Fender Bender Magnet
So here’s what happened.
Twice in the last month I’ve had vehicles bump the back end of my car. Love taps they were, but annoying just the same.
The first incident happened in a drive through line at Tim Horton’s in Port Dover, Ontario. Grumpy and the Good Wife were at the end of a very long line, waiting our turn to grab some coffee and donuts. You see we are the Public Address announcers and pitch count people at the old ball park where the young one plays. Our pre-game ritual is to drop off the boy and head out to Timmy’s while the teams go through their warm-up routines.
Did I mention that we were under a full moon?
The first indication of trouble came when this big dude came strutting out of the shop and walked right in front of my car just as I was moving forward. His eyes were glazed as if he were suffering from “morning after the night before” syndrome. He neither looked left or right.
I slammed on the binders to avoid making him a 250 pound hood ornament. He didn’t even favor me with a “Thank you, sir!” glance. I’m sure he was more in tune with taking in a little of the hair of the dog that bit him. You know of the alcohol variety.
“Asshole”, I mumbled, as he ambled off towards a line of parked cars!
Within minutes of this incident my wife and I were jolted by the obvious impact of a vehicle ramming into the back of our own. No surprise, Mr. Charles Atlas had backed up his jeep without looking to see that the drive through line had snaked its way into the parking lot.
I jumped out to survey the damage just as my wife exclaimed, “That big dude looks really pissed!”
As I turned the corner to look at my back end (the cars not mine) I saw the guy approaching with a scowl on his face. My first impression was that maybe he blamed me for being there in his “space”. But I thought, “How could he have missed seeing me, considering he walked right in front of my car?” Oh, ya, he didn’t see my car that time either!
Upon further examination, I was pleased to see that there was just a small scratch on my “rubber-baby-buggy-bumper” fender. You know those plastic fenders that can take a bit of a licking and keep on ticking.
My second impression was that my first impression was totally correct. The dude was either stoned or hung over from the night before. His metal-bar jeep fender thingy had a nice dent in it and he just stood there and stared at it!
Assessing the situation I concluded that we were relatively unscathed so I said, “I guess you took the worst of that one!” and walked back to jump in the car.
As I sat down my wife remarked, “I thought that guy was mad at you and was going to give you a hassle!” Translating from second grade teacher speak she really meant she thought I was about to get an open-can-of-whoop-ass-butt-kicking
“Naw,” I said, “I sized him up. One punch to the gut and he would have gone down like a rock!”
That’s pretty tough talk from a guy that’s 5 foot six and over 60 years of age. Nevertheless, that was the end of it and we went our separate ways none the worse for wear.
Or so I thought.
Let’s fast forward a month.
I had just returned from a trip to Guelph to pick up my daughter at the University. I was in the process of taking her to her boyfriends and at that moment was sitting at a stop light waiting for the red to change to green.
We’re both jolted forward in our seats as once again someone has rammed into my arse end. Looking in my rearview mirror I see a soccer mom sitting in her van with a face as red as a tomato. Her eyes are looking this way and that as if nothing happened.
I turn and give her the evil eye and as the light turned from red to green, I slowly move through the intersection, creeping forward at a snail’s pace.
My daughter says to me, “Aren’t you gonna get out, Dad, and see if there’s any damage? That crazy woman smashed into us! GEEZ!”
“Honey,” I say. “We’ve got rubber-baby-buggy bumpers!”
“Wh-aaaaaa-t?” she says. If looks could kill, I’d be writing my obituary instead of this piece. Seriously!
With my assailant in my rearview I drive ever so slowly up the road. She has backed off considerably. I slow down even more. I’m crawling forward, slower than my usual senior citizen speed of somewhere south of a snail’s pace. I’m muttering, “Putt, putt, putt, putt!”
“Dad, what are you doing?” Meghan asks.
After having a little fun, (maybe five blocks worth) I leave it at that and make the turn to the boyfriends. I put my signal on well in advance, like maybe half a mile away, just to piss her off. Then, I offer one more stare of death as that psycho women, battering-ram passes by.
“Dad, I can’t believe you just let that happen without stopping to check for damage”, Meghan sighs. This is neither the first nor the last time I’ve frustrated my daughter.
“Rubber-baby-buggy bumpers,” is my reply.
Upon arriving at the boyfriends (Hers not mine.), we both survey for possible damage and, fortunately, there is none to be found. Those plastic, reinforced rubber thing-a-ma-doodles work like a charm.
However, I am convinced that they contain highly magnetic force fields of Star War’s proportions. Einstein’s Big Bang theory is starting to make perfect sense.
As I drive away and head for home, a saying my mother used to use comes to mind, “Things always happen in three’s, Grumpy!”
I’ll let you know if that statement is true, but I’m truly hoping we’ve experienced that last of these kick-in-the-ass surprises.