August 30, 2006


Poor Miss Janis.

But at least you have compatriots who are equally adept at vehicular maneuvering.

This morning Catherine and I were outside playing with Lightning, and Catherine was holding on to the kids' new volleyball. It was a cheapo one we got at the grocery store yesterday (as I was buying turnip greens) and it wasn't quite aired up all the way.

"Cat, would you like me to get the pump and air that up for you?"


Now we have a small ball pump in the garage. It's over by my toolbox, which is over by the wall, which is on the OTHER side of the van. Usually, the van isn't pulled so far forward, though. When it's parked right you can brush around the front and get to the tools and junk, and to the hidey place for the ball pump.

This morning, however, the van was all the way up against the cabinets. Reba had missed the wooden wedge I keep on the floor to keep from pulling to far forward. No big deal--I'll just walk around the back, then scootch up the passenger side between the van and the shelves.

No dice. She had gotten too far to the right of the wooden wedge as well, and there wouldn't have been enough room for Calista Flockhart to squeeze by there, much less someone built like Hoss Cartwright.

Well, I'll be a good husband, then--go ahead and back the van out onto the driveway. AND be a good daddy--be able to get to that all-important ball pump.

I got my keys out of my pocket and hopped in and pushed the button to open the garage door and cranked up the van and decided not to mess with the mirrors to keep from Reba having to adjust them again and put it in reverse and slowly eased back and thought what a good person I am and WHAM!


I seem to have forgotten that last night I had moved the Volvo over to the other side of the driveway so Oldest could get out of the garage in the Focus. It was sitting right behind the van and WALLOP!


I got out and surveyed the damage. Honda Odyssey, with nice big plastic bumper, and NOW with that AND with two big, distinct puncture wounds caused by the top two acorn-shaped nuts on the front license plate bracket of the Volvo.

Volvo 240, no damage aside from a license plate frame that was bent back slightly so that it now follows the slight curve of the bumper, as well as a couple of stress marks on the face of my decorative Auburn University tag.

Had I not gone junkyard shopping with the express intent of finding a front license plate bracket for the express purpose of holding my decorative Auburn University tag, there probably would have been no damage to the Odyssey.

Had I adjusted the mirror, I probably would have noticed the Volvo and not hit it.

Had I not been so focused on finding a cheap plastic ball pump to pump up a cheap volleyball, I would not have had to move the van.

Had I not been such a moron, this blog post would not exist.

So, hey, there's always an upside, no?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at August 30, 2006 12:52 PM

Mmm, tough choice: $500 (at least) on a replacement fender, or ride around with acorn-holes and get funny looks. Could black bondo come to the rescue?

[Hey, that sounds like a good name for a superhero with sticky powers: Black Bondo. Or maybe a double-ought spy from Nigeria.]

PS Don't you hate that sick feeling in your stomach when you've crunched another vehicle with one you were driving? Especially when both are yours?? And other people point it out???

Posted by: Marc V at August 30, 2006 01:17 PM

Well, the bumper is painted the same clearcoat silver color as the rest of the van, so any repair would have to be done with something other than Bondo, no matter the color. And seeing as how some guy was going to charge me close to 900 bucks to paint the gray bumpers of our old Plymouth van (which I redid myself for the cost of two cans of bumper paint), I imagine it would be even more in this case.

I told Rebecca (who came to see what the noise was) that it looked like it was time to find a nice bumper sticker.

Maybe something from the Frank J. collection....

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 30, 2006 01:29 PM

There's no "poor" thing to it. I did something stupid and will cause other people grief that they don't deserve.

Where was my mind?

Posted by: Janis Gore at August 30, 2006 01:29 PM

Well, "poor" because obviously it does upset you, and none of us want you to be upset. We should also probably make sure that you and I don't park next to each other.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 30, 2006 01:32 PM

Silver Bondo? Retired double-aught agent.

You may have a Thursday 3 (yeah, you remember those) idea right under your nose:

What should Terry have on his bumper sticker?

1. Possums rule, raccoons drool.
2. Cornatee's - for the discriminating palate.
3. Roll Tide - under the bus.

Posted by: Marc V at August 30, 2006 01:56 PM

Well, we have to rememeber, since it's Miss Reba driving the thing, it probably needs to be something on the tame side. Something like "My Husband Is SO HOT!"

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 30, 2006 02:08 PM

I can get you a deal on a "Save the Cornatees" bumber sticker.

Posted by: Nate at August 30, 2006 02:32 PM

Hehehee--probably might better not do that, else my double secret blogging life might be exposed. I'm in enough trouble for creating divots.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 30, 2006 02:40 PM

I managed to swipe another car (fortunately there were no dents and most of the paint came off my van and not the lovely, clean Audi wagon) while parking a few months ago -- so I don't recommend letting me near you with a car either.

Posted by: Jordana at August 30, 2006 03:26 PM

Yes, possums and cars definitely are a bad mix.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 30, 2006 03:34 PM

Yah know there's a good reason why I drive a ratty ol Toyota, besides it being paid for. I don't feel so bad when something happens. I just know in the first 15 minutes of new car ownership it'd get dinged somehow. I'd be sad then and have to drown my sorrow in, umm fried katbelly? broasted possum? Oh heck I don't know.

Posted by: Tony von Krag at August 30, 2006 09:31 PM

Don't feel too bad, Terry. One friend of mine actually forgot his garage door was down, and backed out through said garage door. It can always be worse!

Posted by: Stan at August 30, 2006 10:41 PM

I left a question for Cletus and the car guys.

Posted by: Janis Gore at August 31, 2006 08:03 AM

Tony, put down the cooking sherry and back away slowly...

And Stan, I cannot claim to be innocent of the act you describe. Luckily it only bowed the door out a bit, but I've done it as well.

AND MISS JANIS--please resend your question. Seems the boy's e-mail account had been suspended due to lack of activity.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 31, 2006 08:10 AM

I am so disgusted with myself because I respect other people's property, for one, and I don't take stupid, expensive risks, two.

I wasn't in a hurry. I wasn't under the influence of so much as cough syrup.

What happened that day? It wasn't even PMS.

Posted by: Janis Gore at August 31, 2006 08:26 AM

I blame your continued willingness to associate with people who admit to being morons.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 31, 2006 09:00 AM