Car Accidents and…the Flu?

2000-2002 Pontiac Sunfire coupe photographed i...

This is the car...

U No Hu won’t like this post because I am going to engage in what might appear to be reckless stereotyping.  However, if you say something about a group of people that is essentially and universally true, is it stereotyping?  If you say all Popes are Catholic, is that stereotyping?  Let’s sort it out.

I drive thousands of miles a year and I experience what is happening on the road all day everyday.  I have written about it in the past and I have said it for years, if you see a small to midsize late model Pontiac on the road, look out.  These vehicles are a rolling menace.  They are called things like Sunfire, Sunbird, and Grand Am.  They tend to be painted dull shades of red or grey.  And you if you see one, get off the road…or at least move over a lane or two, pull over if you must.   Why?

Invariably these cars are driven by women, aged 18 to 40 most often, usually suburbanites with a bad sense for fashion and a knack for focusing on everything but the road.  They have fuzzy dice or little panda dolls hanging from the rear view mirror with a pine tree air freshner…usually a pink pine tree air freshner scented like bubble gum.  But that doesn’t distract them.  No.  They have better things to do than drive and watch the mirror art.  Maybe they are adding another coat of hair spray to their feathered doo or perhaps reaching down to the floorboards for a lighter so they can smoke another Winston Menthol Light before getting to the office.  Whatever it is, driving is the least of their concerns.  To put it simply, they are the worst drivers in America.  The good news:  You just have to keep your eyes open for old Pontiacs and steer clear.

Ok…let me pause for a  moment.  I will offer my defense to U No Hu right here and now:  I’m sorry, U No Hu, but tautologies and stereotypes don’t mix.  What I am saying is absolutely true and not meant to be demeaning.  I am only providing a useful fact to the public that reads my blog.  (You and me.)  Perhaps Pontiac drivers will see something in this and say to themselves..you know, he’s right.  I’m going to eat breakfast at home from now on.  But don’t hold your breath.  Back to our story…

I have evaded many mishaps and known many near misses over the years.  I’ll admit a feeling of superiority when I spot a Pontiac a mile down the road and negotiate one or two lane changes well in advance of the certain lane drift or unexplained braking that will absolutely occur before another mile is gained.  I make little bets with myself.  What will she look like?  Deep tan, deeper blue eye shadow, bleached blonde with frosted highlights and dark roots or…well, never mind, there isn’t another type.  They all have deep tan, deeper blue eye shadow, and bleached blonde hair with frosted highlights and dark roots. 

Anyway…I gingerly pass these cars and feel satisfied that I avoided a dangerous road hazard and continue on my way.  Today, unfortunately, one of those Pontiacs got me.  I was driving down Marshall Street in Minneapolis when a sneaky Pontiac opted to ignore a stop sign and accelerate right into the side of The White Knight.  A small Sunbird?  I don’t know.  A little faded red Pontiac.

Who was driving?  (This is a test.  You can answer it.  What did I tell you??  Come on…there only is one answer…)

Yes!  That’s right!  A distracted blonde with blue eye shadow, highlights, the whole carefree clueless suburban look…toys hanging from the mirror, too.  She didn’t have a cigarette going probably because she was reaching for the lighter when she rammed into me.

I felt terrible — I really did — I was having an unusually good day and was in a rather good mood when I got hit.  I didn’t get very angry which kind of amazes me.  I’ll curse up a storm and scare my neighbors when my computer is slow or I cannot open a jar of pickles, but cause thousands of dollars of damage to my car and ruin my afternoon and I feel badly for the poor person who just plowed into me.  I keep a cool head in real crisis.  Let it blow when I really want a pickle. 

There I am looking at my damaged car and I am being all Dali Lama and calming:  “Yes, yes…I know.  Accidents happen.  It will be fine soon.”

I am home now with my car in tatters out front.  The neighbors surely are rolling their eyes wondering what I got into this time and grateful that it didn’t involve a cape and my black skiing tights again.  Perhaps that’s good for the neighborhood, not good for me.  I have to get up in the morning and bring The White Knight in for an estimate and repairs.  The whole thing has me down.  Add to that what is surely a nasty case of the flu du jour — what are we running from now…swine?  avian?  H1N1?  R2D2? — and I am not all that happy right now.  Headache, bad throat, and deep chills…niether The White Knight or me is in top form at the moment.

I might stay in tomorrow and start asking the question that really needs to be answered:  What will these women drive after the Pontiacs go away?  And…does that driver really have valid insurance?

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