Michelle…a dear friend from high school (and actually, if memory serves, my date for the Snowball Dance senior year) left this very lengthy comment on my post regarding the numerous car accidents I’ve had over the years. Since no one took me up on my offer to guest blog, and since this is one of the stories I said merited it’s own entry anyway, I scooped up her comment and turned it into a guest blog. (I hope she will forgive me) While I’d like to clarify a few points after her, our memories of the events of 13 years ago are amazingly similar. (THIRTEEN YEARS, Michelle! Can you believe we are this damned old??)
“Do you recall the first night J got the Mazda Protege….?
Well, let me recap… After a very elegant midnight dinner at the Waffle House (not the Pancake House) The Villager and J had to drive me back to my parents house. The Villager loves a new classy car even if it isn’t a convertible, so into the drivers seat he goes.
Now typically the Villager would take the northbound exit off of Interstate 64/77 which is an easy gliding exit where you can hit the gas even harder as you exit and get a head rush coming down the hill. However, the southbound exit ramp is the polar opposite. As soon as you exit at 70 mph you must enter a hairpin turn that is a suggested “25 MPH”. We exit the interstate, radio full volume blasting “Ini Kamoze, Here comes the Hotstepper.”
The Villager hits the gas not realizing in his delirious “driving a new car daze” that he just took the hairpin exit. Suddenly his mistake is staring him in the face in baby poop yellow, “25 MPH.” Nothing about his reaction suggested we were going to survive without rocket launching the car over the edge and into the ravine on the other side of that yellow sign. Everything around us had been hurled into a slo-mo reality where events were similar to a 60rpm record on a 45rpm spin.
His body actually curled into a ball in the drivers seat! Elbows in at the chest, hands fanned out beside his head, and a loud, very southern flaming cry of “HELLLLP ME!, HELLLP ME!” came out of his mouth as he turned to the back seat to look me dead in the eye. At this point knowing I was probably going to die, I didn’t care. The Villager’s reaction to the realization of his mistake was priceless. I laughed hysterically. I could not help myself. I have no idea what J was doing since I was paralyzed with laughter.
The hysteria the Villager saw in my eyes must have broken his state of terror. He immediately jack knifed in the seat and placed both feet on the brake. The car began squealing like a baby pig. Not a single hand was on the wheel. He was still crying for help and I was laughing. The car skidded through the gravel at the side of the ramp and up over a pole reflector before it finally came to a halt. Radio still blaring our favorite tune and yes, the Villager was still hollerin’ for help. I had tears running down my face, was not breathing, and devoid of muscle control as I laid limp again the passenger seat trying to gain control. Finally, the Villager turned the radio off and was quaking in his seat knowing that once again he had wrecked yet another vehicle.
I gained some form of control and was able to peek into the passenger seat to see J’s facial expression after her “brand spankin’ new that day car” had just been wrecked. She was white as a ghost and looked to be in a state of shock with her mouth open and staring at the Villager. Before I could help myself I let out another peel of psycho giggling. Amazingly J began laughing too. I didn’t know if it was a stress reaction or if she couldn’t hold it in after hearing my uncontrollable cackle. Upon further inspection the car didn’t fare too bad. Only a couple of hundred dollar damages. Anyway, just didn’t want ya to think the Villager is as innocent in the drivers seat as he makes it seem. lol!! He is actually hell on wheels!!!!!”
Yes, Michelle is right. On a cold Christmas night back in high school, I wrecked a friend’s car. On the very day her parent’s surprised her with it. It was 12 hours old. The plastic was still on the floor. No one had even bothered putting the keys onto a real key ring.
And while I don’t recall screaming “Helllllllp meeeee!” and am absolutely certain that if I did, it would be neither southern nor flaming, Michelle’s account is almost an instant replay. Though I think I hit three small reflectors and one big arrow. (didn’t I?)
But here is where Michelle leaves off. J did not want her parents to know what had happened! She and I took the car to the dealership and were assured that it could be repaired in ONE DAY if we got it in early in the morning. But they couldn’t take it for A WEEK! Now, by some miracle, the only damage was about a six inch gash in the front bumper. But J spent the better part of that week finding things to do in the evening so she wouldn’t have to get the scarred car home in the daylight. Now, my memory gets a little fuzzy here, but best as I can recall…we put the car in the shop, and while it was there J scheduled the dealer to do the installation of the CD player (it was a dealer installed accessory in those days, and the dealer hadnt been able to put it in before Christmas). At the end of day one in the shop, the car wasn’t ready. Turns out it was a brand new color of paint for that model year, and they didn’t have it yet. Now at this point, I can not recall if J broke down and told her dad about the mangled bumper, or if the dealership somehow let it slip, but he found out. (it may well have been that he called wondering why it was taking a week to install a CD player) But she told him SHE had been driving. Only I didn’t find know she told him…so imagine my shock when J’s dad is thanking me for being such a good friend and insisting I take back the $300 I’d “given” her. (naturally, I had paid for the damage I caused). There was a panicked look on J’s face that told me to keep my mouth shut. So, I accepted the money with some babble about “Oh Im sure she would do the same for me.” I don’t think J’s mom found out about the damage for years, and I am certain that neither of them learned the truth of who was driving until we were in college. Oddly enough, it was that same car that was later rear ended by a bicycle, a University Services van, and then sent to that great parking lot in the sky by a speeding teenager in a pickup truck.