Saturday, February 04, 2006

Even "The Gays" don't like to be rear-ended (always) - Don't Get Me Started!

It was a sunny Saturday and I was off to the gym. There I was parked at a light when from behind me I saw it, a 70 year old man in a 1980whatever Ford station wagon going way too fast to stop. As described by most who have lived through it, time went remarkably fast considering all the emotion and thoughts I was able to have in what seemed like a slow motion sequence from the 6 Million Dollar Man. With no where to go, I braced myself and then I felt my Mini Cooper becoming a little more Mini than it had been previously. And so you see, even "The Gays" don't like being rear-ended (always) - Don't Get Me Started.

I knew that my car was in bad shape from the look on the face of the driver of the other car in my rear view mirror and the fact that my neck was already feeling warm from the knot that had been created. I saw that he was okay and as I closely watched him pulling over behind me I was already on the phone with 911. Being in business, a little anal and knowing I was leaving for Miami for a week on business that Monday, I knew, though I'd never been in an accident like this, that the process needed to start immediately.

By the time I got out of my car, the police were on the way. The old man apologized and I asked for his insurance card. No time for pleasantries, what was done was done - I just wanted to start putting Humpty together again as soon as possible. I had already spoken to his insurance company and he was talking to them when the police arrived.

The officer was your standard, "Oh, another car accident, why couldn't this be a drug bust with naked whores" kind of guy. I don't blame him, I truly believe that if you have lost your license in another state or been thrown out for lousy driving that there's a "Welcome to Las Vegas kit" that arrives soon after at your door. No one knows how to drive here in fact, the first year we were here the anchor of the evening local news said in all seriousness around Thanksgiving, "And I know that some of you will be driving to other states this holiday season so please remember that you need to stop at red lights and you should use your turn signals." No joke, you always need to wait a couple of seconds after the light turns green here as some Elvis impersonator is zooming through his red light so that he can get to the Elvis-themed wedding chapel to marry someone for much less than one payment on his pink Cadillac from 1971. (He tells people that Elvis gave it to him put actually his mother earned it selling Mary Kay cosmetics. It took him days in 1984 to scrape Mary's insignia off the back!)

At any rate the officer proceeded to ask all the usual questions and suggested that we move our cars out of traffic and go to a parking lot for everyone's saftey. What happened next was your typical dream come true, reports, tow trucks and a trip to the body shop.

Now here's the thing, I guess you could chalk it up to inexperience or having lived my entire life to please everyone else but I was shocked to find out just how much no one wants to really help you in these situations. Not the passer-bys who in some odd way are pleased to see a little red sporty car get its due so as they walk past sipping on their Starbucks are smiling to themselves. I'm talking about everyone involved that is supposed to help you. The police - bored, wishing it were really a much worse accident so he could break out the chalk for an outline. My doctor, "Oh he couldn't possibly see you, this is an accident case, you need to go to an urgent care facility or hospital or something." My insurance, "Act like you don't have the same insurance as the guy who hit you because that will make it easier for you in the long run. Then just make them handle everything, I can't help you, he hit you." His insurance, "Well, I guess go to the doctor if you feel you want to and everything and when you're completely done let me know and we can talk but consider yourself lucky this really wasn't a bad accident (translation, don't expect more than $2 as far as settlement goes). The rental car place, "Look this was paid for by the insurance and this is what you get, I know you're supposed to get something similar to what you drive but all we have is a Dodge Neon with manual windows. What? I don't care that you've hurt your shoulder and will have to lean over the passenger seat to unlock the passenger door or crank the window, this is what they paid for so what do you want to do?"

And so it went for seven weeks of no car, bad rental car, doctor visits and finally the day arrived when I could pick up my car. There it was, all clean and cute. Except for the glob of glue that was oozing from under the Mini logo on the back and the fact that the back door was sitting about 4 inches from the rest of the car. But they took it in the back and when they brought it back it looked like my car again - what I could remember of it. It's strange the fact that suddenly you see things that were probably there all the time but never noticed when you get it back from a body shop. All that was left was to settle with the insurance company.

Now let me say that I know this is going to make me sound like a snob but I don't care. When the insurance woman said to me, "I seen worser cases than this." I just lost all hope. I mean the woman didn't even know how to speak correct English what chance would I have to getting her to understand me when it came to settlement time? And so I rolled over once again and took what they gave me and moved on.

Because in the end, no one's really going to help you because they don't care, so all you can do is move on with some lessons learned. And so it came to pass that I learned the biggest lesson of all...even "the gays" don't like to be rear-ended (always) - Don't Get Me Started!!


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