Essays, Poetry, Observations, Etc.

the accident/repair story

In Uncategorized on October 22, 2012 at 8:26 pm

(This is not really poetry, but I am cross-posting it here, as well as my bio-blog.  It goes to show how to deal with a crisis deliberately and effectively, using every means available and without pausing to waffle in indecisiveness.  Think Jimmy Cagney in Billy Wilder’s  1, 2, 3)


I was on my way to work/school.

I hit a curb avoiding getting hit by another car. Car changed lanes into my passenger side. I accelerated to squeak out ahead of it, while steering into the curb minimize the collision. Almost controlled the re-entry… almost. *sigh*

Smashed the driver’s side wheel. Bent a a cast rim, shattered the control arm, broke the steering tie rod, bent a strut tie, and destructed the CV axle.

Car would not drive forward, but could move in reverse. Backed up and across Telephone road into a Kroger, then an O’Reilly Auto Parts parking lot where the car became undrivable 6 feet from the parking space.

Waited for the the store to open. My brain was swirling with the rush of adrenaline and irritation at not avoiding the accident better.  Started making plans and executing them, dealing with and surmounting each issue as it came up. My original plan was to buy the parts and replace on site, if they let me. I figured it was a 3 hour job.  But I am getting old and hoped for something better.

Went inside. Negotiated, er, schmoozed the parts store staff. The Something Better came up as I flirted with the clerk.  She was married, but very nicely recommended a small repair shop store personnel and friends used for personal work.

Bought the parts, $240, and then paid the mechanic $150 to tow and install the parts. After school, I went to PepBoys for a new tire, $100, then $80 to realign. Had an old Volvo 850 rim, exact same size, which has some minor cosmetic damage in storage. New tire went on passenger side rim, moved the old tire to the old rim, moved it to the driver’s side rear, and moved the rear tire to the site of the destruction.

Some minor cosmetic damage to bumper and a bit of plastic. No noticable body damage.

Accident happened at 6:45am Thursday morning. Bought parts at 8:15, arranged repairs by 8:30. Student’s grandmother picked me up, got me to school by 9:15. (My student’s mothers manned the school till I got there.) Picked up the car after school. Discovered one last problem, outer control arm. Replaced it in my ex-wife’s driveway. Back to PepBoys and had car aligned by 8:15pm Thursday night. 13 hours from accident to finish. Missed 2 hours 15 minutes of school. (Who da man? lol)

If I dealt with the insurance company, it would have cost me a $500 deductible, and I’d still be trying to get an estimate, driving a rental, and the car wouldn’t be ready till late next week… and cost about $1200 to $2000, including rental.

All told, it was a typical I-am-going-to-plan/negotiate/execute-my-way-out-of-this operation. I can be hell on wheels when I have to save my boney ass, money, and time! LOL!

And that’s the accident/repair story.


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