You know, all the way to California and back last month, in the back of my mind was a niggling worry about having an accident on the highway or byway between California and Texas with Thing the Versa – this is likely why I keep the AAA membership paid up. When we reached home safely by the first of June, I breathed a quiet sigh of relief … never expecting that our poor little Thing would get basically T-boned a month later, barely three blocks from home by a driver in a SUV bombing out of a parking lot and swinging wi-i-i-de into the far lane of a major boulevard. The exact same lane and at the exact time as I was innocently tootling along, returning from the local HEB, having picked up a couple of items with the intent of spending the Glorious 4th of July at Canyon Lake, looking at how low the water level was THIS year, because of the lack of rain.

Anyway, dear readers, there I was, one minute thinking about the left turn into the neighborhood and how I should get another couple of hours work done on one of the current projects for the Teeny Publishing Bidness, and in the space of another – after an awful crunching noise, as  if a baseball bat the size of a telephone pole walloped a tin can the approximate dimension of a full-sized trash dumpster – in the boulevard median with the steering wheel airbag exploded all over me in a cloud of whatever it is they are filled with, the windshield instantly cracked all over.

What the hell – I was thinking – where did THAT come from??!!

Yes, I have been in traffic accidents before. That last collision with another larger vehicle, I saw coming, and almost dodged out of the way. (Other driver found at fault, as it turned out. Yes, witness coming the other way.) I was not nearly as shaken up on that occasion as I was with this one, coming as it did out of the clear blue. The bruises resulting from the seatbelt suddenly clamping are freaking spectacular and quite painful. It also turned out there was also an airbag underneath the steering column, which accounts for the mystery bruise on my left shin.  I have not been this comprehensively battered since falling off and over practically every obstacle in Air Force basic training. Which occurred almost half a century ago. I have racked up considerable milage on the original-issue bod since then, and while in pretty good nick for being 70 on my last birthday … I am no spring chicken. So I am deeply bruised in an interesting pattern, my daughter is murmuring fearful things about traumatic brain injuries – although I didn’t actually strike my head at any point. Some cracked ribs are a distinct possibility, though.

I wasn’t bleeding, or concussed, and I did get out of the car on my own, so the attending EMTs were fairly unconcerned. The  other driver, luckily for me, is insured and did stick around for the PD officer to fill out the accident report, although he couldn’t be arsed to come and see if I was all right. It was a kid from the automotive garage around the corner who did see me to a place in the shade where I could sit down – shaking like a leaf in a gale, and probably would have fainted at one point, save that the sidewalk and the ground were pretty disgusting. A neighbor came and got me, at my daughter’s request, and drove me home, after retrieving my keys and the groceries from Thing.

Everything retrieved from the ex-Thing stinks of exploded airbag, and my daughter was infuriated yet again at seeing how the back seat compartment air bag exploded next to where Wee Jamie’s car set is. If he had been in the car with me at the time, he would have been at the least, badly frightened. And my daughter would, in an insane fury, have ripped the other driver a new bodily orifice.

The accident happened the afternoon before a holiday and a weekend that most places are treating as a holiday, so I don’t expect to hear from the insurance company for another few days. But I’m OK, for now, and back at work, although mourning the loss of Thing the Versa.

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