Monday, February 6, 2012

A Good Deed Unpunished

Today we had a rare frigid morning in this balmy El Nina winter of ours, and like I usually do on such frosty days, I started the cars and scraped the windshields. Our '01 Jeep Wrangler is a fun kind of buggy, loved by Heidi and the nephews, especially in top-down weather.

Of course it has a manual transmission to go with its rugged take-the-top-off attitude, and so the emergency brake was on this morning when I popped it in neutral to warm it up. When my scraping was done, I turned it off and took the keys inside so that Heidi would have them to lock up when she left.

Then, with a cheery good-bye and full confidence in my good partner status, I headed toward the station wagon with my back pack, lunch bag, and coffee cup. I was loading those items in their customary positions in the back seat when I heard an alarming crunch, and looked up to see the Jeep crashed into our neighbor's car next to me.

It was so confusing at first. Nobody was at the wheel of either vehicle, and yet there they were in a rear-end collision. The Jeep had been parked up the hill and across the way, so it wasn't too long before I realized what had happened, sprinted into the house for the keys, and pulled it back into its space.

This time I left it in gear when I climbed out to inspect the damage. Our neighbor's car had been running to defrost it, too, so I knew she would be out any moment. There was a melon-sized dent in her rear bumper, and a bit of a tell-tale dark blue smudge. I ran inside to tell Heidi, and we emerged from our house a minute later, just as our neighbor came from hers.

Wide-eyed and breathlessly I told the tale of the calamity, but she remained calm. "Oh give me the insurance info later," she said. "After all," she laughed, "I know where you live." We followed her around to the back of the cars to look at the damage, and I gasped. The whole dent had popped out! All that was left was a tiny smear of navy blue. Our neighbor shrugged. "I wouldn't have even known if you didn't tell me."

No comments:

Post a Comment