The older boy was involved in a fairly serious car crash a few days ago. He’s fine, thankfully, and the asshole who hit him is fine as well. But my old Camry, which the boy was driving, is completely and thoroughly fucked. That thing is destined for the crusher. Or as they call it down South… the masher. Oh well. The boy didn’t get hurt, and that’s the important part. We’ll just let our friends at State Farm sort the rest of it out.
Somehow, I’ve never really been involved in a serious crash. I was once a passenger in a car being driven by a square-headed sumbitch who ran into a telephone pole at a low rate of speed. I think he was fiddling with the radio and went straight off the road and into a pole. But it was minor. The boy said he was hit with such force the other day the front end of his car went airborne briefly, and he was spun around multiple times. That’s not something I’ve experienced, which is fine by me.
What about you? Were you ever involved in a serious crash? I think most people have. At least it feels that way. Tell us about it, won’t you?
Speaking of cars, we took my ludicrous little wind-up Suzuki in for its annual inspection a few days ago, and they came back with a list o’ things that needed to be done. About $700 worth. Believing they were attempting to rip us off, I told them to just fail it and I’d take it home. Then we took it somewhere else and they came back with a very similar list. I immediately wondered if there was some kind of centralized rip-off database where these pirates can log their attempted rip-offs to facilitate future rip-offs by other pirates. Is that paranoid?
In any case, we paid the ransom and I’m back in business for a year. That thing takes a beating, and so far it’s been 100% reliable. I don’t like it, it’s uncomfortable and the whole idea of it just rubs me the wrong way. But it’s great in snow (it’s snowing again right now, btw), and gets decent gas mileage. So, I guess it’s served its purpose. I just don’t like it. Ya know?
And speaking of hemorrhaging money… we locked in on the September trip to Las Vegas: non-refundable airfare that wasn’t cheap. We haven’t booked a hotel yet, but dropped about $700 on the flights. So, there’s no backing out. That’s two no-backing-out trips booked this year. We didn’t go anywhere for ten years, now this? It all makes me a little nervous. But we’ll see. All four of us are going to the beach in May, and just Toney and I are going to Vegas in September. I’d also like to catch a Red vs. Pirates game this summer in Pittsburgh. And we have a night in Atlantic City booked in April. That’s gonna be nothing but eating and drinking and staring at the medical waste washing up on the beach. This is all going to blow up in our faces… Good God.
My brother received one of those questionable DNA kits for Christmas and finally received the results back. It took him several weeks to send in his “sample.” I was encouraging him to pretend to misunderstand the directions and send them a stool sample. Or maybe a sperm sample. But he did it the way they suggested, and here’s what came back:
Irish, Scottish, Welsh 58.8%
North African 1.9%
Central Asian 1%
That’s fairly bizarre, but whatever. I want to now do the same test, and see how similar the results are. Have you ever done this? Were you satisfied with the results? Scandinavian? African?? I have no idea. I assumed we were just straight outta England, with a smattering of Italy. Apparently not. As I say, whatever.
Finally, I’d like to ask you about crazy coincidences. There were two former supervisors at my job who left at different times. They’ve both been gone for more than a year, and just recently… they bumped into each other in the lobby of a hotel in Texas. It wasn’t business travel — there was no work-related event that drew them there — they just randomly ran into each other. In Texas. I find that to be pretty wild. Right? What are the chances, as they say? It reminded me of one of my all-time favorite episodes of This American Life, which is about nothing but coincidences. Right here. I haven’t listened to it recently, but remember being blown away by some of the stories. Like, for instance, a wife showing her husband photos from a beach trip she took as a young girl. And the husband (who grew up in a different state) was in the background as a young boy. Or something very similar. I need to listen to it again. It’s crazy. So, if you have any tales of wild coincidence, please tell us about it in the comments.
And I’m calling it a day, my friends. Sorry these things are coming so erratically. But you wouldn’t believe the sustained level of chaos we endure here at Chez Kay. It wasn’t this insane when the boys were three years old.
Anyway, I’ll see you guys again soon.
Have a great day!
Now playing in the bunker
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Dave Stambaugh says
My family met my parents in Disneyworld many years ago – they were from CA and we were from IL. While standing and watching the Circle-Vision 360 ride, I look to my right and there is my uncle (also from CA). He had no idea we were going to be there and we were clueless as to his plans so total and complete coincidence.
I’ve been upside down a few times in cars. That’s how it was in the 1980s.
If your results are significantly different from you brother, you’ll never look at your mom the same!
