I noticed the end-of-a-baseball-bat-sized ding in the side of the family truckster the other day.
I asked my wife if she knew anything about it. She didn’t and I believe her. I did however give her some static about the scrape on the rear bumper that she picked up when she cheese-gratered along a cinderblock wall backing out of a friends driveway a month ago. I know it was an accident and of course accidents happen but it’s aggravating to see the car starting to show its age. And who are you supposed to scream at if not your spouse, right?
Truth is though that I’m not really qualified to give her too much static over what doesn’t even amount to a fender bender.
I have a head-on collision with a telephone pole AND a parking lot light stanchion to my credit over the course of my motoring career. Police reports…tow trucks…treated and released.
I’ve hit two cars that I can think of just off the top of my head. No injuries there luckily. Ruined a transmission IN MY DRIVEWAY. Shattered a windshield when I decided that instead of getting out of the car to scrape the ice off the glass, I could just give it a little punch from the inside and that would jar the ice loose.
Ruined an engine. Don’t know how I did it either so theoretically it could happen again. And I ended up in the hospital the only time I ever tried to change my oil.
I kissed a guardrail. The damage wasn’t too bad on that one and in fact that whole episode was actually lucky for me. Hitting the guardrail stopped the car from spinning. Little icy that night. And a rapid series of 360° twirls has a tendency to disorient you behind the wheel. Plus there’s nothing worse than when “waiting for it to stop” is all you have left.
As you might imagine, every car I’ve ever owned has acquired a certain “broken in” quality to it.
Speaking of broken in, I had a car broken inTO, in my driveway. Well it wasn’t really broken into so much as it was just entered. They didn’t have to break into the car because the door wasn’t locked. I damaged the lock on the door when I tried to force the door handle open while the mechanism was frozen. So the door would still shut, but it was always unlocked and someone entered the car and took a Leatherman tool I had in the console. And in case you’re reading this pal…not likely, I realize…but don’t bother coming back for Round Two. I have a different car. It locks. I have motion detector lights in the driveway too. And I don’t have a Leatherman in the car anymore. The only thing worth stealing is a half bottle of WalMart antacids. And if heartburn is what’s driven you to a life of crime, just leave a note on the windshield and I’ll pick up a bottle for you.
A frozen door was also a problem in another vehicle I used to drive but it wasn’t my fault that time. The car was a Honda Civic. It was a ’76 I think. Back when the door on a Honda wasn’t quite as substantial as the Honda door of today. I didn’t break the mechanism in that door. It just used to freeze on its own. And when the door was frozen, I had to hold it closed as I drove. Usually after a few miles, the heater would kick in and eventually, if I could hold the door closed tight enough for long enough, the heater would begin thawing the latch. It would be fair to describe the process as a gradual one, as the heater temperature rose throughout the miles.
“35 degree air coming out now. 38 degrees…now 40…a few more miles… heater blower temperature nearing 45 degrees…oh yeah! Feel that thaw baby!!! C’mon door latch!!! Any minute now and this door is gonna stay closed on its own and…yes, we’re there.”
And uhh…oh yeah. There was the time I drove the car through the garage door.
So honey? Don’t worry about the ding. It probably happened in a parking lot and I know it’s not your fault. I mean, after all, not only were you not driving the car at the time, you weren’t even in it. And neither was I.
You didn’t park it near the shopping cart thing, did you? Don’t park it there.