So, the theme for the last two days has been car accidents. Yesterday, me and a small group of friends regaled each other with our tales of car crash woes, and a friend of mine got in one today. He’s fine, and so are his kids, but the car is totaled. At least they’re ok.
In 1988 my father bought a brand new Toyota Corolla Wagon in a pretty burgundy color. We were a Toyota family, except for a Mercedes we had for a couple of years, and then a Lexus that I LOVED some time later. Oh! And the BMW that my dad had from the early 70’s that I really wanted but was supposed to go to my brother Danny. Daddy sold it when Danny got in major trouble at school as punishment, and that’s why we got the Toyota wagon. We have since strayed from the Toyota brand: I now drive a Hyundai, and so does my mom, and I think my brother Mike drives a Ford. I believe my eldest brother, Danny, still drives a Toyota.
Point being, in 1990 this family car became the car I drove to school (when mom didn’t need it for the day), and drove around town with my friends on the weekends. I didn’t mind it at all. I could fit 4 friends comfortably, and if we were having a REALLY good time, 8 friends rather uncomfortably. This always involved lots of giggling and ducking whenever one of the lookouts spotted a cop car.
The car’s first car accident happened when I was 17 and on my way home from my job at Video Network on Ming Ave. It wasn’t really an “accident”, but there was damage. I got side-swiped a few blocks from my Aunt’s house. I was staying with her since my parent’s were out somewhere on their boat for a month. My Aunt Janet was insane, that would be another blog. The person that swiped me pulled over, as did I, and we exchanged information. It was my first car accident, if you don’t count the time I got rear-ended at the stop sign in front of Garces on my first day of driver’s training. I might not have gotten all the info I was supposed to, and it didn’t help that the guy that hit me was so very cute! As a bonus, one of the guys from the store I worked at also drove home the same way I did, and pulled over to make sure I was ok. *Swoon* I had such a crush on that guy. I told him I was fine and asked if he wanted to come over for a soda, and he said sure. *Squeeee!* He followed me the few blocks to my Aunts and we waited outside for her to unlock the door and let us in (for some reason she wouldn’t give me a key) and she answered the door in a see through lacy red negligee with matching jacket thing. *death-by-embarrassment* Needless to say, my crush didn’t stay for the soda. I think he might have actually ran to his car and peeled out trying to escape.
The next car accident was actually two weeks later. I was going to my friend Julie’s house and I remember I was driving and trying to change lanes. I was looking over my shoulder waiting for an opening and thought, “I should probably stop (looking over my shoulder instead of at the road ahead) or I’m going to get into an accident”. I faced forward and saw that I was coming upon a light that had turned red, and there were a few cars already at a full and complete stop in front of me. I slammed on the brakes, which is probably the same time I hit the poor woman in front of me at 45mph. That was a bad month. In the week in between my two car accidents, my cousin Roy was home from boot camp for a little while before he got shipped out to wherever. He got into a car accident and was killed. He was 19. Oh, and before the summer was over, I found out that my crush was gay, and I had gotten fired. Also, the person that my cousin hit (and killed) was my crush’s best friend, and someone I knew in Junior High that I had roomed with for a few days when we both went on a class trip to the East Coast. Worst summer ever.
My next car accident wasn’t actually in my car, but my friend Jeff’s. I was 18, and me, Jeff, and Jason had gone to play pool over at the pool hall on the corner of 19th and Q. Jeff wasn’t a good driver, and Jason had pulled me aside at one point and told me that if we kept driving around with him, we were going to get into a car accident that night. If I got hurt, he was going to have to kick Jeff’s ass. It was a weekend night in Bakersfield, and I was terribly bored. I agreed with the assessment that we were going to get into an accident if we stayed with Jeff, but I was so bored I actually didn’t care. The car accident would spice up an unexceptionally dull evening. Sure enough, not an hour later we’re going around the Garces circle and Jeff hit someone. She was ok, we were ok, no one needed a tow away from the scene, so other than some new ugliness, the cars were ok. Jason punched Jeff. He wanted to do that anyway. Earlier in the year both Jason and Jeff were trying to date me. Jason won, but he never really trusted Jeff around me. It must be a guy thing.
