December 07, 2011

Those street sweepers move fast, y'all

There's an event in my life that I don't think I'll ever live down.  It follows me hither and yon like an illicit fart that you walk away from in the hopes that someone else will get blamed.  (Or maybe that's just me.)

I forget about it from time to time.  It's nice, really.  And then some smart ass relative or friend brings it up and everyone has a jolly HARHARHAR at my expense.  I mean, I can take it.  It is kind of funny.  It's one of those things that makes me unique.  Special.  You know, if I was at a conference and we were playing an ice breaker game, I could totally check off the box that says, "Have rear ended a street sweeper."

It was April 2006 and Nature Boy and I were headed somewhere in our new-to-us car.  He was in his big-kid booster seat (yep, I'm one of those moms) in the middle of the backseat.  I was driving.  I've mentioned before that I have OCD, right?  Well, sometimes it can be a bit of a road hazard.

We'd just left our subdivision when I had the obsessive thought, Are my eyebrows even?  Perfectly normal thought to have whilst driving (or any old time, really).  I glanced in the mirror conveniently located in my sun visor (for exactly this purpose, I'm sure).  The evenness of one's eyebrows are of the utmost importance, of course.  A girl can't walk around with eyebrows all akimbo. 

It seemed like it was just a second, but in that second, a giant grey street sweeper jumped out in front of my car.  One second the road was clear, and all of a sudden a giant metal tank appeared.  And it was coming up fast.

I mentioned earlier that this car was a new one.  I didn't know it had anti-lock brakes.  My old car didn't have anti-lock brakes.  I didn't even know how anti-lock brakes work!  And to be frank, I like to be in control of my own braking thankyouverymuch.  Anti-lock brakes think they're the boss of me, and I don't take kindly to that nonsense.

Anyhoo, I slammed on the (pitiful excuse for) brakes, but the car just started lurching forward.  I was slowing down a little bit, but was in no way stopping.  The street sweeper was getting much closer.  I realized that since my brakes were obviously bad, I probably wouldn't be able to stop in time.  So I weighed my options:

1.  drive over the curb into the grass, most likely damaging the front end of my new car  
2.  swerve into the middle turn lane without looking first
3.  take my chances and keep wrestling with the control freak brakes

I chose option 3.  We weren't going fast anyway, since we'd just pulled out of the neighborhood.  I figured either we'd stop just in time or we'd barely tap the street sweeper.  I figured at the most we'd have a small dent in the bumper.  I also figured fixing a dented bumper would be cheaper than repairing the front end.  The drive shaft or fly wheel or whatever it is that gets damaged when one curb-checks like a mofo.

In short, I figured wrong.

Nature Boy and I kept lurching forward.  I clenched my butt cheeks.  And we ran into the street sweeper.  It wasn't a major crash.  No big deal, I thought.  And then I got out of the car to look for damage.

A little bitty dinky air kiss with a street sweeper totally screwed up my car's bumper!  There was absolutely no damage to the street sweeper, of course.  To add insult to injury, the street sweeper-keepers called the police!  They claimed they were required to do it because street sweepers are government vehicles.  Yeah, whatever.  I mean, why couldn't they just shake their heads at my stupidity and then drive away like the couple I'd rear ended a few years before?  (I was making sure my eyelashes were even that time.  Totally different situation.)     

In addition to a messed up bumper, I got a ticket for reckless driving.  And we had to fix our own car, of course. 

Which makes this the most expensive eyebrow job I've ever had.


  1. I love reading your blog right before I hit the sack -- going to bed smiling and guffawing is better than Cymbalta (or whatever that sleep medication with the commercial where the luminescent butterfly flits from beautiful woman to beautiful sleeping woman -- everyone wearing full makeup and no one drooling on their pillows.) Sweet dreams. -Mama

  2. This was the best of the stories. You didnt tell me it was a vanity wreck, you said you'd looked back at Nature Boy! I also like the one where the parking garage arm karate chopped your hood too...
    And so, this is why I will drive you anywhere and not lone you my car. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA