instead, I was daydreaming about the maroon Vanagon in front of me. It would be great if we had a van like that...RW keeps talking about buying one...this one is probably newer than whatever we'd get, though... wonder how much it cost... hey, how come I'm MOVING? How come I'm still moving even though I'm pulling frantically on the emergency brake? How come I'm... crashing into that Vanagon, ever so slowly, accompanied by a horrible unidentifiable crunching sound, as if I'm being pushed by an inexorable force, as if there's A GREAT BIG YELLOW MACK TRUCK BEHIND ME PLOWING INTO ME???

You can probably guess why.

The light changed. The Vanagon pulled into a nearby parking lot. I pulled in next to it. The humungous yelllow Mack truck pulled over to the right-hand lane, blocking all the cars behind it.

The nice woman in the Vanagon got out and looked at her fender. "I'm okay," she said. "Are you okay? Oh, look, your fender's kind of hanging off, there."

"Paper," I said. "Paper. A piece of paper. Does anyone have a pen and a piece of paper?" All I could remember is that you're supposed to write down insurance information. The Vanagon woman gave me some paper and a very nice purple pen, which she said I could keep. I proceeded to write down everyone's license plate number and vehicle color, as a theraputic exercise.

The truck driver bounded out of his monstrosity. "Hey," he called in the general direction of me and my tiny red Honda Civic. "Where on earth did you come from?"

"I was right there," I said. "In front of your truck." ("She was!" said the wonderful Vanagon woman.)

"I didn't even see you!" He sounded vaguely offended, like I'd snuck in front of him on purpose to trick him into rear-ending me.

"Not everyone's an SUV, you know," I snarked.

"I hear ya. I drive a motorcycle, myself." For some reason, this didn't endear him to me.

The Vanagon woman gave me her phone number and excused herself to drive her friend to the airport. The idiot truck driver gave me his insurance number and continued protesting as I wrote it down that he hadn't seen me, just the van in front of me, just hadn't seen me at all, blah blah blah blah arrogant idiot blah. He did remember to throw a token "I'm sorry" into the mix about five minutes on, but the general gist was sort of injured shock, like, What was I doing, driving such a tiny little car around on the streets? Didn't I know people could get hurt that way?

"Look," he continued. "My cab's just so big, there, there's no way I could see you at all. Just look at it." He sounded proud of it, like it was a prize sow. Or something even less savory.

"Yeah, well, I guess that's a problem," I remarked.

"Not really," he said huffily.

"Um. It is for me." (And if this reads like a painfully obvious retort, imagine how it felt to say it. Reader, I cringed. But I was compelled despite myself, as if.. as if... as if the words were being dragged out of my mouth by a yellow Mack truck with a cab the size of Montana.)

We exchanged a few more pleasantries, and then he bounded into his giganto-truck and revved 'er up. I kicked at the remains of my rear fender, called work, called RW to freak out, and then left too, unreasonably infuriated that, after crunching into me as if I wasn't there, he was now ahead of me on the highway. It didn't seem right.

Positive things that came out of this terrifying experience:
1) I had a really good excuse for being late to work.
2) The company that employs Mack Truck Idiot will pay to replace the fender, which was slightly scraped already, though not nearly the hazard that it is now.
3) I now have a nice purple pen. But I will probably call Vanagon Woman and send it back.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Macktruckman rides a motorcycle. He said so himself. Look for him. . . .You don't have to run him over or anything. Just bellow out something cheery like "oops, didn't see you."

in a dangerous mood,
Kate

7:25 AM  
Blogger Anna said...

What a way to return from vacation! poor elswhere. (I keep wanting to call you 'Elspeth'.) And what a schmuck MackTruckGuy was for not apologizing. Butthead!! There's no excuse for him.

Glad you're okay, in body if not in spirit.

5:45 PM  
Blogger WordsRock said...

Eh, it's just a little fender? When your daughter grows up, well, that's when you'll really be worrying about drivers of Mac trucks. :)

Glad no one was hurt and sorry you had to deal with such a situation. And hey, doesn't the chance to write, even briefly, with a purple pen make it a little bit brighter? :)

6:35 PM  

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