Sunday, January 04, 2009

Car-nal Knowledge

First thing this morning, I was heading southbound down the two-lane highway, literally on my way to do the Lord's work. The day was dark, cold, and wet and the road was twisty and hilly through field and forest, moor and mountain-- oops! not time for the second hymn yet, is it? Google Maps had told me it was going to take over an hour to do the twenty-nine miles to the first church where I was to preach, but I was trying to cut that down a bit-- while keeping an eye on road conditions, of course, and watching out for Deer With Attitude.

Two miles or so from my destination, I'd emerged from the hills into the flats. I was making good time, the day was beginning to open up, and all was well.

Until I rounded a lefthand bend. And the front end of my PT Cruiser took a sudden fancy to keep heading left. On the straightaway.

Hey! Did I just cross the center line? Oops, 'fraid so! All right, stay cool-- crank the wheel-crank the wheel-crank the wheel-I can do this, I can pull it out, keep cranking-crank-crank-crank! Oh, damn, which way am I supposed to crank the wheel? I'm turning it right-right-right, but it doesn't seem to be doing a heck of a lot of good, is that why I'm still sliding across the--empty, thank God!--northbound lane, closer and closer to the-- dammit, don't want to hit-- keep turning the wheel, keep turning the wheel, keep the car away from the-- bamm! guardrail.

I did not intend to be introduced to any guardrails this morning. I especially did not intend to experience intimate knowledge of any.

So much for my plans. Thank you, Mr. Black Ice's Matchmaking Service.

It was my left fender and the left corner of my bumper that left a token of paint and broken parts on the unfeeling, uncaring galvanized railing. That's some consolation. Head-on would have been a lot nastier.

So there I was. Stopped, at least. On the shoulder and not down into the field, which was a blessing. Shut off the engine and tried opening my door. No go. Call the cops? Triple-A?

No. I had a service to lead and preach in twenty-five minutes. And no contact number at the church to let anyone know if I'd be late.

So I wouldn't be late, if I and my car could help it. Would it restart?


Would it disengage itself from the guardrail's steely embrace?


So eager-- anxious-- was I to prove this that I did not get out and take any pictures of the Carnal Act itself. Souvenir shots waited till I'd carefully driven back across the road and parked the car on the southbound shoulder. I gingerly climbed over the stickshift and handbrake, and getting out by way of the passenger door, went around to document the damage.

How damnable the damage is, I'll have to find out. I really, really, really would prefer not to turn this in to my insurance . . . I was just five months away from getting out from under the three-year penalty from a previous accident, and I do not want my rates to go up, no I do not . . .

But I know what I'll be doing tomorrow . . .

Me? I feel fine, mostly. A little pain in my lower back. But how much of that is the bump on the highway, and how much of it was standing in the pulpit with my fallen arches in dress shoes for two services, with no worship leaders to assist so I could sit down occasionally? Not to mention wandering around the mall checking out the sales until 4:00 PM afterwards! In those same shoes!

After the second service at the second church, I drove again, more carefully and more slowly, along that fateful stretch of road, casting an eye over to the side to see if I could tell where I'd hit, maybe by token of a bright red piece of plastic bumper at the guardrail's feet.

I saw nothing. Nary a trace. Teach me to have any more casual encounters with guardrails! They're all Come 'ere, Sweetie, but once they've got you they leave you bruised and battered and won't even cherish the little gifts you leave behind!


Shari said...

Hello from Oklahoma! I clicked on "singing" in my profile and found your blog on the resulting list! Hope you don't mind that I stopped by to read. Sorry about your car.

Thanks for the visit.

St. Blogwen said...

Not at all! Glad you could drop in. Stop by any time!

Mile High Pixie said...

Wow! Glad to hear that you're okay after your accident! That li'l collision coulda been a whole lot worse that it was, huh? I'm thankful you're okay and for small and large favors.

whiskers said...

I'm so glad you're okay! *puts on motherly scolding voice* Now cut that out and quit scaring me!

Many many, (gentle because of your back), {{{{{{{{{{{hugs for St. Blogwen}}}}}}}}}}}

St. Blogwen said...

We'll see what the chiropractor says tomorrow. Standing in the pulpit afterwards I couldn't do anything about. Walking around the mall for 3-1/2 hours, m'huh, well . . . yes, that was naughty.

All I really came in for was a 2009calendar. Got one rampant with adorabboble kittehs!

Viola Larson said...

Sorry, I saw this late. It seems the angels were flying beside you. That is good-I hope all including your back is okay.

Sandy said...

I am glad you are all right. Hopefully your back will be on the mend right away. Sorry about the dance with the guard rail. Black ice is a scary thing!