So, whiplash is fun. I get all the ache of a full-body work out but with zero of the health benefits.
I was driving Ninja Car on I-696 on Friday, within miles of my destination. Some flashy police lights up ahead and a tow-truck, and suddenly the car in front of me was at zero miles an hour. Screechy breaks, jittery car, and I stopped in time not to collide with the car ahead of me.
No time for a sigh of relief, however. A silver van didn’t get the memo, and slammed into the back of Ninja Car. Thankfully, the car ahead of me pulled away to avoid being the cookie to my Oreo stuffing.
My favorite part, I think, was that my glasses flew off my face (making for a blurry brief moment of wildly search floor for glasses while also pulling over to the side of the road. Even now, I couldn’t quite tell you if I was wearing my glasses when I pulled over or if I retrieved them afterward.
All I remember is safely navigating Ninja Car to the shoulder, just past the tow-truck, and the other drive sliding in ahead of me.
I’ve never actually experienced my hands shake from anxiety before. Police Officer comes on over, very confident with his strong spiel of stay in the car, put your seat belt back on, are you OK? Good, take a deep breath. Get your license and registration while I go to check on the other driver.
The tricky part was extracting my license from the handy blue sleeve in my wallet. I felt like a crab with giant pincer-hands trying to pull a splinter from my foot.
The police officer was already tending to the details of the other crash (the one that probably caused people to dodge into my lane and therefore resulted in my little snafu). After he took my details, I spent more than an hour in my car.
I called Twin Sister who happened to be with Eldest Sister. I narrated the fact that I had begun crying, adrenaline did NOT have an off switch, and how sitting in the car was not a complementary fact of my having consumed a mass quantity of water before my journey.
They listened, cheered me up, laughed at my punny jokes:
Sister: “How are you feeling now?”
Me: “Pretty good. I’ve stopped crying, so that’s nice. I’m a little tired, now. I can’t wait to get home and crash on the couch.”
Me: “Too soon?”
They offered to come get me, but the police officer said the damage on my car wasn’t debilitating. They offered to come get me, but I assured them I wasn’t shaken up anymore. They offered to come get me, but I honestly was within five miles of their house.
They offered to come get me, and I started singing a song about merging back into traffic and keeping a close eye on the cars behind me.
They stayed on the line until I arrived (very thoughtful and kind of them), and we marveled over the seemingly undamaged bumper. Little did we know…
To the auto shop!
Hopefully it’s just cosmetic!
The bumper was hit off-center, broke the plastic connector, and the metal bumper was ripped in half by the force of the crash. It was broken straight through, all the way up.
Well, Ninja Car, you’ve managed to get into yet another altercation with another car. Is it the sheer ninja stealth that allowed you to stop without the driver behind noticing? Or did you secretly appear from the late-day shadows just to cause a ruckus?
Regardless, you did your job, Ninja Car. You sacrificed your bumper to reduce the overall damage to the important parts of the car which, beyond the exhaust, gas tank, and tires, includes little old me.
Cousin: “Ninja Car did it’s job. You should give it a pat on the back.”
Me: “Well… it’s already getting a new bumper on the back…”
- My lovely Uncle is chauffeuring me to and from work for the next couple days.
- The replacement bumper should run no more than 500 dollars (200ish for the part, the rest for labor), as long as no other secret damages come to light.
- Ninja Car lives to sneak another day.
- My coworkers and family alike are now calling Ninja Car cursed (since it got hit that one time while parked, and it got hit that other time while parked and the trans needed rebuilding).
- I realize that in the seven months I have owned Ninja Car, I haven’t personally gotten an oil change yet. It’s been in the shop often enough that I have them do it.
- Since I don’t have collision on my auto insurance policy, I have the option of legally pursuing the other driver for up to 1000 dollars in small claims court. Will I end up doing that? Ehhhhh… we’ll see.
This has been another Ninja Car Update, brought to you by the cursed first driver. Tune in next time where hopefully the update won’t include another shop visit or hundreds if not thousands of dollars of repairs. As for now, I’m going to go crash on a couch somewhere with a heating pad for achy muscles. …too soon?