It has to be the #1 accident in my state. I’m sitting at a stoplight, waiting to turn, when a car plows into me. It hits me so hard that my rearview mirror flies off, just missing me, and winds up in the back seat. My head and shoulders are well-cushioned by the headrest. I look over at my kiddo. “You ok?” She nods. She’s an adult now and looks more excited than scared. Kids.
I glance at the two outer mirrors. The car that had hit me is about the same size as mine; however, I have a hefty trailer hitch on the back. I don’t expect much damage, at least not for me. Two women, probably in their forties, are exiting, and they look pissed. I punch up the rear camera app and download the crash to the family account.
“This should be pretty quick,” I tell kiddo as I grab my phone, driver’s license, and the wallet with the car info, and open the door. “You stay here.” She nods again and goes back to her phone. Probably a video game I’ll never understand. No, wait. She’s a little older now. She’s probably sharing the video I just downloaded and spreading the joy to everyone she knows. “Don’t tell your dad,” I shout as I walk away.
When I get to the rear of my car, it’s just as I expected. It has a few scratches—the trailer hitch, not the vehicle. But wow—that thing did a number on their now-Pekinese-faced car. The driver glares at me, her hands fisted at her side. She’s shaking. The other driver is—I kid you not—holding her neck, then her stomach, then her neck again. She keeps glancing at me to see if I’m looking.
So, this is how the meeting goes:
“You hit me!” the driver screams as I open my mouth to point out the same thing.
I look at my car, then hers, behind me, and ask her how she figures that. By that time, kiddo has appeared next to me. She’s so danged protective.
“It’s your fault because you didn’t turn fast enough,” the driver says in that tone people reserve for their stupid children. We’ll call her Clueless; it’s better than Karen. That’s the name of a dear friend, and believe me, she’s no Karen.
Kiddo has already called the cops. Clever child.
“The cops should be here soon, meanwhile we can—” I start to suggest we exchange information.
I hear this strange, snorting sound. Now I know what it means when someone’s eyes bug out. Wow. Fascinating. Clueless is really pissed that we called the cops. After a bit more back and forth, they huddle together for a discussion, and I pick up on a few things. They live together, doesn’t matter why, but what does matter is the neck-stomach clutcher is responsible for household upkeep, and she didn’t pay the last car insurance bill. Oh, and now her head hurts, too.
“They don’t have insurance,” I say to kiddo, aside. She chuckles in that kid way that suggests she wants to roll her eyes. “I know, I know. I remember what Dad said. This is why we get Uninsured Motorist.”
Amazingly, the other conversation comes to a halt. I see Clueless’s face light up. She turns to Clutcher—“It’s ok, Tippy, they got that uninsured thingy.”
Me and kiddo exchange a look. I shrug, lean against the car, and cross my ankles. Clueless is making a call, and she looks so damned happy. She’s chatting away. I hear her tell the other person some yahoo didn’t turn quick enough, so she bumped her stupid car. Only there were a lot of f-bombs in that snippet of info. And she really called me a yahoo. Wow. Then she says triumphantly, “She’s got Uninsured, so we’re all good.”
I hear that weird, keening sound kiddo makes when she’s trying not to laugh. She’s so polite. She decides to head back to the car.
As soon as Clueless hangs up, I mosey over to her and Tippy. “You sure look happy for someone with a radiator in their front seat,” I say casually, looking her car over.
Clueless peers at me and glances at Tippy, probably wondering if it’s safe to talk to me. Her exuberance wins. “Well yeah! You didn’t turn. You made me hit you! But I heard you say you got the Uninsured Motorist, so we’re ok.” Big smile.
Hmm. How to address this… “Umm…do you know what Uninsured Motorist is for?”
“Well, sure! Your insurance pays to fix the uninsured motorist’s car. Like me.”
As I mosey back to my car, I see the cop car approaching. I lean in the window to ask kiddo if she heard that—never mind. She’s howling with laughter.
“Go ahead and call your dad,” I tell her. “We might be here a while.”