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The 17th of July '98 was an FDR-style "day of infamy." It started out fine that morning with me running into my old friend John and his new green temp-plated Chrysler Sebring in downtown Washington, enjoying a fine ride on a bright day in a car I had previously sneered at and then, as we came east on P Street NW to the 17th Street intersection, the day went all to hell. Still in a posttraumatic state from a T-bone I had been the victim of the year before that totaled my beautiful and scandalous '89 Ford Aerostar conversion van, I kept an eagle eye on the Land Rover Discovery signaling a left turn south onto 17th Street, and a good thing too - just as we got to the intersection this dumb broad for no reason associated with intelligence jumped out into her turn. John's skills as a former driver's ed instructor hadn't deserted him as he hauled the wheel to the right in a heartbeat, and instead of being completely broadsided [!] we got clipped above the left rear wheel - the mirror of my accident, when some Mexican immigrant doing 70 in the rain on a narrow 2-lane North Carolina road plowed into my right side and spun me 180º into a ditch.
I wasn't hurt but it shook me up bad, and when this dumb broad hit John's car I flashed back to that horror, jumped out the car and went ballistic in the middle of 17th Street. The stupid cow retreated back into the Discovery in fear for her life because I read her up down and sideways in shouts that echoed in the street and drew some onlookers. I was still yelling [like when my Aerostar had first got tagged by similar stupidity 8 years before] when the cops showed up, and she acted like I had tried to attack her sorry ass.
I just bet she hadn't been ripped a new one so bad in all her born days. They tried to soothe my frazzled nerves but refused to listen to her song-and-dance about me. It wasn't even her truck - she was an OutOfTowner using her friend's vehicle, trying to be all that, and carelessly got it crunched in a grand display of foolishness. The idiot broad went red as a beet when the cops assigned her the entire fault in the accident - scratch one friendship! - but tough breast implants on her, she deserved it. I took some evidentiary/souvenir pictures, chilled at John's place for a few hours and went home in the afternoon, where even worse news awaited - my father had been in a horrifying accident on I-395 at about the same time! That not only made the news, it had had everybody worried sick about me because when they got to the hospital the old man on waking asked where I was, so disoriented he thought I'd been with him.
Lucky there is putting it mildly - he had got cut off going 65 by a flatbed tractor-trailer and the passenger's side of his prized near-mint '87 Supra had got obliterated to the front seat, but he miraculously escaped with only a fractured leg. But somehow word got around to the contrary and some former coworkers heard it and thought I had bit the dust - when I dropped by, they were near as happy to see me as their paychecks! John strangely decided to dump the Sebring and got a Mustang GT convertible instead - a real letdown both in room and comfort, but he said he'd be able to score easier with the Mustang. Whatever works. But the moral of the story is, when driving a car that ain't yours, to treat it like a little old lady from Pasadena, and don't be in such a hurry to cut people off - the cussin' you save may be your own.
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