Friday, September 29, 2006

Crunch

The Boy has probably borrowed my car for the last time. He told me he would be home from band practice by 11, and I told him that if he wasn’t home by then, don’t bother asking again.

So about 9:30 last night, we got the call: he’s in the ditch, nobody’s hurt but can we get there quick? Dammit. He was barely able to give us directions (communication has been a problem with him for some time), so we jumped into Barge Vader and drove the way he told us until we saw blue lights. I mean, he couldn’t even tell us if he was on the left or right side of the road. When you’re a kid, a car wreck without injuries is the worst kind: without a little blood to evoke parental sympathy and concern, you have nothing to shield you from parental wrath. Other Brother found that one out when he rolled a Gremlin back in 70-something — after the doctor said he was OK, just some bruises and scrapes, Mom & Dad jumped on him.

Anyway, back here in 2006: The Boy was sufficiently shook up by having put the car he loves into a ditch, that he was totally straight with the cop. Band practice wrapped up about 9:00, so he zipped down to visit a friend of his. The friend found his dad’s rum, and they split a shot before deciding they had to go to a store. Away they went, and The Boy has always had a lead foot (what he does to the gas mileage is like siphoning out a gallon of gas and pouring it on the ground). So when he looked away from the road and got into the grass, at 95 mph, his friend panicked and grabbed at whatever he could — which happened to be the emergency brake. He locked up the back wheels, and they crossed the road, took out two mailboxes, and ended up in the ditch next to someone’s driveway — about four feet from a telephone pole.

The cop told it like it was: “One drink puts you over the limit for under-21. I could write you up for DUI, reckless driving, and underage possession. You’d go to jail for any of those,” and proceeded to write him up for… too fast for conditions. The car wasn’t so lucky; I think I used up the last of its luck with the deer a couple of weeks ago. It was hard to see what kind of damage was done in the dark, but both the front and back bumpers were less than intact (not sure how he managed to hose the back bumper) and the hood was bent up a little. The radiator is also broken, which isn’t surprising (it has been the primary source of trouble all along). If the front end isn’t bent up, it might be repairable.

But if this is the kick in the head that The Boy needed to get his act together (and it might have been), I won’t mind losing a car. On the other hand, cheap reliable cars that get 40mpg are hard to come by; teenagers with attitude are a dime a dozen.

Radio FAR Manor, where the hits just keep a-comin’.

1 comment:

  1. Your most definitly right about the "no blood=no sympathy" thing. I had a major accident with my parent's van in a parking lot after a fresh snowfall. I skidded, and ended up sliding sideways into a curb, doing 15 miles per hour. The front wheel/axle snapped, and the back axle was bent. Total cost: $3500. That was last year, and I'm still hearing about it.

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