02:30:43 pm on
Monday 22 Jul 2024

Fender Benders
Matt Seinberg

My wife, Marcy, has no luck when it comes to her cars at work. She cracked the front bumper of our 2001 Nissan Altima on an ice bank; the bumper eventually fell off. That was when Michelle, my daughter, was getting ready to leave her grandparent’s house. Luckily, their next-door neighbour, John, was home. He managed to get the bumper totally off and into the trunk of the Altima.

A less expensive bumper cover was located.

I managed to get a hold of an inexpensive replacement bumper cover for $50. I spent another $350 to get it painted and mounted. Less than two weeks later, Michelle says a truck backed into the car at school and broke the new bumper. Yup, broke the new bumper!

I told her I wasn't going to repair it again; I managed to secure it to the front of the car with framing wire. It held up well, until she managed to rear end a car that stopped suddenly and decided to make a U-turn before speeding away. The crack was much worse, this time; I had to secure it to more pieces of wire to keep it attached to the car. It doesn't look pretty, but it worked.

Last winter, Marcy managed to put two hand-sized dimples in the lower portion of the bumper, of her 2000 Toyota Camry, that her mother had just given her. Since it's also a plastic bumper, I thought it would be easy to fix. Actually, I didn't even try to fix it.

In late September 2016, Marcy was pulling into a parking spot at work at the same time a large Suburban was backing out of its spot. There was no way she could see Marcy, with the tinted windows and the truck being so high and the car so low.

Marcy yelled for the driver to stop.

Marcy got out of the car and yelled at the driver to stop, that she had hit her car. Marcy notices a lot of previous damage to that truck, so she can only imagine what other accidents the driver had.

A Hispanic woman gets out of the truck yelling, "I pay, I pay!" If that's not an admission of guilt, I don't know what is. Marcy immediately called the police and suddenly this woman can't speak English. Come on; give me a break!

Marcy has one of her co-workers, Maria, come out and translate from the woman to the police what happened. The Suburban was vehicle one, the Camry was vehicle two. Guess what, number one hit number two.

The next morning, Marcy calls the insurance company and makes an appointment at the drive in center for the following Monday. They give her a check for $553 and she goes to the auto body shop we've used several times before.

They can't take her right away. She makes an appointment for the last week in October. The day arrives, and she drops it off, and gets her rental car, which turns out to be an ordeal.

Marcy likes small to midsize cars and after driving her to another location, she's given a Jeep Patriot. She hates it, but lives with it for four days.

I negotiated the deductible down.

We go to pick up the car on Friday morning. Our deductible on the policy is $400. I of course haggle with the owner; we get it down to $300. When our insurance company gets their money back through subrogation, we'll get our deductible back.

If I could avoid parking lots, I would. Nothing good ever comes out them. It’s a pun.

Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.

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