I’m having a disconnected day… just sort of drifting along, messing around, surfing the web, reading blogs. This is what you’re supposed to do on a day off right? Except that just because I don’t go to work on Fridays doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be working. And really, I have plenty to do, but I just can’t get motivated. The only productive thing I’ve done is clean the kitchen and run the dishwasher. So I’m sitting here, drinking cold coffee from this morning and eating cheese and crackers.
I slept in today, and not too long after I got up my friend and handyman, Rob, showed up to install my new kitchen faucet. Finally. After the thing has been sitting here for 2 months. This was his third attempt at getting the install done and he still ended up having to go to the hardware store twice during the process. Afterwards, my girlfriend and I went to lunch with him.
When we left the restaurant, we got in our respective cars; Rob was stopping at home for some supplies so he could come back to my house to finish some stuff, and I was taking my girlfriend home so that she could change and get to work by 3pm. I was just about to pull away when we heard brakes squeal and then a loud “C-R-A-C-K.” I looked in my side view mirror and saw Rob’s station wagon stopped sideways in the middle of the road. We hopped out of my car just in time to see Rob pull into the parking lot he was facing and then watch all the plastic bits from the grille of the car that had hit him fall to the ground. The front end of the car was completely pushed in. The driver got out of the car and yelled at us “Did you see that?!?” We said we’d only heard it, not seen it because we’d been facing the other direction.
At this point, Rob runs up to the guy and starts chastising him for driving too fast. Rob told him he could see that he’d looked away, wasn’t paying attention to the road, and was driving way too fast. Rob said he’d been trying to make a left into the parking lot and had his signal on. The driver of the other car was saying he hadn’t been going too fast, and that Rob had pulled out in front of him at the last second. They continued back and forth trying to assign blame. After a minute or two of this, I could tell that they weren’t going to agree on what happened. I didn’t want to get involved and my girlfriend needed to get to work, so we left. At least they were both okay. About an hour later, Rob calls me to say he wouldn’t be back today; he was still pretty shook up. Turns out there hadn’t been any damage to his station wagon. I was amazed because the other guy had pretty much totalled the front end of his little car. A Cavalier, or Sunbird maybe. Rob’s worried his insurance will go up though.
My girlfriend and I came to the conclusion that the accident was mostly Rob’s fault. He was parked on the side of the road and needed to go in the opposite direction. We think he did put his signal on but that he really intended to make a (illegal) u-turn. Either way, he was doing this from the parking lane, not the traffic lane. The guy coming from the other direction had not seen Rob because he wasn’t in the traffic lane. Rob was turning and either didn’t see the other driver coming or misjudged the guy’s distance and speed.
The weird part about it was that Rob did see him at one point after he’d turned because he had stopped in the middle of the road – perpendicular to the oncoming car. Almost like he was waiting for the guy hit him. That was how he’d seen the guy looking away, and from that vantage point it sure would look like the car was traveling too fast. Probably it was like watching in slow motion, knowing the hit would occur. I asked him why he’d stopped in the middle of the road. Why hadn’t he just gunned it into the parking lot to avoid being hit? Rob’s response was that he wouldn’t have made it and that the back end of the wagon would’ve been hit. I guess the back end would’ve sustained more damage than the middle? And he still totally thinks it was the other guy’s fault.