So there I was, fresh off a bank run in Diana's car, where they finally got the new envelopeless check eating ATM's. The branches here were all Wa-Mu until Labor Day or something, and they all had these ancient and slow ATM's that took upward of five minutes for a simple deposit. I can do it in under a minute with the new ones, which we had in Cleveland nine months ago. I was waiting to turn out into the street, excited at the efficiency enabled by new tech, when BAM! Some fuckhole dickweed rams me from behind.
My first reaction was utter disbelief that anyone could hit a stationary car that had been there for upwards of a half-minute, and anger that anyone could be that much of a fucking moron. I put the car in park, got out and began a stream of obscenities that probably didn't even make sense. I looked quickly at the car to see that the bumper appeared only scratched, but his car was fucked up on at least three sides. He was probably late 50's, early 60's, with his wife in the car. He rolled down the window and said, "Come on man, I just got out of the hospital." I could only reply, "How the fuck do you hit a stopped car, moron?" I whipped out my phone, took pictures, called the police, and for my own good (and his) got back into my car to chill out.
We were on private property technically, so I figured, fuck it, people can go around us. I'll wait for the cops. When the officer got there, he looked at the scene, surveyed for injuries, then had us move the cars.
He explained that because the damage appeared insignificant and there were no injuries, he wouldn't issue any citations but would facilitate the exchange of information, and that would be the only official record that there was an incident at all. I was kind of pissed about this, because seeing the guy's banged up car, with a bent hood, smashed in door (sans handle) and scuff marks on the bumper, it was clear that this was not the first time this asshole hit someone. I got in and pushed around on the bumper and checked around the seams to see if there was any true compression, and it looked clean, in part I suspect because it was full-on contact and the impact was pretty evenly distributed. I'll look closer tomorrow.
Anyway, when the officer asked for the other guy's stuff, I thought there was a breakthrough. He only had the temp license (Washington issues a paper license, and mails you the plastic version), and the officer said he'd have to check the validity of his permanent one. For a minute I thought maybe he'd get him on driving without a license, but it didn't pan out.
My calmer self started to get more angry by filling in what-if's. Like what if Simon was in the car. I don't feel like life has changed for me all that much, sleep issues aside, but when you put the boy into that equation, it's a whole different fucking ballgame.
I suppose I've been lucky, as the only other close call I had was weeks after buying (or leasing, technically) my first new car after college, in late 1995. Some asshole turned left in front of me and just grazed the side of the car as I swerved to avoid him. He drove off, and I nearly hit a utility pole. In any case, this only reinforces my strong distaste for the inability of drivers here to do even the basics right. People with nice cars, and there's a lot of money and fancy cars here, tend to at least drive annoyingly conservative, but everyone else just doesn't fucking pay attention. I can't tell you how many times people have made skidding stops behind me since I moved here, and it was only a matter of time until someone hit me. But in a fucking parking lot?
In the end, it was probably a non-event, and I should be thankful, but I'm still pretty angry about it.