|Toonces the Driving Cat|
I am having a period of driving like Toonces the Cat. I hope you remember Toonces from Saturday Night Live or this will be lost on you. Toonces was best known for his horrible driving, often driving off a cliff, and always surviving, I guess based on the nine lives theory.
Mine have been minor yet idiotic scrapes. Like the other day when I was doing my errands too fast, I parked and ran into the optician's office to pick up a spare pair of contacts. It took all of three minutes but I guess it was long enough for my car (which I had failed to put in park) to slightly roll across the lane smack into the fender of another car. There were busybodies aplenty to tell me what had happened and they were hanging around to see that I would do the right thing. Well, of course, did I look like a scofflaw? I nervously tried to pull a piece of paper out of a notebook and then grabbed an eyeliner pencil to write with. The BB's are still there offering me paper and pen. I finally wrote my confession note with my cell phone number and let the BB's sign it as witnesses, because I didn't know how else to get rid of them. They were so eager to see justice done. An older man yelled from his car "What you are doing is a very nice thing, miss." That is more like....it, props instead of accusers. But there is no one with as much time on her hands as a non-working Bethesda mom during the school day. When Mrs. Smith called me later she sounded like Mrs. Thurston Howell, III (another ancient television reference, try to keep up) and said "ah you poor dear, what happened?"
|Mrs. Thurston Howell III (Lovey)|
The previous run-in had been in the parking lot for The Dry Bar, a place where we go if we want someone else to wash and blow dry our hair for us. I pulled into a spot, slightly grazing a white Lexus SUV whose owner was just coming to the car. She took my information but never followed up on it because she sounded exasperated by the process and said the car had just been in the shop for something similar. She never bothered to call my insurance company. That's what people who don't have time to wash and dry their own hair are like. I am included.
And one more, racing back to the office after lunch and smacking into the SUV next to me in the parking lot. I wrote the note, called the NIH Police to find the owner of the other car and then was told to stay "at the scene." The car turned out to belong to one of my colleagues from another institute. She acted all nice about it, especially when I told her how close the auto repair place is and that the rental car will be provided, but I am sure it was not how she wanted to spend the next few days.
The problem is I am still driving a very wide SUV. It saved me from having to drive a van, because it seated seven, but I don't have kids to drive around anymore. Which leads us to Toonces Two. My 17 year-old son is now a licensed driver, and within the first two weeks of getting the license, he 1) backed into another car on the street 2) had the car towed and 3) got a camera speeding ticket.
I want my next car to be the other extreme--the compact-est of the compact--a Mini Cooper or a Fiat, I am working on that right now. For the local
community the purchase couldn't come soon enough.
Except that I am passing the SUV down to Toonces Two.
|Toonces Two, Newly Licensed, Beware|