Or the mailman. 😉
Irish, Scottish, Welsh 58.8%
That is where most WV people came from back in the day. (Pre-1920s or around there somewhere)
Comedian Patton Oswalt sent in one of those DNA tests. He had a LOT more Central Asia in his blood so he called them up and was like “wtf???!” They told him “Yeah – that’s Genghis Khan. He fked every woman in every village they conquered.”
So there you go.
Transcript from his Netflix special:
There’s even a thing you can do. I’ve done this. It’s called, um, 23andMe. 23andMe is this company, and what you do is you spit in a cup, and then you mail the cup to some nerds, and then they look at it under… they spin it and look at it under the microscope. And then they send you back a map of the world with all of your DNA markers on it, show you where all your DNA came from. So, I did it. Send in my cup, get back my map. I unfold it. I’m looking at it, and I got all the pasty countries covered. I had every one… There’s Ireland and Sweden and England. I got it. Then I had a huge spike in Mongolia. How many years was my dad in Vietnam? Hmm? They have an 800 number. Call them and they’ll go over your map with you. I called them up and said, “I got my map. And yeah, there’s all the pasty countries. And, uh, hey, what’s with Mongolia? What’s the deal with my Mongolian DNA?” And the guy on the phone didn’t even pause, he immediately said, “Yeah, that’s Genghis Khan.” Sorry. What? He goes, “You’re related to Genghis Khan. Most people are related to Genghis Khan.” I go, “You serious?” He goes, “Dude, Genghis Khan fucked everything.” “There are trees that are related to Genghis Khan. That’s all he did was fuck.” And that must have been some amazing cum in Genghis Khan’s balls, because not only was he in tight, leather-skin pants that do not breathe, like sperm-killing heat, then put him on a saddle for ten hours a day. The saddle just crushing his nuts. Bam, boom, bam, bam! Then he would take over a village and get off the horse, “Hey, everyone, look, really quick. I’m Genghis Khan. Before we go further, it’ll take 10 minutes, I’m gonna fuck everybody. That’s what I do. I fuck everybody. I’m really good.” His cum’s like, “Why are we still talking? Let’s make babies. Let’s do it.”
My car was once t-boned in a parking lot by someone late getting back from lunch. Amazing what a wallop a 25-mph hit can pack. My poor VW Fox was totalled as a result. I’d probably still be driving that car today, such was my love for that boxy thing.
I still had to make payments on it afterward. Very disappointing.
My brothers best friend has family in Australia. One of the friends Australian cousins has been here to visit and my brother hung out with him for a few weeks in the 90’s.
10 or 15 years later my brother and his wife were on their honeymoon in Athens, Greece. Walking down down some street in Athens my brother bumps into the Aussie cousin.
It’s a small, strange world.
I met someone at the Melvins / Mudhoney concert in Milwaukee, and then a year later I daw him at Riot Fest Chicago.
What is even more amazing is I rembered his name.
Yes, I believe you are paranoid my Nigerian friend.
Paula K says
I was traveling in Europe with a Eurorail pass and my train got detoured from the destination of Florence, Italy to Verona, Italy. I got in to Verona very late and checked in to a decrepit youth hostel housed in a former palazzo. They had seperate girl’s and boy’s dorms (basically huge open rooms that had probably previously been ballrooms or great rooms) and I quietly went into the girl’s dorm, found a bed, and went to sleep. In the morning I sat up in bed at the same as the girl in the bed across from me and she said, “Paula?” and I said, “Betsy?” We had graduated from in the same high school class several years earlier – neither knew the other one was traveling (this was pre-Facebook). Weird.
The Qweezy Mark says
Pillow fight in nighties? (“Oh, Betsy. We’ll always have Verona.”)
Way back in my misspent youth I totaled the only car I ever made payments on in my life. Heading home from a Hunter S. Thompson lecture. So it doesn’t take a genius to figure what condition my condition was in. That wasn’t the only accident I’ve been in, but it is the most memorable, for a lot of reasons including the Arlington County Va. jail. Luckily no one was hurt, but my car, the two parked cars, the two yards I slid through and the 8 foot boxwood hedge I took out between the first and second car and the first and second yard didn’t fare too well.
Years later, as a still semi-functioning raging alcoholic and poly-substance abuser I somehow managed to survive many thousands of miles on a 1968 Harley Davidson with extremely questionable brakes. The scars and occasional stiffness of several joints serve to remind me of what I can only vaguely remember of that entire time period. Oddly enough, I haven’t wrecked anything in the 30 years since deciding that it was time to quit drinking and using drugs. I haven’t been in jail since, either. Go figure.
