When I was learning to drive, I took out a bush. I backed over both the curb and it, gently mauling the undercarriage of my mom’s brand new minivan in the process. The Nissan Quest proved to be resilient, regretfully the shrub did not possess the same powers of imperviousness. It happened because I thought I was in drive, instead of reverse, and punched the gas, flying backwards instead of straight away. I hit the brakes as soon as my brain could transmit the signal, slowly shifted to drive, delicately bounced off the curb and popped it into park.
My dad and I both exited the vehicle and walked around to assess the damage. The van was excessively leafy, but unblemished. But the poor bush. It was bent at an unnatural angle, looking a lot like my sister’s arm had after I accidentally closed the car door on it when she was four. After a second, my dad let out a howl of laughter, fueled by gratitude that no person or vehicle had been injured as well as the inherent humor in the situation. I looked at him, close to tears, and he kept laughing and gave me a hug. I asked, “do you think the bush will make it?” He tried to give me hope, saying that maybe it would recover, but I knew he didn’t believe it.
Unfortunately for my ego, this particular bush had been growing about 100 yards from the warehouse that, in those days, held my dad’s music distribution business. Over the course of the next couple of days, he took many of his employees out to the parking lot, to point out the damage I had done. Many of them had known me for years and were deeply amused.
Anyone else have a good memory of when they hit something with a vehicle for the first time?
now now, no mo shrubbery blubbery. t’aint quaint, too true.
my only non-accident memory was the first and only time i drag raced and exited off the highway in a station wagon. unfortunately the exit was not the long straight ramp i thought it was; i had chosen an exit too early, which it turns out is a hairpin turn. 270 degrees and several heart-stopping seconds later, i realized i was still alive. and seeing headlights coming at me.
ah, the good ol days.
The first time I ever got behind the wheel my father took me to this really windy road that over looks the hudson river in ny state, just across from NYC. it’s pretty tight, and very windy. I took off a pickup’s side mirror that was parked on the side of the road. I slowed down asking “should we leave a note?” my father a man of few ethics started screaming “step on the gas! my insurance is going to go up!”
I must say, I laughed again, uncontrollably for a full 35 seconds without being able to stop or wanting to, it felt so good. My first accident was within days of getting my license, the very first time I was allowed to drive alone. I picked up the gang, my high school posse, with my mom’s ’53 Chrysler and off we adultly drove. Mom had given me a limit of 50 miles, so when we had gone 25 it was time to turn around. It was dark in a downtown Boston industrial district, and I saw a parking lot. I could easily pull in one driveway and out another one 20 yards away. What I didn’t see was the four foot drop between the two parking lots I mistook for a single parking lot. In one stunning and loud moment, that big old car was rocking on its running boards (remember them?). I found a phone booth, and shortly my mom showed up with a tow truck to rescue us. She laughed much as I did when Marisa so abused the shrub, though not quite as effusively. After all, bless her heart, she was sensitive to the fact that I was totally chagrined in front of my teenage peers. But I know she was belly laughing inside. The car was fine, by the way.
you are hilarios. i laughed for a good five minutes…
I was 14. My mom had dropped off my best friend who lived on my street. Since it was on my street, my mom let me hop in the drivers sear, reverse out and pull into my driveway. She gave me no direction. So i turned the wheel, shifted into reverse and drove right over my friends mail box. Apparently it wasnt loud, cuz no one came out of her house. We propped the mailbox back up, and dorve away. I never told her.
I was test driving a car in anticipation of buying it, dark green manual transmission VW Beetle. I didn’t have much experience with manual, still don’t. As I was getting ready to make the turn on to Pemberton Street, from 20th, the car in front of me stopped short and I panicked, turning onto Pemberton and slamming right into the fire hydrant near the corner. The husband was in the car with me. His wife and my roommate were watching in horror. By the way, I don’t think my former roommate will ever let me live that one down.
Interestingly enough, that fire hydrant now has a big metal post in front of it. I like to think that I was responsible for it. 😉 Anyway, I paid $600 for the car, but it was never quite right after that. That was probably the singlemost embarrassing moment of my life. Enjoy!
Driving the folks car home at 2:00 AM – from a kegger – in the winter – in Vermont – when I was 16 – plonked it into a ditch – walked home in 20 below weather – told ’em the next morning. D’zat count?
PS. As far as I can remember, Mo never outed you to me vis a vis your shrubbery assualt. I always wondered what happened to the poor treelet.
About a month after getting my drivers licence I tried to make a three-point turn, while looking for a parking space. I was heading to a voice lesson at my church. But I didn’t turn the wheel enough when backing out and plowed my right rear bumper into the driver’s door of a parked car. Smashed it way in. I panicked and ran into the sanctuary to ask my teacher what to do. I was hysterical.
Luckily my best friend since 5th grade was just finishing her lesson. She moved my car and called my mom. All I remember is blind panic followed by relief as my friend took over and handled everything. My car was unharmed.