Monthly Archives: June 2011

The Car Incident

I can’t call what happened a car accident because there was no actual accident.  There was no crunching or crashing or other car injury.  H and I were fine after the fact, however, it was stressful as all heck.

We went to visit family over Memorial Day.  We are 6 hours from my parents and about 8 from his.  We were visiting around the South Dakota lakes that have been really floody this spring.  Things had improved substantially, so we ventured forth in our trusty sedan.  Well, it was a bit too much for the car to handle.  Over the bumps and valleys, mud, and little streams across roads, our undercarriage bumped a few times.  It wasn’t behaving badly, so we headed back to my parents house from his.

We left a bit earlier than planned because bad weather was supposed to arrive about 5:00 pm.  At 4:45, we were driving along, in 30 mph winds, when all of a sudden we heard a great “woosh” sound and the car was being pulled.  H thought that we’d popped a tire.  We pulled over on the interstate where people were travelling 80 mph.  We checked tires, which were fine.  Then we got to looking underneath the car, which revealed that our plastic spatter shield had fallen half off.

After a little bit more fiddling on the ground, we decided to call AAA.  This was decided as H was trying to puzzle out the problem.  He was considering and qualifying, like any good engineer will do, but I wasn’t having any of it.  The weather was supposed to get bad at any moment, so I needed a decision.  After my kind prompting, which may have been a bit of a yell, he said we should call AAA.

I will pause this story to endorse AAA.  You may not need them frequently.  You may not need them for years at a time, but when you need them, you need them so much!   Everyone in the world should have a AAA membership.  It is important.  They’ll bring you gas or tow you and help you when you’re distraught.  AAA is important!

The person we spoke with told us that it could be an hour before someone got there.  We were listening to Dracula on audiobook and had plenty of gas, so we proceeded like we had been without the forward motion.  About 5 minutes later (now about 5:05), the AAA guy got there.  He got the ruined spatter shield off the car and got us back on the road.  He even followed us for a few miles.

So, we’ll have to get a new spatter shield and refrain from taking our car off-roading or country roading again.  Car incidents are still no fun, even if everything turns out okay.

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