Ten years ago, my wife and I were vacationing in Alaska, where I was trying to convince said wife to allow me to take an offered job in Anchorage. In some random building, on some random escalator, I passed a supervisor from my job in California. We turned around and went to talk to him for a few minutes. Turned out he and his wife were on a cruise, and heading for a bus that was going to take them sightseeing.
Doc would have been proud of your accident description. HST-RIP.
A moron t-boned me with sufficient force to spin my car through the air and land it atop a raised median. The car with 1500 miles on it was totaled; I was fine apart from a few scuffs and bruises. Had there been someone in my passenger seat it would not have been good.
I’ve only crashed into another car once in my life, entirely my fault, crested a blind hill into a row of stationary traffic. I’ve spun a few cars hooning around but nobody else was harmed so they don’t count 🙂
Bonus points for using “hoon.”
Tea at the Palaz of Hoon
Not less because in purple I descended
The western day through what you called
The loneliest air, not less was I myself.
What was the ointment sprinkled on my beard?
What were the hymns that buzzed beside my ears?
What was the sea whose tide swept through me there?
Out of my mind the golden ointment rained,
And my ears made the blowing hymns they heard.
I was myself the compass of that sea:
I was the world in which I walked, and what I saw
Or heard or felt came not but from myself;
And there I found myself more truly and more strange.
It has the look and feel of iambic pentameter. I’m not sure, because I was taking Thermodynamics class instead of English Lit.
For neither are we struck by Heaven blind,
Nor hath hair grown upon our naughty palms!
Chill, both the form and substance of “Tea at the Palaz of Hoon” are on the esoteric side, even for poetry. I used the poem only because “hoon” immediately reminded me of it. A better example of what I might have been enjoying while you were examining the interactions that mass/energy undergoes as it changes its energy state as measured in temperature, is “The Emperor of Ice Cream”, which explores, among other topics, the interactions that some bipedal organizations of differentiated cellular material undergo as they slow down and stop, and addresses the question of persistence of personality past that point, concluding that the only universal Emperor is a strong guy in a wife-beater t-shirt who can successfully create a sweet, chilled confection to be served at a sparsely-attended funeral. Ice cream changes from a solid to a liquid to a gas to plasma faster than we do, but not much faster in the scheme of things.
THE EMPEROR OF ICE-CREAM
Call the roller of big cigars,
The muscular one, and bid him whip
In kitchen cups concupiscent curds.
Let the wenches dawdle in such dress
As they are used to wear, and let the boys
Bring flowers in last month’s newspapers.
Let be be finale of seem.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.
Take from the dresser of deal,
Lacking the three glass knobs, that sheet
On which she embroidered fantails once
And spread it so as to cover her face.
If her horny feet protrude, they come
To show how cold she is, and dumb.
Let the lamp affix its beam.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.
Wallace Stevens, 1922
No major car accidents, except hitting a couple of deer.
I did have an interesting experience running into someone from out of nowhere. I’m from Southern New Jersey, but was living in Maine for a few months. At Sugarloaf Ski area, I met a girl from one of the colleges up there, and went to see her. We went to a party in someones apartment… So, I knew no one except the girl.
A guy at the party started staring at me and asked me where I came from because he thought he knew me. He had a British accent, so I was pretty sure I didn’t know the guy, but he persisted in asking where I was from.
Turns out he did meet me once (what a memory he had!)! The link was a friend who had graduated a year after me, and they had met at school in England. He happened to be in the bar I hung out one night, and remembered meeting me… It was definitely wierd that we both happened to be in some small apartment in Maine, and he recognized me.
Lew in Bama says
I’m very unsure about those DNA test kits. What happens to your DNA profile after they’ve sent you your results? Is it safe? What kind of damage can be done when that information gets hacked? and we know it will get hacked, everything gets hacked eventually. I just don’t trust it.
Never been in a serious car crash, thankfully, and I hope I never am.
Got rear-ended not once, but twice on the great Garden State Parkway, within a year or so of each other. First time some young Nascar wannabe was weaving in and out of traffic and ended up tailgating me. Then, when we hit a sudden patch of brake tappers I was able to stop just short of the car in front of me. Unfortunately Earnhardt wasn’t so good and he slammed into me, driving me into said car in front of me. Then, gets out of his van, comes racing up to me with “What the hell are you doing stopping short?” Brilliant. So I told him the guy in front of me stopped, what would he like me to do? So he then takes off after the guy in front of me to start shit with him. Turns out it was an 80 year old guy with his wife in the car. At that point I had to grab the guy and suggest that he return to his vehicle immediately (yeah, just that calmly, lol). In the end, I go to court for his hearing and the piece of crap prosecutor cajoles me into agreeing to the obligatory “deal” where he pays a huge fine and doesn’t get points on his record. It’s a great state, N.J. When I retire in a year or two I’m going to leave skid marks.
