Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Things I've Hit With My Car

I've hit a lot of things with my car. But, yesterday's road casualty was one of the more embarrassing.

I've made a diagram to prove to the jury that there really was nothing I could do to prevent this little mishap.

Almost every afternoon, E and I go to the elementary school park before school lets out. Guests are allowed, and I've been really impressed with how the teachers treated us when the kids did come out to play before we left. One male teacher in particular told the students that we were guests at their playground, and that they needed to show us respect -- to give E some room to play on the preschool structures.

The only problem is that there is limited parking. I finally found a spot right near the bus lane, as you'll see from the diagram above. When I found that spot, the bus lane cones hadn't yet been put out. When E and I left the park, the cones were in place. The teal cone was about 3 feet tall and visible from my rear-view mirror.

The yellow cone was approximately 2 inches tall and quite possibly a cone at a crosswalk, outside a school for ants. I couldn't see it in my rear view mirror.

I'd like to state for the jury that the time of departure was approximately 2:45pm. I remember this, because I had packed some snacks in the car and declared 2:45pm officially, "donut time." School lets out at 3, so no buses were in the parking lot.

I knew that, in order to back out of this parking spot, I would need to carefully avoid the teal cone and partially back into the bus lane. I thought this would be fine since, as I mentioned, no buses had arrived, and I could see no other obstruction in my rear-view mirror.

I slowly proceeded until I heard a loud crunch. Confused, I checked all my mirrors, and I happened to notice a flash of movement. A woman with gray hair, bifocals, and a neon-green striped sweater came flying out the side door of the school. She was waving her arms and screaming.

My first thought: "I've hit a child." My heart skipped a beat. "No, a dog... it was probably a dog." My breathing slowed only slightly. My next thought, I kid you not was, "That wasn't bumpy enough to have been a kid."

The woman frantically signaled for me to roll down my window... or churn butter. I couldn't tell. I rolled down my window anyway. "You, you..." she said, breathless.

She reached under my car and pulled out the smallest caution cone I've ever seen in my life. Huge sigh of relief on my part. "You hit this!" she screamed. I wish I had a magnifying glass to whip out at that very moment, or at least a monocle.

"Oh, that ol' thing? Sorry, I couldn't see it in my rear-view mirror."
"You can't just drive through the bus lane, you know!!"
(Because I was totally going all Grand Theft Auto through the bus lane, that had no buses in it, in reverse.)

Hold the snark, G... Hold the snark. I tried to be my own referee.

"Would you like to point out an alternate route for me to take?" I asked, through a fake smile.

She gave me a dismissive wave that was more like an air-slap -- the teacher version of flipping me 'the bird,' I presumed. "Yeah, screw you too," I thought.

I got home and told Mark that if a teacher ever treats my child like that, I'm going to lose it... in an all-out, Uncle-Buck kinda way. Heaven forbid someone makes a mistake that costs the school a $3.00 road cone.

Other things I've hit with my car: a poor little bunny rabbit, a red squirrel (Dad says the squirrel doesn't count, that I was doing the community a favor -- Agent G, squirrel assassin, at your service!), a tree branch, the usual curbs and snowbanks, a wooden plank, jumper cables, a large community of mating frogs.

One time, I took out the side porch steps at my parents' house with the riding lawnmower. Does that count?

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