BUMPER CARS

 

The sounds were unmistakable and easily recognizable.

 

 

CRASH

SCRAPE

Not quite a CRUNCH.

 

Followed by my own FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

…dge.

 

What was there to say. The irony was not lost on me, even as the blinding glare was rendering my vision useless. If glare could speak, it would have been deafening as well.

 

The irony? I had smacked into the back of another patient’s car in the parking lot of my ophthalmologist’s office—Advanced Eye Care. Right before the appointment at which my doctor was to examine me once more and discuss what type of lens to implant in my right eye—the one which I very recently found out had a cataract. The surgery’s next Monday morning if you’re interested.

 

Now, lest you think this was the collision of the century, this was a very low-speed tap with no passengers involved. It was the collision of the year, at least for me. I’m not sure about the lady who I hit.

 

Here is exactly what happened. For some reason, this doctor’s office has a postage-stamp-sized parking lot right off a major road. When I swung into the lot it was full, although I nudged ahead of the lady who was trying to pull out. My nudge confirmed that there were no spots open ahead of me, and this lady was just sitting there—waiting. By default, so was I.

 

Question Number One? Why does an eye doctor’s office have such a small lot, one in which it is almost impossible to back up without hitting someone or something. I don’t know if this is irony or cruelty at work. I mean, I understand that the roads that lead to auto body repair shops are paved with bad intentions and potholes. But this? Paging Dr. de Sade.

 

Of course, a big green van pulled into the lot keeping this lady from backing up and pulling out. She kept honking: The woman in the van seemed to sit there for another two hours before an elderly man walked out of the passenger door without her help. The green van then disappeared.

 

Finally, the first lady started to pull out, and I backed into the quarter inch of open room across from her spot. My friends, I saw her start to leave so I—after debating the relative merits of backing or fronting into her spot—cruised into the apparent open spot.

 

CRASH

SCRAPE

FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

…dge.

 

Nobody moved for roughly another hour, and I held my hand up apologetically  while trying to ascertain what the extent of the damage was. I was hoping that my wife (Ruby) had all the proper ID in her glove compartment; I was driving her PT Cruiser. Long story short, this is the only car that we keep a child seat in. After the appointment, I had to pick up my son, Benny, from pre-school.

 

Which brings us to Question Number Two: Why does the PT Cruiser have the turning radius of a 60-foot yacht?

 

The lady finally rolled down her window, and I offered something on the order of a sincere, “I’m sorry, but you were in my blind spot.” (a growing area, and concern.) The arrogant, infallible part of me almost said, “Holy shit, I thought you finally vacated the lot after sitting there for three hours. I saw you leave. What the hell did you do—come back to play bumper cars?”

 

Fearing that she heard my arrogant thoughts instead, I started to open Ruby’s glove compartment. The lady rolled down her window and screeched something like, “Well, it was your fault.” I think that’s what she said, as she yelped it in a for-canines-only octave.

 

With that, she huffed her way out of the lot, this time for good—or until her next appointment, which I hope does not coincide with mine. It may not matter: I did not get a good look at her and I highly doubt she got a good glimpse of me. That’s her loss, by the way.

 

So Ruby, my dear, if you see a scratch or two around but not exclusively on your front bumper, that is precisely what happened. There are some ocular-challenged witnesses who can corroborate my story as best as they can from the waiting room.

 

There was the old, four-foot-tall guy with the colorful hat and glasses. And then there was that rather attractive seven-foot-tall lady with bluish hair and what looked to be a nice smile.

 

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