When I crossed the Delaware bridge for the last time I was listening to “One toke over the line” and didn’t let the door hit me on the way out. Zoooooom… good riddance.
Root 66 says
I was in a head-on collision two weeks before my wedding. I was hit by a Pontiac Grand Safari station wagon. It shoved the whole front end of my car in about two feet. This was before air bags were typically in cars, but I always wore a seat belt. My only injury was a rash across my shoulder where the seat belt stopped me. Needless to say, I still wear one every time I get in a car!
It’s good to hear your son was OK. Camrys can be replaced–sons, not so much!
Hey, Jeff, are you the Nigerian Prince who owes me three thousand bucks? Where’s my fuckin’ money, where are my fuckin’ drugs, and where’s Yayo?
No major car accidents – the deer would not agree.
13% Iberian Peninsula
4% Great Britain
2% Europe West
2% Europe South
<1% Europe East
I just like to think of myself as a female Viking warrior!
I’m glad the boy is OK! And after all, a Camry is not a very interesting car. And you can put an awful lot of money into Suzuki repairs before it comes anywhere close to what the payment would be on a new used car.
I have no “good” crashes of my own, so here’s a secondhand one: years ago a friend of mine bought a brand-new Honda Civic, and rolled it on the way home from the dealership.
Co-inky-dinks: The best one I can think of is a woman I know whose parents are the same ages as mine, which happens all the time. The interesting part was when she asked me, apropos of nothing, “By any chance were your two grandfathers named James and William?” Why yes, they were; cue the theremin.
And there was the time I ran into a guy I knew from college, at my local supermarket. He doesn’t live around here; he was just in town for a certification class, or some such. College was 400 miles from here, and decades ago. I hadn’t seen Dave since 1976.
I drove to work one rainy morning about 15 years ago in my bright purple Dodge Neon. My 45 mile commute was rudely interrupted a half mile from the office by a semi driver who decided to switch lanes at the last minute. His rear right wheel embedded itself into my driver’s side door, and stopped just short of entering the vehicle. I willingly upgraded to a minivan from there, and have never looked back.
I spent my college summers working at the school’s Hippie Fest and saving money for the next semester. One morning, one of the hippies stopped short and asked if I knew anyone in Maine (my home state). I said yes. He proceeded to tell me that I looked exactly like a woman in his hometown, and gave me my MUM’S NAME.
I went to college in WV, and my hometown was a whopping 900+ miles away.
I later confirmed his identity with my Mum. He owned the town dive bar/pool hall.
I got hit by a telephone poll. Yes you read right. Driving home from work at 6AM, a woman comes at me, across my 2 lanes, drives onto my side walk and nails the poll. I remember looking up watching it fall. Poll bounces off the ground into my grill. I was driving a Pontiac and the bird nose was mashed to the curvature of the poll. Thats the only “crash”, I have a tendency to back into things.
I assume that was the one in which what’s-his-name got a 50% approval.
Great way to ruin a good story is to use the wrong pole.
I knew that looked wrong.
Crashes…have come away from more my than my fair share unscathed.
-Passenger (shotgun), 16 years old. Snowy country road. Said to my 17-year old friend and driver: “Should you be going this fast in the snow”? 30 seconds later, he slid the 1973 Maverick into a tree on his side. We were both unhurt. Maverick needed a new drivers side door (and a new passenger-side armrest…I apparently ripped it out in terror while we careened towards the tree.
Driving, 17 years old. Snowy/icy winding country road. Wrapped a 1966 Catalina around a telephone pole. No seatbelts on. No airbags from that part of the 20th century. Not a scratch on me. When my old man (who was a crusty, cynical central NJ homicide detective) saw the total loss damage to the car, and then saw me: he definitely cried.
Passenger, 18 years old. Driver was a full adult friend of the family, we were going to get take-out someplace. He turned left without enough time to clear the oncoming. Car was screwed up on impact. He and I were fine.
Driver, 46 years old. Just before dawn on an interstate, minivan in front of me is inexplicably stopped or nearly so. Never saw any brake lights (and wasn’t fiddling with the radio, talking on the phone or falling asleep). Couldn’t stop in time –even with ABS assistance– and hit it from behind. Van goes off into center median, I go off the right shoulder and right into the end of a guardrail. Airbag city. Total loss. Nobody hurt, but the resulting police and towtruck response was responsible for many traffic reports my coworkers heard that morning. After my wife picked me up at the tow company salvage lot, I went to work in the clothes I was wearing. This was the car I was supposed to drive my family to Florida in for Thanksgiving the next day. We went as planned in an insurance company rental.