When I was 19, my parents gave me the car. Not out of the kindness of their hearts, or because I’d gotten good grades in high school or college, but because they didn’t like my boyfriend. Six days before my 19th birthday my parents (ok, my dad) kicked me out of the house because I’d gotten quite a few ‘F’s on my second semester report card from Bakersfield College. Yes, this is a junior college. I had known this was going to happen so when my dad told me to have everything out of the house before midnight, it just took one call to Jason and I was actually out 3 hours before midnight. We loaded up his burgundy and silver 1980’s Ford F-150 with EVERYTHING that had been in my room, drove to Cindy’s (coffee shop) and moved me into the room that was waiting for me where he lived that next morning.
I think my parents instantly regretted kicking me out (ok, my dad), because the day after my brother Mike’s July wedding, my uncle Mike offered me a job at his business in Phoenix, Arizona. I told him that I’d take it, but I had gotten a job as a lifeguard and would finish out the summer in Bakersfield with my boyfriend. My parents got wind of this decision, and that same day offered to give me the car if I left immediately. To my credit, I did stop to think about it, but didn’t take too long and I accepted their offer after a quick discussion with my boyfriend. As soon as I told him what my parents offered, he agreed that it was a good offer and said he’d join me in Arizona as soon as I got an apartment out there.
Immediately took two weeks, but off I went. Jason waited 3 weeks before he showed up without any warning, but that MIGHT be another blog. Point being, the car got into another car accident that year. I wasn’t driving it, it was my Uncle Mike. There wasn’t a whole lot of damage, but I still needed a rental car for a couple of weeks. Since I was under 21 and didn’t have a credit card, there was only one place that would rent to me: Rent-A-Wreck. Sure it was cheap, but the speedometer didn’t work and it looked like it had been in a few accidents of its own.
So, I started driving in 1990 when I got my license on the day I turned 16. Before I was 20 I’d gotten in 3 accidents, and so had my Toyota wagon. Life was pleasantly dull for my car for the next 3 years, and then one day, in 1997, I’m driving East on Niles when I got T-boned going through an intersection. Some time before I went through that intersection, 2 young boys ages 14 and 16 decided to steal a car and go joy-riding, and our lives touched each others some time later when they T-boned my poor little wagon. If I had been able to breathe, I would have run after them, but I was too busy trying to breathe while I watched them jump out of the car and run for it.
I was totally surprised by the reaction of the people around me. There was a gas station on the corner of this intersection, on the opposite side of the street I was on, and while some of the people ran to my aid, others ran after the boys! I was very touched by their reactions and willingness to help out a stranger and to do their best to not let the bad-guys get away with crime. Unfortunately, my car was totaled.
My next car was a 1990 dark blue Toyota Corolla, not a wagon, but still a 4-door. Good car, and I’m happy to report it got into ZERO car accidents (though I did run over someone’s foot in it, but I didn’t like her so I didn’t really care). This good car was traded in for a brand new Silver Toyota Corolla (4-door) in the Fall of 2001 after it was discovered that it needed a new water pump.
The Silver Toyota Corolla was a lemon. Worst Car Ever! It got into 2 car accidents. The first one was six months after I bought my car, and my fault. I was tailgating and I didn’t see the brake lights light up on the suburban in front of me (I blame the angle of the sun), and bam! Luckily, we weren’t going very fast, maybe 10 mph. No major damage, my hood wouldn’t open for a while though, and that had to be replaced.
The next car accident was probably 2-3 years later. I was coming home from work and, as usual, stopped at the 1st 4 way stop sign on Ximeno after you turn off of Ocean. Yes, I saw the Cadillac pulling towards his stop sign, but he was still a bit away, and then a car went in front of my line of sight and, as soon as the intersection was clear, I proceeded through.
In the middle of the intersection, I looked to my right, and it was then that I realized that the car didn’t stop at the stop sign. What I saw was this huge boat of a Cadillac coming towards me, slowly, and these big glasses peeking at me just barely above the level of the steering wheel, and a bald little head. We collided, and I was fine, so concerned for the old man, I jumped out of my car to make sure he was ok. He was fine. He instantly demanded my driver’s license and insurance information. It was his fault, screw him. I called the police, sat on my car, and smoked a cigarette until they arrived.
Turns out the old man didn’t have insurance.
My car wasn’t totaled, but the front passenger side door stuck to the passenger seat. I told you he was driving a boat.
In May of 2010 I bought my first non-Toyota. I bought a Hyundai Elantra, and I am happy to say that I still love it today as much as I did when I got it. No car accidents…..yet. *knock on wood*
So there you have it, six car accidents. What are your car stories?