lolaraincoat: (crappie)
I was driving from campus to the gym on the only highway that cuts through the middle of Our Fair City, just before rush hour. Traffic was heavy enough that I'd just come to a halt, in the perpetual traffic jam that marks the end of the highway as it empties out onto the street in midtown. Suddenly there was a big jolt and a loud noise: I'd been rear-ended.

I pulled over to the very narrow side of the highway and so did the person who rear-ended me. She got out of her car (a nicer and more recently produced Honda than the Honda I was driving) and carefully edged her way along the shoulder, to lean into my window. She turned out to be a small young woman in very large sunglasses. "Hello!" she said, "I'm so sorry! I fell asleep!"

So I called the cops, and then we exchanged information, and then we inspected the damage, of which there wasn't any, and then I insisted that we stay there and wait for the cops anyway, and then we waited some more, and then three tow trucks showed up in quick succession, each with disappointed tow truck drivers who, upon seeing the no real damage, assured us that there was no point in waiting around for the cops and that we should just go away to the accident-reporting site. The last of these was still arguing about it when a cop did finally appear. The nice young woman told him the same story she'd told me, including the crucial words "I fell asleep."

"Ah," said the cop, and the turned to me and began explaining, at some length, how there was no visible damage and I should just go to the accident reporting center. I said that I understood that and in fact had no intention of even bothering with the accident reporting; I just wanted to make sure that this person, who was falling asleep while driving, did not get behind the wheel of her car again today.

The cop said, yes, that was a good point, and turned to the sleepy young woman, and explained to her at great length that the nice tow truck man was going to tow her car to the nearest parking lot, and she was going to leave the keys with the cops. She wasn't very happy about it, but he was adamant. The discussion was still going on as I drove away.

So that was ninety minutes of social awkwardness by the side of the road, in the interests of doing the right thing.

Also I appear to have a relatively mild case of food poisoning. So, all in all, not a happy day.

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lolaraincoat

August 2014

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