I run my car into something at least once every two years. I’ve already succeeded this year by running into the garage at work. Alex, on the other hand, has never been in a wreck, which I find amazing and annoying at the same time.
Around the time we got married, Alex’s dad traded with him so that Alex ended up with a 2000 Oldsmobile Intrigue. It has been in a steady decline ever since. Aside from the mechanical problems, which I will list in detail below, Alex is not one of those, how do you say, “clean car” people. He consistently has Sonic cups from 3 months ago lingering somewhere on the floorboard. I showed him a blog once where the author was claiming that men cleaning their cars for women before they went on dates was a sign of love so sometimes, he throws the trash in the backseat before I get in. Ah, dirty car guilt…
Anyway, this car has electrical problems like nobody’s business. The passenger’s heated seat didn’t work and the rear passenger window won’t move. But those are minor things.
Last summer, Alex came out in the morning to discover that, after a full night of rain, he had a small ocean in his car. He didn’t actually notice it until he saw some weird movement on the passenger side floorboard. It ended up being a cup floating on the waves responding to the motion of his car. So, there’s a leak somewhere. We could never find it so whenever it rains, we just make sure all the important stuff is off the floor and then it smells a little moldy for a few days.
When we were fixing my scooter a few months ago, we accidentally spilled gasoline in his trunk, so we killed a few brain cells driving around in the funk for a few weeks. He has to add oil every 1500 miles; the Anti-lock Brake System went out; you can only unlock the doors using the passenger side button.
On the way to the race, he noticed that his cruise control kept shutting off randomly. He finally made the connection that whenever he would do anything electrically, the cruise control would turn off. So, signaling for a lane change, no cruise control. Turning his lights on, bye bye cruise control! Also, we discovered that his heater doesn’t work so I spent most of the ride curled up and breathing warmth into my fingers (it was 70 degrees).
In short, this car is dying and has been for a while now.
Enter: Evil Highway I-35 in Austin, mere hours after we ran 13.1 miles
The car in front of us stopped suddenly and we stopped just in time and then the car behind us slammed into us, propelling us into the car in front. So, it was an Alex car sandwich. What’s funny is that I was typing up the blog about the half-marathon on my netbook and when we got in the wreck, I typed, “ANNNND we wrecked on our way home.” How’s that for live blogging?
Anyway, there were about six cars involved and we all pulled off the road into a Wells Fargo bank. The guy in front of us (who we hit) was a really cool dude who ended up getting a ticket because he hadn’t gotten his car inspected since 2007 (yikes) and then the guy that hit us was an old toot who said he hadn’t been in a car wreck “in ages”. The old man’s possey of old people were out of their cars in a flash, taking pictures of all the other cars, and annoying people by asking repeatedly for their insurance information.
Now, to the damage:
- I discovered that I couldn’t open the passenger side door, which meant that I had to crawl out over the center console, which was fun on my post-half-marathon legs.
- The whole passenger side front corner is smashed. The headlight was blown to smithereens by the car that hadn’t been inspected in five years.
- The hood is bent. We were concerned that it might not shut properly, which would make driving on the highway all the way back to Dallas quite an adventure. The last thing we needed was the hood to fly up while we were going 60.
- The back bumper is dented, but that’s nothing in comparison to the poor front of that car.
We initially were concerned about being able to get back to Dallas, but, despite all odds, the car is actually driveable. We looked at the engine to make sure nothing was leaking, the tires aren’t being rubbed. So we hopped in the car and limped back to Dallas.
We’re still not sure what insurance is going to do, but we assume they’re going to total it.
Here’s what you need to read from this situation: Alex’s headlight got smashed in and that probably totaled his car. Also, if we end up buying a new car, then this half-marathon will have actually cost us more than we raised. IRONY!
Personally, I find that hilarious. If you also consider in our weedy, patchy front yard, this new addition to the Wise family driveway will cement our place as, “Tackiest Neighbors”.
So, Alex’s first and probably last wreck was quite an eventful one and not something that we will forget any time soon.