I’m an excellent driverJuly 4, 2006
So, I ran into yet another stationery object this weekend.
One of the benefits of being in a long term relationship is that personal trends can be observed over time, without the selective memory that comes with self-reported trendwatching. For example, you might have a bit of a drinking problem, or be a bit of a thief, and yet still manage to convince yourself that you only rarely get pants-wettingly blind drunk, or that only a very small sample of the knick knacks you display above your fireplace were actually stolen from acquaintances homes during dinner parties. But a spouse or significant other forms a somewhat omniscient narrator (at least, if you’re not deluding yourself into hiding your bad habits from them as well).
If you asked me up until this weekend how good a driver I was, I’d tell you with 100% honesty that I was near flawless; a bit recklessly fast, overpossessed with a need to arrive on or ahead of schedule perhaps, but very aware of the road & my surroundings. The one hole in my driving arsenal would be the cunningly lethal stationery object. At speeds of greater than 7 miles an hour, I’ve never had an accident behind the wheel. But at 7 and under, I’m a bit of a menace to society.
Reversing into a car that was idling behind me while we waited for the light to turn green on Sunset & Ivar this weekend is one of those accidents that doesn’t even make sense when you describe it to someone not in the car with you. But fortunately, the missus was in the car with me, so not only did I not have to describe it to her, I was afforded the wonderful benefit of reflecting on the number of low mph impacts I’ve had since she & I met. Not counting the three in Arlington, prior to moving back to L.A., that would be:
- Broken edge of curb across from our house, gouging my side as I parked
- Car in supermarket parking lot, idling behind me as I backed out
- At the Ford dealership in Marina del Rey 2 seconds into test driving a car
- This weekend’s incident on Sunset
So, that’s seven in all, all within the last 13 years. And these aren’t the minor scuffs & scrapes that you get when you brush up against the curb or take a speed bump too quickly. This only counts the significant bodyshop repair-level injuries that various cars have sustained at my malicious fingertips. At a recent company outing to the Bondurant racing school, I won the “cone killer” award for most reckless driving, in addition to leaving the track a number of times during the go-kart portion of the day. It has almost (but not quite) reached the point where I have to wonder if perhaps I am somehow to blame for this rash level of low speed mayhem.