I want to tell you of a silly homemade game I started playing. I regularly visit a discount store (B.J.'s) which has a very large parking lot. I always, as a former Boy Scout, return my shopping cart to the nearest pen. B.J.'s has excellent pens with designer roofs.
Since I was sometimes parked a good way from a pen, I started to play the following game, which was simply to see how far I could be from the pen and still lodge the cart with a hearty shove. There were times when I would miss the pen entirely, but I attribute that to the discouraging fact that they don't make carts the way they used to, when I was a boy. Workers used to take far more pride in making their shopping carts!
But enough of this introduction. Here is the story of how a silly game turned into a minor disaster, just a couple of years ago.
It was a sunny day. I was moving toward the pen with my crate. The juices were flowing and I felt that a record-breaking cart shove was in the offing. When I reached the launching point, my heart started to beat faster. There was a car on each side, with a parking space separating it and the pen.
(I remember that the car at the left side of the pen was facing outward. Unbeknownst to me, it was being loaded through the back by its owner, a woman.)
After a short and silent prayer, I launched the cart with a mighty shove. Apparently, the shove was too vigorous because the cart immediately veered to the left. I chased it to no avail. It struck the driver's front door! (By the time it hit, the cart's speed had decreased to a slow roll, but it hit nevertheless.) I was horrified to see the woman appear from the back of the car with a puzzled look on her face.
Imagine how awkward it was for me to explain how it had happened. We inspected the damage together, and it consisted (totally) of a tiny dent on the door, which was shared by the door and a decorative strip.
She immediately whipped out a cell phone and said:
"I'm going to call 911!" I said "Ma'am, this not a 911 situation at all""
When she insisted, and placed the call, I ran back into B.J.'s and bought an instant camera to capture the damage I had wrought with my propelled cart. When I emerged, the house security person arrived and he concurred that this was not a 911 case.
In the meantime, my victim said that her car was new (not true!) and insisted that it be brought to the original dealer for repair.
As the 911 people arrived and had to have the debacle explained to them, I just wanted to do what I had to do and get the hell out of there. Of course, they informed us (nicely) what meat-heads we were for having summoned them because of a dent in a car door.
So we wrapped it up after exchanging info about our insurance companies, and cordially departed.
A few days later, I received an estimate from her dealer, which contained a detailed description of what needed to be done. It included repainting the entire side of the car, and replacement of numerous and sundry things, including some upholstery -" to the tune of something like $ 2400 + !!
I was in shock as I entered the office of my insurance company to present them with the case. After listening to my description of the calamity and consulting my policy, the young woman told me that my policy covered no such situation.
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