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29 August 2009 @ 10:57 pm
When we first looked at this house, the realtor failed to mention that it's built on an automotive Hellmouth. We live on a hilly road on the border between the Village and the Town of Warwick. The Village speed limit for this stretch of road is 30 mph; one you pass into the Town, it bumps up to 35. This is somewhat academic as almost no one pays these limits any heed (as I’m typing this, someone just flew past at - easily - 50 mph). Just above our driveway, some several hundred feet before the Village line, there is a deceptively gentle looking downhill curve. Even in perfect weather conditions, you run the risk of losing control if you’re going a bit too fast. Add in fog or mist or rain or snow or ice and cars go spinning out all the time. Sometimes it’s as simple as skidding a bit, or spinning fully around. Other times it’s off the road and into the shrubs, or our mailbox, or a telephone pole (she SLAMMED into that bad boy so hard they had to replace it the next day. She walked away from her Volvo without a scratch). That last woke me from a sound sleep, screaming, as I heard the impact.

The now familiar shriek of rubber on pavement catches my ear, even as it grabs at my heart. The whine, the hiss, the squeal: everything stills as I wait for the sound of impact. It’s terrible. It's astounding to me that no one’s been seriously hurt in any of these accidents; I fear it’s just a matter of time.

So. Today. Rainy, gray, dreary. I’d just put a batch of snickerdoodle blondies into the oven when I heard it: tires screaming on pavement. I already had the phone in my hand, running toward the front window, when I heard the crash. I looked out to see a car skidding across my front yard, this side of the row of hemlock trees that separates my property from the road.

through the window

I ran outside to see a young guy (early twenties) climbing out of his smashed up BMW. “Are you all right?”

“Yeah,” he said. Then, “I’ve never been in an accident before!”

After ascertaining there was no blood, nor head or neck pain, I directed him to sit down on the railroad tie wall, told him to take deep breaths, and called 911. A minute later, another car pulled up - the kid’s friend and co-worker, who’d been driving behind him following their end of shift. A few minutes after that, three police cars arrived, and then my across-the-street neighbors, Randy and Karen. We first met over a far less dramatic spin-out, and have since continued out neighborly chats whilst dealing with bashed fenders and splintered hedges.

Long story short: the kid was driving too quickly. He spun out on the downhill curve, smashed off of the road and into our driveway, ticked the enormous tree near the edge of my yard, spun around again and skidded halfway across the yard (onto the septic leach field; here’s hoping that’s okay). He took out several saplings and one small tree, most of my day lilies and the speed limit sign along the way.

fallen speed limit

"Look at me! LOOK! 35 MPH! Do you think I was stuck in the ground for my health?"

speed limit, lurking

It didn't take long for the DPW sign to go native. Not long after this shot, it smeared itself with mud, grabbed a conch shell and set out to kill a wild boar.

I chatted with my neighbors, with Accident Guy’s friend, with Accident Guy himself and, later, his very sweet and very shaken girlfriend. About an hour in, I cut up some of the snickerdoodle blondies and served them ‘round.

poor dead BMw

random felled tree

This small tree used to be on the other side of my driveway. It was snapped off, flipped over, and ended up here.

Things were sorted out at last. The tow truck loaded up the expired car, dragging its blown out tire across my already sodden and churned up lawn. The police filled out all the necessary paperwork, explained to A.G. and myself what to expect from the insurance company and what to do if there were any problems. Apparently I should expect some compensation for the damage to my lawn.

my lawn, greatly gouged

right up to the tree

A.G. is seriously lucky he skidded up next to this tree and didn't hit it head on. The trunk is huge.

bonus!gouge in lawn

Bonus damage! They towed the poor, ruined car over the lawn on it's blown-out tire, gouging the soaked ground every inch of the way.

Looks like we'll be needing a new mailbox (and post), too.

mailbox carnage

Carnage. That's where my day lilies used to be, and that small pine tree, and my mailboxes. On the plus side, I now have a random hunk of car!


"No... go on... save... yourself." ::shuddering breath::

gaping mailbox

My mailbox ended up standing on end. While the police were sorting everything out, the mail carrier came by and - without a moment's hesitation - dropped the day's mail into the box.
La Petite Souris Scientifiquemelebeth on August 30th, 2009 03:52 am (UTC)

I"m so sorry.
Janet: laugh/crygoodnite_gracee on August 30th, 2009 04:16 am (UTC)
I'm sorry... I'm laughing and I know I shouldn't. I'm sorry for your carnage, but I love the way you tell it!

Here's hoping it all sorts itself out, with a shiny new insurance check to boot!
kinravip on August 30th, 2009 04:16 am (UTC)
Today's limerick...
There once was a guy in a Beemer
Who made our dear Kelly a screamer!
An incompetent tow
Made her lawn look as though
It awaited an aid check from FEMA.
Adrienne C.adrienne429 on August 30th, 2009 04:59 am (UTC)
I just lost it when I read that bit about the mail carrier. LOL
Mirandamirmie on August 30th, 2009 06:34 am (UTC)
You're probably the sweetest person in the world for giving snickerdoodle blondies to the guy who murdered your daylilies.
elellenk on August 30th, 2009 12:49 pm (UTC)
The bit about the mail cracked me up too! I'm glad everybody's OK and I hope your yard recovers soon.
(no subject) - awomanthatsblue on August 30th, 2009 12:50 pm (UTC) (Expand)
pheylanpheylan on August 30th, 2009 01:11 pm (UTC)
Good thing you're a pirate and have access to medicinal rum. I'd suggest making a mailbox post out of rebar, concrete and brick. Might keep them from coming on into the yard when they hit it. I'm glad the insurance feels yard damage is woth paying out. (and the bit with the mailman really made me laugh out loud)
Julietfair_juliet on August 30th, 2009 04:22 pm (UTC)
oh my GOD! they have to fix that road, or at least give you some sort of compensation, seriously it's ridiculous. You should have to pay less on property tax. Seriously look into it.

And Kevin and I both agreed that only YOU, Snow White, would pass out snickerdoodles at the scene of an accident. We love you.
Zoë Tzoethor on August 30th, 2009 06:51 pm (UTC)
You are such a fabulous writer!

Bonus points for having an unflappable mail carrier.
Maire: rabbitaranturas on September 1st, 2009 01:28 am (UTC)
Maybe all the local drivers have heard about the cookie lady's house and are trying to skid into your yard? :)