Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Hillary and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Also known as, "Beastmobile: The end of an era?"

I woke up yesterday morning with a raging sore throat. I've been having problems with my voice lately (I'm an elementary school music teacher!) and some days are worse than others. I was gonig to call in sick today to give my battered and abused vocal cords a rest, but I had nothing, zip, zero, nada prepared, and it's just cruel and unusual punishment to call a TOC (teacher on call) into the chaos that is my day without having anything at all left for him/her, especially since I don't often get a sub who can read music. So I decided to head on in anyway, and just try to talk less/sing more quietly. Ha! Right.

The good news is that, because my throat woke me up earlier than I usually get up, I had plenty of time to get ready and head off to work. I hopped in the now not-so-hated Beastmobile.

[ Side note: I can't believe I haven't blogged about this yet, but my car is actually shifting into drive RIGHT AWAY now!!! No more 17 minutes of waiting or multiple engine revs to have it ka-CHUNK into gear with a violent lurch. My dad found a miracle goop-additive for transmissions called Bi-Tron. It actually brought MY BEASTMOBILE back from near death!!! It's no less than a miracle, let me tell you!!! So, I've actually been quite fond of my car these days. This is the first time since I've owned it (2.5 years) that I haven't had to wait or slam it into gear before I can drive! No kidding, there is at most a 2 second delay now between shifing and it clicking (not clunking!) into gear. I've been thinking that, "Quick! Now's the time to sell the beast while it's actually working, and before anythig else blows on it!" ]

Off I went on my trying-to-be-merry way. It was about 8am, and I was waiting to turn left at a major intersection. There was another car in front of me, also waiting to turn. Both of us were in the intersection. The light turned yellow, and one car went through, pushing the light. The light turned red. THe car in front of me turned, and me, grimacing at being in the intersection on such a red light, began to turn as well, when WHAM!

Some dopus (notice my restraint in my word choice there?) decided that he was just in TOO much of a hurry to stop for that RED light, so he ran it. Only problem was, I was in the intersection, trying to get out of the way of the very-soon-to-be oncoming traffic. I had started to turn, saw him coming and slammed on my brakes, but it was too late. We collided front driver's side to front driver's side.

The bumper was busted off, the front panel smashed in over the wheel, the lights and grill all punched in and broken... The crash was even enough to dislodge the signal light on the OTHER side of the car! I limped my car off to the side of the road, the sound of metal against the wheel and the bumper dragging on the ground making me cringe.

I walked back over to the other side of the street where the other driver was, watching the busy rush hour traffic drive over and obliterate pieces of my car still left in the intersection. Hands shaking like they've never shaken before, I exchanged information and asked a guy waiting for the bus to be a witness. The other driver said he was going through a yellow light. Yeah, I don't think so, buddy.

I called school to say I'd be late. Tow trucks came and towed away both cars. By the time I got to work and had dealt with ICBC (insurance comapny), I had missed my first 2 classes. Word sure travels fast! Two of my grade 5 students who were supposed to be in my first class saw me as I came in and asked if I had been in a car accident. Whaa?

Anyway, classes 3 and 4 I plopped in front of a video (hey! It was in French AND music-related, so I don't feel so bad about it!) while I wrote out a plan for a TOC for the afternoon. After I dismissed the kids, I ran around and got the VCR moved, picked a non-French movie for the afternoon classes, photocopied worksheets, picked up marking I was going to do at home, made sure someone was going to the union meeting I was supposed to go to, showed my TOC the three different rooms she had to go to in the afternoon, made sure she understood what she was doing, THEN, I went home. (For heaven's sake, why can't I just go, "Hey, I was in a car accident, and I wasn't even gonna come to work today cause I"m SICK, so I'm outta here!") By the way, as far as I can tell, physically I'm fine. I'm a little bit stiff, but I don't think that's anything major. Yes, I've seen a doctor, and I'm keeping a close eye on how I feel these next few days.

I'm still waiting to hear from ICBC about liability. It's dicy, cause I was turning left, and even though the guy ran a very red light, ICBC doesn't like to fault people driving straight over people turning left. Also, I'm betting that my car is going to be a write-off. I would be very surprised if they decided to fix it. I jsut hope I get something decent for it, cause I reeeally can't afford a new (or new-to-me) car right now. Nor can I afford the $250 "Crash responsibility charge" (what a crock that is) or the spike in my insurance rates if they find it to be my fault. *SIGH*

Today (the day after the accident), I got a ride to work with another teacher, and as we went through the intersection where the accident happened, there was my licence plate out on the road, crumpled and beat up from 24 hours worth of traffic rolling over it, totally unaware of how that discarded piece of metal represented the worst day I've had in a very, very long time.

Life is not all bad, though, cause once home and settled a bit, I lit some candles, put on some jazz, poured myself a glass of wine, and got some marking out of the way. My friend Dave came over later for dinner, a guitar "jam session" and some good conversation. It was just what I needed after that crazy day. I'm so grateful for a good friend like that.

My poor car. It's been broken into, stolen, hit and run'ed, and now smashed. I can't say it's had a very good day either. Yipes.


PelaLusa said...

Oh my God, Hillary, what's with you and cars these days! Is there a deeper meaning to all this. Thank goodness you're well enough to type ... which must mean you're relatively okay health-wise. But my oh my, let's hope that old superstition about bad things happening in threes isn't true!

Hillary said...

Ha ha... "What's with you and your car?" What *ISN'T* with me and my car??? :-) The battery thing was something so incredibly normal for me, the cool thing was the BCAA guy being there at the exact time.

I AM ok, though. No injuries. Just a really big metaphorical pain in the neck!

Morenita said...

Hi Hillary! So sorry about your accident, your car, your throat and the fact you had to call in (well, not so much this last one) but I know how it is when you have to call in, the range of emotions, "do I really feel THAT bad?"...

Good to read your blog. Thanks for sharing!

Barbara said...

Yikes girl! Whow cares about the car! Just glad that YOU are ok.

Paul said...

Sometimes I think you could do with a stunt double.