Now, where were we? Oh yes, I was describing here how cars were always jostling for the right and privilege to bump me from behind. Permit me now, if you will, to describe two other collisions, one of which was deemed to be my fault. I have some issues with that lil ole fault thingamagiggy but am willing to accept my share of the blame, which I admit to being more than fifty percent.
My very first accident occurred whilst I was still a teenager. Some of the young people from the church had gone roller skating (in the days before roller blading) in Toronto on a Saturday night. We had a fine time. Shortly after leaving, however the evening was about to deteriorate when I stopped for a red light at one of the busiest intersections in the city. The light turned, and as is the time-honoured common custom, I accelerated. Meanwhile, a car coming from the opposite direction trying to make a quick and reckless left turn in front of me had to stop suddenly for pedestrians. Consequently, I had to stop suddenly for him — which I wasn’t quite able to manage.
Damage to my car (ie my mother’s car) was minimal: a little crumpling around the headlight, which we never bothered to fix. The other guy, who had more damage, was quite insistent that it was all my fault. When the police officer finally came to investigate, however, he seemed to differ. He sent me home and discussed the case with the other driver who called me early Monday morning to suggest that we each take care of the repairs our own vehicle. I let him stew until that evening when I called him back to agree.
The accident, the one for which I was faulted, also occurred a long time ago while I was still in my twenties and Thesha was still very young. Coming home from work one lunch hour, I stopped at the intersection just a block and half from our house. I looked to the right and saw that all was clear. I looked left and waited a very short while for a car to pass through the intersection. Unfortunately, I didn’t look to the right again before hitting the gas pedal.
In hindsight, I surmise that I didn’t recheck because my mind computed that the way had to be clear. Had I looked, I would have seen a car barelling towards me.
Upon hearing the screeching of brakes, I instinctively applied mine. If I had hit the gas instead, all would have been well. Unfortunately that wasn’t what my brain told me to do, and lo didst Mr Hotrod crashed into me after leaving quite a lengthy strip of rubber. Unfortunately for me, the guy without the stop sign has the right of way. Even though the racer (pictured to the right) was clearly auditioning for the circuit, the accident was deemed to be my fault. I accept that blame, but judging by the amount of rubber that he left on the pavement, I think he should at least have received honourable mention.
Oddly enough, Cuppa chose to take Thesha for a walk in the carriage while I was still at the corner receiving my fine. So I was able to ruin her lunch hour as well. Which was rather grand of me, doncha think?
I’m pretty sure I have always rechecked both ways ever since. That accident caused somewhat more damage than the aforementioned one but not an awful lot. I’ve been lucky.
Even luckier than that …