I've been in two accidents on Reseda Blvd. in the past five years. The first one wasn't so bad. It was when I was working out with the diet Nazi, and I had just completed my first mile and a half run with the group without stopping. I was so thrilled to have been able to keep up, that just as I tromped past the Post Office, I hit a bump in the curb and went down scraping my knee and both hands. It was terribly embarrassing, and I wondered who from our parish and school had witnessed it. To deal with the trauma of it all, I went to the mall and purchased the best running shoes on the market. Never fell again after that.
Now the second accident was more recent, March 4th of this year, to be precise.Thinking back, there was a lot of foreshadowing (literary term meaning hints) prior to the "event." I had taken the Expedition on my grocery rounds, and had noticed way more crashed up cars on the road than usual. Normally, I see nothing but Armada's and Escalade's and Lexi (Plural of Lexus). Seems everyone has a brand new $50K car, and I wonder how they can afford the payments, but this day, I was in the big undented vehicle and those around me were in the dented vehicles.
After my Von's shopping, I was heading North on Reseda, and saw a car parked on the East side which had obviously been slammed while it was parked. It was crunched accordion style. Now normally, I don't take note of such things, but on this day I did for some strange reason. I finished shopping for food, and was going to make a mad dash to the mall to attempt to purchase back seamed panty hose for a 1940's wedding. Hub had taken my van to ref and visit family, out of town, which was why I was in the Expedition in the first place. He had called to say that he would be home in about 10 minutes. I decided to wait and take my van to the mall instead of his Expedition as the mall parking has been jammed lately.
He came home, and offered to wash the dead bugs from my van, but I insisted on going to the mall and promised to be home before sundown. Baby was with her cousins, or she would have surely been with me, probably sitting in the passenger front seat.I drove down to Superior so as to be able to make a safe left turn with the benefit of a signal. My light turned green, but before pulling out, I looked down Reseda to see what the action was. Normally, there is so much traffic that I just wait for the oncoming car to come to a complete stop before I pull into the intersection. Folks are always running yellow lights in this city. Maybe I drive this way as I am the daughter of a fireman, who taught me to be cautious. In any event, I was not in a hurry, and I looked South and did see a red truck traveling North, but it was about 10 car lengths from the intersection, and I just assumed it would stop for the light which had already turned red. Well I assumed wrong, and that truck did not stop until it made firm contact with my front left fender (driver's side!)
KABLAM! I knew I had been hit hard. The first thing that registered was the loud noise. Both air bags had deployed and I was terrified. I noticed that I was now facing North instead of West. The next thing I knew, a young gal was pounding on my window (which I couldn't put down as it was broken) asking me if I was all right. I was dazed and opened my door and said that I thought I was okay. I heard her say something about calling the police, and I knew I wanted a police report, and that they didn't come for non injury accidents. I looked down and saw that my arm was bleeding and I yelled that I was indeed hurt and to please call the police.
I got out of my van and got out of the intersection. It was then that I saw a young man who was with the girl. I asked who had been the driver, and the young man stated that he had been the driver. Then the gal yelled, "Why does it matter who was driving? You're okay. I was driving!" Now this upset me. Of course it mattered who was driving! Was the young man under the influence? Why had he run the red light? Just then a witness came up to me and gave me his telephone number and told me to call if I needed anything. I grabbed my cell phone to call my husband, and of course it was dead. I was so frustrated. I borrowed the gal's phone, and had a hell of a time getting it to work. To make matters worse, the horn of the red truck was stuck blaring and about 15 motorcycle cops had arrived along with three fire rigs. Geeze, if you're going to have an accident, might as well do it in style.
Finally, I got the phone to work, I called home, and no one picked up the phone. I left a frantic message and hung up and tried again, this time just crying hysterically into the phone. I returned to my rock and the paramedic was checking out my injuries and writing up a report. He was very calm, and I was hysterical- still upset about not knowing who was responsible for destroying my van and ruining my day! Lucky for me, it was Italia Night at our school, and Reseda Blvd. was swarming with parents that I knew. One friend saw me, and asked if I was okay. I told her that I was, but asked her to please drive to my house and get my husband. I wanted him there so badly. I was really concerned about his reaction to the accident as he had just invested neary four thousand bucks into our twelve year old famly vehicle- new motor mounts, new transmission, new catalytic converter, and an iPod ready stereo with fancy speakers for my birthday! I had argued against these improvements, as I felt it wasn't prudent to put more money into something that it is ultimately worth. He didn't want to carry a car payment, and argued that the van would go to our soon to be driving twin boys. I had given up on the idea of ever getting a newer vehicle, and decided that the old van wasn't half bad with the new goodies added. Never mind that the driver's window didn't go down, and the sensors beeped everytime it got over 70º, and the weatherstripping was rotten, and the slider didn't open very easily, that the carpet was stained, and the rear brake light was touchy, the drink holders were broken, and the dash rattled.
