What We Call "Irony"

This strip ran in papers yesterday.

When it was written, over a month ago, there was no way to know that we would find ourselves having to go car shopping by the time it ran.

That would be because, when John wrote this one, he was happily driving a Mazda 3 that was two years away from being paid for. He had babied it. Every recommended oil change/tire rotation/you name it had been performed. I wrote about how much we loved the car last year.

He was going to drive it for years.

Until it got massacred by an inattentive driver. I'm not going to get into the whole "wrangling with the insurance companies" thing. (Even though, I'm pretty sure that when you get a citation saying the accident was your fault (her) and you also admit at the scene that you didn't see the other guy (also her), having your insurance company try to weasel out of full responsibility feels like dirty pool.)

Suffice it to say, the car is now totaled.

(To be fair, while it sounds dramatic, it's not as hard to total a car as it used to be.)

And I know that we should simply be counting our blessings that John is OK and it was, after all, only a car.

But this is not our first dance with the car totaling powers that be.

In 2003 our fabulous little Honda Civic - the car that not only got 40 miles to the gallon but was still going strong 5 years after we finished paying for it - was hit from behind by - you guessed it - an inattentive driver. She was actually turned around dealing with a kid in the back seat. Note to parents: if your kid is misbehaving so badly that you have to deal with him/her while you are driving, PULL OVER.


(Sorry, no pictures of that one.)

In 2005, I was plowed into by a woman that ran a stop sign. Because she was trying to cross a 4 lane divided road, she actually accelerated into me. I have a vague memory of the car spinning a few times before I hit a tree, took out some of a fence, and came to rest over a municipal gas line. Note to accident victims: if you're conscious, remember to turn off the car. You never know what you're sitting on. I did see her coming for me and had a split second in which I could accelerate and change the point of impact. The rescue team said it probably saved my life. I actually walked out of the wreck with only minor injuries. But, once again....


Which brings us to John's accident 3 weeks ago which produced this:

One of my harp students said to me "What is it with you guys and your little cars?"

I have a theory. We live in a state where, after you take your initial drivers license test, both the written portion and the "on the road" exam, you never have to take them again. You just show up, pay the fee, take the vision test,  get a new license and go on your merry way. Not like in the old days where you had to, every few years or so, take another road test. In some cases you can even do it by mail if you have a valid eye doctor's note from the last 3 months stating that you can see to drive.

So my theory is this: NO ONE KNOWS HOW TO DRIVE ANYMORE.

Every one of these accidents could have been prevented by the at fault drivers simply paying attention to their surroundings and being aware of the laws of right of way. In each case not only were the other drivers ticketed, we can't think of a single thing we could have done defensively to get out of their way.

So, we are off car shopping - again.

I think we're going to look for a car encased in bubble wrap.


  1. In addition to easy license renewal, cars now have navigation systems, complicated stereos and DVD players that would only benefit actual driving if there were some sort of auto pilot.

    Maybe you guys are statistically safe for awhile. You are very lucky. It doesn't take much to be badly injured.

  2. Yes, we are VERY lucky not to have been more seriously hurt in these accidents. But all the crap you have to go through to get everything resolved with insurance companies - especially when the driver is uninsured (the lady who hit the civic) has a tendency to leave you more pissed than grateful.

    I know - breathe in... breathe out.... breathe in... breathe out.......

  3. I can't tell you how many times I've almost been hit by distracted drivers. I was once driving west on 75th street, when a kid driving south on a cross street blew right thru a stop sign and never blinked. As he crossed in front of me, I could see that his gaze was fixed down, with his chin in his chest. Obviously, he was texting. Good thing no one was crossing the street in front of him. Our neighborhood is full of kids. Glad to hear that John is okay.