I have been far luckier than I deserve.
Your snow story reminded me of a minor, but amusing crash that I had.
I was at Sugarloaf Maine Skiing. Met a girl and offered to drive her home in my Ford Pinto… She accepted so I thought it was my night! However, leaving the slopes we see a hitch hiker and she insists that I pick him up… Damn it!
Anyway, we are winding down the mountain road and I take a curve too fast… Poof! The car slides into a snow bank. We all get out, push the car back and go to get in, except the hitch hiker says “that’s all right, I’ll get another ride”!
I didn’t argue and quickly jumped in to continue on with the girl alone, back in a good mood!
Jerry in WV says
Two wrecks of note……..As a small child, 1965, riding in the passenger seat with no seatbelt. Our car didn’t have seatbelts. It was a 1950 something clunker. My father had an aneurysm in his brain blow out about two blocks from our house. Car goes over an embankment and I go through the windshield and land on the street. Cut up pretty bad. My mother heard the accident happen and runs to see what is going on. She said there were about 10 people standing around, doing nothing, and suddenly an old black man drives up, gets out of his car, picks me up and lays me in the back seat of his car. Drove me to the hospital and took me into the emergency room and lays me on a couch and told the nurse I needed help and then he left. Never did find out who he was or where he came from. She said everyone was stunned because for a black man to do that in Beckley WV in 1965 was unheard of. I ended up in the hospital for 3 weeks. about 500 stiches in my head and face, but somehow the scars aren’t too bad. My dad survived too. He was in the hospital for a while but made a full recovery. Wreck #2…..1979…in my very first car. A ’77 Mustang Cobra. Driving from Beckley to Charleston for a baseball game. Lost control in a rain storm and drove under a tractor-trailer. Cut the top off of my mustang. My buddy an I both ducked and it went right over our heads. The Good Lord was looking out for me both times!
Alice in WV says
shit. Charmed life!
ditched my 93 Ford Probe on a dark, winding road in the country. Was on a curve and saw headlights, I didnt hug the curve well and was half into the oncoming lane when I saw those headlights. I jerked the wheel to the right and spun around, off the road, and slammed into a ditch. Airbag deployed and I got awful airbag rash. Car was destroyed, but the stereo was still pumping out Seven Mary Three.
Rear ended by a Mexican with no insurance. Nose hit steering wheel and broke. Fortunately the car the Mexican was driving was insured, so I settled with them for a few grand after repairs.
No good crash stories, thank God. As for coincidences, my child went to school for a little while with another kid in the same grade with the same name and date of birth. Middle names were the only differences. I delivered at one hospital in town, the other mother at the other hospital (it’s not a large town). We often both show up at the other kid’s doctor’s visits, they’ve gotten our bills for glasses and such because offices can’t keep us separate.
I’ve had a couple of fender benders but nothing drastic, thank God. Knock on wood I can say that about most of my loved ones, too. Some had serious accidents but survived.
I used to hang with a fun crowd at one of the local watering holes. Fast forward 10 years and this party animal, John, happened to be a very high level VP at my old job. Boy the stories I could have told HR! That’s not very coincidental but it’s amusing to me!
I’ve performed a multiple roll, but that’s a long story. More recently (in the ’90s) was a passenger in a Jeep Cherokee. Working a busy job in a busy data center, finally got a chance to go to lunch; riding with my friend, got T-boned a block from work on my side. Lady blew a red. Pretty hard impact, but the Cherokee held its own. We walked the block to work, back into the whirlwind of a Long March project. Seven days a week, 80 or 90 hours, seemed important at the time, less so now, but I had no time to return the repeated calls of the lady’s insurance company. My friend the driver did, and settled for a couple hundred bucks plus the car. After a month or so, the insurance company sent me a check for $1500 (I hadn’t even gotten a scrape) and asked me to cash it. I didn’t have time to call them, but felt bad taking the money. I took it.
Couple of months later when we were back to working what passed for normal hours in the 90s, my friend the driver asked me if I’d settled. I told him about the check and he told me what he got. I said, “You gotta play hardball with these bastards.”
Cross Lanes Curmudgeon says
While visiting friends in NYC, I boarded a subway car headed downtown at 72nd and Broadway, and out of boredom, began looking at the passengers in the adjacent uptown car. There, standing up, gripping a handle and staring at me, was a guy who lived across the hall from me in my college dorm in Ohio 15 years previously. Or at least he looked remarkably like him. He grinned, shrugged, and waved as our trains started moving in opposite directions. When I got home I tracked down his current location and phone number and gave him a call. He had been visiting friends on the same block where I had been visiting.