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I'm Hit By the Underground Economy

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Message Douglas C. Smyth
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As I was approaching the corner of Oak and Chestnut, in the "quaint" little village of Rhinebeck, a huge, white Carryall or oversized SUV, was coming down the other way. It swung wide around the corner, and headed straight for my little car. I pulled as far over as the snow bank would allow, and stopped, but the white monster just kept on coming! Straight for me. And coming!




There is a moment of sheer panic before, and then when it happens, I can't believe it, and then I realize: it has. But we're okay, if a bit shaken, as the other car comes to a sudden stop--partway inside what had been my car.


We both get out to look, and the driver of the other vehicle, a brown young woman, obviously Mexican (I later discover she's from Oaxaca), is standing, by her car door, looking shamefaced. There was more than a lane's width of roadway to her left.


Our car's front is crumpled, hood and fender, one headlight peering up into the air. Her Carryall is hardly damaged.


"I pay for all," she says. "I am so sorry. We just do this ourselves?"


"Are you legal?" My wife asks.


The young woman hesitates, and then tentatively shakes her head.


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I am a writer and retired college teacher. I taught college courses in Economics and Political Science (I've a Ph.D) and I've written as a free-lancer for various publications.

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