My husband arrived in his army shorts and faded Disney t-shirt, with his shock of overgrown salt and pepper hair (he had enough hair to outfit all of the bald men on the scene with some to spare!) and his over grown beard and moustache! He looked like Charles Manson or Tom Hanks from Castaway. But I was soooooo glad to see him. I heard the paramedic say, "It's okay. It's the spouse!" What a fine pair we made! Crazy man and crying wife. Hubby was very kind, and surprisingly did not try to blame the incident on me! I declined the ambulance ride to the hospital, and we called AAA to tow away our van.
On the way home, we passed by where the accordion crushed car was, and I mentioned it to the tow truck driver. He laughed and noted that it was he who had towed it away earlier that day. How ironic. He brought us home where my boys quickly and quietly gutted the salvagable contents from my van. 12 years' worth of sweatshirts, and old frisbees, maps and toys. It filled an entire Hefty bag! My eldest son had to go in from the driver's side as the van was hit so hard that the entire frame was bent, and the passenger front door could not be opened. Then the tow truck guy towed it away.
My lovely sister in law who just happend to be calling my hubby to see how the trip up North had gone, was the first in the family to hear of our news, and she came right over and drove me to Holy Cross in her Jaguar. We were there for over four hours. She is a saint. Fortunately, I wasn't hurt too badly. Just a bad burn on my lower left forearm from the air bag. I also had a cut on my thigh from hitting the steering wheel I presume. I did bang my head against the driver's passenger window, but it wasn't severe. The van had served me well right up to the end!
The boys went to Italia Night and had dinner there.My brother brought my very concerned daughter home. My husband stayed home and made many phone calls including one to my boss telling them that I wouldn't be coming to work the next day. He also took the day off, and we went car shopping for the whole day! I would have gotten more rest at work! We looked at Mitsubishi's, Subaru's, Honda's, and Toyota's. We liked the Sienna the best. We had gone round and round about perhaps buying a five seater, as most of my driving is with two kids at a time, but we decided to go with a van to replace what we had lost.
The next day we rented a van from Enterprise. That was quick and easy. They billed it directly to Mercury Insurance, as the other party was at fault. We rented a Ford Freestar which I was comfortable operating. It served it's purpose and the Enterprise folks were great. They even tried to sell us a used rental vehicle and we almost were interested, but decided to go with a new vehicle.
Now we are in the process of getting everything settled with the insurance companies. What an ordeal. In my previous accidents, where I was at fault and no one was injured, it was just a matter of getting the vehicle repaired and paying the deductible and that was done in a week! This time, not being at fault, and being injured, and the fact that my van was totalled, made for a much more complicated claim. Mercury offered us $2,400 for the van with us "keeping" it (for what possible purpose?) AAA offered us $3,000 with them keeping it. We told them of our recent improvements, and my husband spent hours on the web running comps and assessing the value of our van. We came up with an approximate adjusted value of around seven thousand. Well, after we faxed 17 pages of recent receipts, they adjusted the value to $4,800. we took the check but are reopening the case as my husband does not feel that we got a fair shake. We'll just have to wait and see what happens on that.
The next thing is getting our settlement from Mercury, who advertises low low premiums. Gee, I wonder how they keep the premiums down so low...... Well, if you don't pay out much in claims..... But I do have to say that they were very good about contacting me right away, telling us to rent a vehicle etc. I have not been treated shabbily by anyone. And, it seems everyone has a different take on how I should proceed. Go to the Chiropractor and get treatment, even if you don't need it because it will help your case. Oh, they'll gladly settle out of court for $25K since you were injured. Just be glad you weren't hurt and forget about it and move on. (Now how do you forget when you're stuck with an unexpected $600 monthly payment?) They'll offer $500 for pain and suffering. Ask for $10K, it's negotiable. You won't get anything because you didn't get treatment. They'll make you an offer to make you happy.
We will have to wait weeks just to get copies of the bills from the hospital. Then I will need to get an estimate on the scar repair from a plastic surgeon. I only missed one day of work, so we will factor that in. I plan on charging mileage for all of the driving we did looking for replacement vehicles. We'll see. I don't want to take anyone to the cleaners, and I am so grateful that I am okay and that my kids were not with me. It's so ironic that the green van had the green light and the red truck went through the red light. I still can't understand how he could blow through a red light when it had turned red way before he had even neared the intersection. We have requested a copy of the police report which will take 12 weeks to arrive! How about that for service! I am still wondering if the guy who hit me was on something. I don't recall the police doing a breath alcohol test. They certainly didn't do one on me. I could have been tanked! I am trusting that everyone knew exactly what to do, and it will all end well. I have named the new Sienna Silver Lining as it seems to be the only good thaing that has come from this whole mess. I have orderd the do it yourself car accident settlement book, and will be sure to read it prior to making any settlements with Mercury. For now, I am just moving forward, thankful that I am still around to cut the potatoes and watch the soccer games.
When the smog lifts in Los Angeles, U C L A.
I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit
Police were called to a daycare where a three-year-old was
resisting a rest.
The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir
To write with a broken pencil is pointless.
When fish are in schools they sometimes take debate.
A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.
A thief fell and broke his leg in wet cement. He became a
We'll never run out of math teachers because they always
The math professor went crazy with the blackboard. He did a
number on it.
