The Paradox of Man

People are horrible.

People are amazing.

We do our big grocery trips once a month.  I make a list, check for coupons and sales, and organize it according to where we need to shop for specific items.  Usually Petey and I hit the Costco/Kroger portion together (I have a sneaking suspicion he goes along for the pizza or hot dogs in Costco’s snack bar).But there’s normally a few items we need from a shopping center that’s in the opposite direction.  Sometimes we go together, and sometimes I go solo, especially when it’s hot or the first part took a while.

Last week I left him home.  The plan was to finish at the hot bar at Harris Teeter, and pick up something for Petey for dinner.  Yeah, that was the plan.Right before the parking lot, there is a four-way stop.  I had waited my turn, then slowly drove into the intersection, to make a left.

What happened next was both in slow-motion and sped up tremendously.

A car came from my left and smacked right into me.

I saw him coming and knew that neither of us had time to stop or swerve.tree nature branch person plant girl sunlight leaf flower spring autumn child human christmas lighting season climb aesthetic out in motion country life climbing tree woody plantI’m a tree climber, always have been.  And if you climb trees, you’re gonna fall out of them on a regular basis.  When you fall, the nanosecond you spend in the air seems to become weeks.  And it gives you plenty of time to ponder.Just how bad will it be?  Will I end up knocking on the pearly gates?  Will I break one or more bones?  Or will I get off with just skinned palms and having the wind knocked out of me?

So, in that quarter of a second that was also, somehow, 90 minutes, I wondered how bad this accident would be.Surprisingly, it wasn’t too bad—for me and our eighteen-year-old Jeep.  Neither car was going very fast, and what could have been a much more serious T-bone was more of a glancing blow in the very front corner.

But the same couldn’t be said for the car that hit me.  The shiny new SUV looked like a deranged toddler had thrown a car made of Legos.  The tire was flat, there were leaking fluids, and car parts were strewn all about the intersection.I hopped out, prepared for the worst.

The other driver got out of his car, and what he said floored me.

“I am so sorry, it was all my fault.  I didn’t see the stop sign.”  Well, that was unexpected.  His name was Charles C., and turned out to be one of the last existing ethical, moral men.  His sincerity would make Diogenes weep with joy and set down his lantern for good.This nice man took responsibility with both the fuzz and his insurance company.  He even picked up the first day of the car rental before the paperwork went through.  He was just a really terrific example of a human.  And, it was the poor guy’s birthday.

So that was the amazing.

The horrible?Within two days of the accident I received numerous letters and post cards from ambulance chasing bottom feeders and slippery, creepy-looking chiropractors.  They all wanted to help me get rich off the accident.  They really didn’t care about the truth of the incident; and strongly implied they’d be happy to guide me through all manner of fraudulent scammery.

All I wanted was for the Jeep to be fixed, and temporary wheels while I waited for the repairs.  Sure, I’d love being rich, but I want to get rich the old-fashioned way, by becoming America’s Next Top Model. Thanks for your time.

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