If you could think of all the ways you’d want to start a relaxing, mid-year retreat at a beach-side resort…this would NOT be one of them:
- Realize just before you leave to meet up with your ride that you have left a vital bit of required paperwork at the homework club the day before and have to go get it on your way, causing you to call up your ride and make them wait for you.
- Have someone merge in front of you on the highway and almost immediately stand up on their brakes as a result of not leaving themselves enough reaction room between them and the guy in front of them when he stopped in response to the construction-slowed traffic (which, dear readers, is the purpose of all that temptingly empty “merging space” we had left in front of us in the first place), causing you to be unable to stop in time to avoid them as they fishtail around madly trying not to hit him, and thereby leaving you no room to avoid doing the same. Kaboom.
- Realize that you have none of the phone numbers of the people who are now waiting for you to show up, and you are going nowhere for however long it takes Highway Patrol to arrive and take statements.
So, that was my morning. How was yours? (Also, I spilled my tea. I hate spilling my tea. Caffeine is my only defense against total morning zombification. If nothing else, this just put the shiny cap on this whole craptacular handbasket ride into hell, since I now had to deal with it on only a quarter-tank of consciousness. Joy.)
Eventually, it all got sorted out. I got a hold of someone in the office building where my ride was waiting, to let them know what was going on, and we got it set up so that I would ride out with a group leaving an hour later. The boys in blue showed up and took down all the statements, and were extra nice, to boot. The truck still runs, although it’s coolant system doth runneth over (and the front end is completely trashed, since her braking-elevated rear end cleared our bumper – which would have created a few hundred bucks worth of denting, at most – and went into our grill area – which is going to cost a lot more). We made it to the homework club, where I picked up my materials (which I had managed to successfully carry around with me for the last two weeks, and only lost track of the moment I needed them – GAH!!!!!) and had my ride pick me up there, since she was going to be there anyway to pick up our team member who lives in the development.
So it’s all good, or as good as such asshattery can be. Insurance is paying for a rental during the fix-up process, so we still have transpo. The only downer is going to be trying to convince the insurance companies involved that we were not, in fact, following too closely (or at least hadn’t been until the lady in front of us merged into our reaction space and we had no time to re-create that space before she hit the brakes) and that it is not our fault, even though in most cases where you hit someone from behind, that’s the conclusion. *head in hands*
Okay, so for the record, here’s today’s public service announcement to all you road warriors out there – There is a difference between merging and parallel parking. Just because your vehicle will fit into the space in front of us doesn’t mean it is safe to merge there! We are all moving around in heavy objects that can’t stop on a dime, even at high-traffic crawl speeds, and therefore consider the fact that such spaces may have been left not, as you might imagine, for your own benefit but rather in consideration of such frivolous concerns as inertia and velocity, and that if you elect to occupy that space, you have effectively opted to take the place of our braking space. Thank you.