The professor discovered that her theory of earthquakes was
on shaky ground.
The dead batteries were given out free of charge.
A bicycle can't stand alone; it is two tired.
The optometrist fell into his lens grinder and made a
spectacle of himself.
[That's a story that lens itself.]
Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.
A backward poet writes inverse.
In a democracy it's your vote that counts; in feudalism,
it's your Count that votes.
A chicken crossing the road: poultry in motion.
When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.
The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine was fully
A grenade fell onto a kitchen floor in France, resulted in
You are stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.
He broke into song because he couldn't find the key.
A boiled egg is hard to beat.
He had a photographic memory which was never developed.
A plateau is a high form of flattery.
Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in
When you've seen one shopping center you've seen a mall.
When she saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought
Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead to know basis.
Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.
Acupuncture: a jab well done.
Subject: Traffic Stop
A cop stops a car for traveling faster than the posted speed limit. He asks the man his name.
"Fred," he replies.
"Fred what?" the officer asks.
"Just Fred," the man responds.
The officer is in a good mood, doesn't smell alcohol, and thinks he might just give the fellow a break and write him out a warning instead of a ticket. So the officer then presses him for the last name. The man tells him that he used to have a last name but lost it. The officer thinks that he has a nut case on his hands but plays along with it.
"Tell me, Fred, how did you lose your last name?"
The man replies, "It's a long story, so stay with me. I was born Fred Dingaling. I know -- a funny last name. The kids used to tease me all the time. So I stayed to myself, studied hard, and got good grades. When I got older I realized that I wanted to be a doctor. I went
through college, medical school, internship, residency, and finally got my degree, so I was Fred Dingaling, MD.
"After a while I got bored being a doctor, so I decided to go back to school. Dentistry was my dream! Got all the way through school, got my degree, so then I was Fred Dingaling, MD, DDS.
"Got bored doing dentistry, so I started fooling around with my assistant, and she gave me VD. So now I was Fred Dingaling, MD, DDS, with VD. Well, the ADA found out about the VD, so they took away my DDS. Then I was Fred Dingaling, MD with VD. Then the AMA found out about the ADA taking away my DDS because of the VD, so they took away my MD leaving me as Fred Dingaling with VD.
Then the VD took away my Dingaling, so now I'm just Fred."
The officer walked away in tears, laughing.
This is a quiz for people who know everything! I found out in a hurry that I didn't. These are not trick questions. They are straight questions with straight answers.
1. Name the one sport in which neither the spectators nor the participants know the score or the leader until the contest ends.
2. What famous North American landmark is constantly moving backward?
3. Of all vegetables, only two can live to produce on their own for several growing seasons. All other vegetables must be replanted every year. What are the only two perennial vegetables?
4. What fruit has its seeds on the outside?
5 In many liquor stores, you can buy pear brandy, with a real pear inside the bottle. The pear is whole and ripe, and the bottle is genuine; it hasn't been cut in any way. How did the pear get inside the bottle?
6. Only three words in standard English begin with the letters " dw" and they are all common words. Name two of them.
7. There are 14 punctuation marks in English grammar. Can you name at least half of them?
8. Name the only vegetable or fruit that is never sold frozen, canned, processed, cooked, or in any other form except fresh.
9. Name 6 or more things that you can wear on your feet beginning with the letter "S."
Answers To Quiz:
1. The one sport in which neither the spectators nor the participants know the score or the leader until the contest ends . . Boxing
2. North American landmark constantly moving backward . Niagara Falls (The rim is worn down about two and a half feet each year because of the millions of gallons of water that rush over it every minute.)
3. Only two vegetables that can live to produce on their own for several growing seasons . . Asparagus and rhubarb.
4. The fruit with its seeds on the outside . . Strawberry.
5. How did the pear get inside the brandy bottle? It grew inside the bottle. (The bottles are placed over pear buds when they are small, and are wired in place on the tree. The bottle is left in place for the entire growing season. When the pears are ripe, they are snipped off at the stems.)
6. Three English words beginning with dw . Dwarf, dwell and dwindle.
7. Fourteen punctuation marks in English grammar . . Period, comma, colon, semicolon, dash, hyphen, apostrophe, question mark, exclamation point, quotation marks, bracket s, parenthesis, braces, and ellipses.
8. The only vegetable or fruit never sold ! frozen, canned, processed, cooked, or in any other form but fresh Lettuce.
9. Six or more things you can wear on your feet beginning with "s" . Shoes, socks, sandals, sneakers, slippers, skis, skates, snowshoes, stockings, stilts.
A precious little girl walks into a pet shop and asks, in the sweetest
little lisp, between two missing teeth, "Excuthe me, mithter, do you keep widdle wabbits?"
As the shopkeeper's heart melts, he gets down on his knees so that he's
on her level and asks, "Do you want a widdle white wabbit, or a thoft and fuwwy bwack wabbit, or maybe one like that cute widdle bwown wabbit over there?"
She, in turn, blushes, rocks on her heels, puts her hands on her knees,
leans forward and says, in a tiny quiet voice, "I don't think my python weally gives a thit."
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