Confessions of a really bad driver (and an undeserving girlfriend)

Points of consideration:

  1. In the first place, I was very, very tired.  So tired, in fact, that I was having snippets of dreams, which wouldn’t have been so bad, except for the fact that I was on the on-ramp to the beltline at the time. (1)
  2. Then there’s the fact that on-ramps have curbs.   Which, when you hit them going 45+ mph will tend to wake you right up.
  3. aklikins is a car guy.  He can fix things, and even owns a shop, Rod-o-Rama (2).  So when I got home from the not-quite-awake excursion, he checked out my car.   Unfortunately, he also noticed some other side effects of hitting a curb at 45 mph, like smushed-up tires (the tread was separated and it had gotten all “bubbly”) and a loosened under valence.
  4. Sigh.
  5. Little known fact: the extended warranty on tires is actually a Good Thing, unlike nearly every other extended warranty.  Thankfully, when I’d bought my tires last year, I’d been convinced of this by the Tire Guy (3) and bought the extended warranty on all 4 tires.  This meant that the replacement tire for the one I busted cost $zero!!  (Not including the new $14 extended warranty that I bought for that one!)
  6. That left only the loosened under-valence (undervalence? under valence?)… the plastic-y bit that runs *under* your bumper around the front of the car.
  7. Because he may be the sweetest human ever, aklikins agreed to switch cars with me and let me borrow his truck so he could take Meep (my MINI) in to the shop to more firmly reattach said plastic-y bit.
  8. I drove the truck (did I mention it’s a Really Big Truck?  Like HUGE?) into downtown Durham, where I was meeting my friend Kim to go to a bead show (mmmm…. my pretties…).
  9. I found a spot in the Carolina Theatre parking deck  (which was, of course, undergoing massive construction, complete with barrels and “Do Not Go Here” tape and construction fencing and truly confusing signage)  and got out of the car and was all ready to go get me some beading goodness when I noticed that there was a faintly painted “Reserved” in the spot that I’d taken.
  10. Crud.
  11. I got back in the car and ever-so-carefully started to ease my way out of the spot, knowing that there were *furlongs* of truck behind me (as opposed to the 2.5′ of MINI I was accustomed to).
  12. Keeping my eye on the ginormous SUV parked behind me, I started to turn the wheel to escape the spot.
  13. SCRRCRRRSAADSH

Yes.  That was the sound of the *front* bumper hitting one of the 83 million poles in the parking deck. aklikins‘s truck’s front bumper.  Which he let me borrow because he was Fixing.  My.  Car.

I am unworthy.

(1) Being in cars *always* makes me sleepy.  I’m usually OK as long as at least one or more of the following are true:

  • I’m WIDE awake
  • I’m extremely caffeinated
  • It’s a short distance (>15 minutes)
  • It’s “exciting” driving (a new place, bad traffic — I know that seems counter-intuitive, but it’s true.  If it’s exciting then I don’t have so much trouble with the sleepies)
  • Someone else is driving  ;-)

Sadly, early morning routine drives (like my commute to work) don’t usually meet any of those criteria.

(2) It’s a *neat* shop a full service hot rod and custom shop in Raleigh, so if your muscle car needs fixing or spiffing up, that’s the place to take it.

(3) The conversation went something like this:

Tire Guy:  The Extended Warranty means that we’ll replace the tires no matter what happens to them for the lifetime of the tire.
Me: Even if I do something really stupid, like run over something pointy?
Tire Guy: Yep.
Me: Or even if someone gets super mad at me and goes crazy and slashes at my tires with a knife?
Tire Guy: Yep.
Me: I’d like the Extended Warranty please

 

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6 thoughts on “Confessions of a really bad driver (and an undeserving girlfriend)

  1. I read somewhere that sleepiness can be another form of car sickness – you could try dramamine, if sleepiness on your way to work is a problem – or those nausea bands. They worked for me for a whole two days with morning sickness, which is about a day more than anything else I tried.

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    • hm. That is a really interesting theory. I very carsick as a child, but outgrew it… now I tend to think of myself as anti-motionsick as I love most of the things that make most people sick on their stomachs, like rollercoasters, boats, plane rides, etc.
      That said, I’m willing to try anything — it’s better than the consequences of the sleepies! Thanks for the suggestion!

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  2. I did a sleepy dumb car thing when I was but a lad… maybe 22 years old. I lived at the bottom of a mountain, and I worked at the top. I had only been working there two weeks, and I awoke to find I was a little late, and hurried into the car to negotiate the switchbacks. I neglected to come to terms with a tree, so SMACK! I totaled my car and since I hadn’t put on my seat belt, I became intimate with the windshield.
    I told everyone at work that I was sleepy and that’s why I wasn’t paying attention. For the rest of my term there, several people were certain I was narcoleptic. Honestly, I’m just that flakey.

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