Monday, May 24, 2010

Blame it on the Potatoes

If anything out of the ordinary is going to happen, it will happen to me. While I was driving home after stopping to buy some potatoes in anticipation of preparing a nice dinner for my family plus two house guests, I noticed the truck moving ahead of me. It was creeping along ever so slowly, about three cars in front. Initially, I couldn't tell what type of truck it was, but then as it crawled up the hill, I saw it - the sign on the back of the truck that read, "wet paint."

At that point, I noticed that the double yellow lines to my left were indeed looking much brighter and more yellow than usual. Almost a pretty yellow hue, you could say. But being the cautious and conservative driver that I am, I then continued along that winding road and purposefully positioned my car as far away from the center yellow lines as I could, so that my right-sided tires were as far onto the right shoulder as possible. "Surely, the yellow paint is the kind that dries immediately," I thought, "but just to be sure, I'll stay to the far right, along the white line." I had about two more miles to go, so my tires simply "hugged" the right side of the road for the duration of the trip.

I pulled into my driveway, and parked the car. Then I got out and surveyed my tires. That's when my stomach nearly fell to my shoes. You guessed it: The paint on the road had NOT dried previously as I had hoped. My left tires were the same pretty yellow color as that double line, and paint could even be seen inside the wheel well and fenders.

Trembling as I walked into the house, I collected my thoughts and took a few long deep breaths. This sort of thing has never happened to me before. The house guests were planning to arrive in less than 30 minutes, and because the truck had slowed me down considerably, I was way behind schedule on finishing making my twice-baked potatoes.

My heart raced as I pondered what to do. Would washing the car do any good? How about taking it to the car wash? Power-washing? Just then my 20-year-old son bounded into the house. "Hey, what happened to the car? The whole right side is covered with white paint!" He seemed to be grinning.

My heart stopped.

Right side? ... White paint?

I was quite sure that my son is not dyslexic. And I was even more certain that he knows his colors.

Like a madwoman, I dropped the spoon that I'd been holding to scoop out the filling for the twice-baked potatoes and flew past my son to the garage. Sure enough, the right side of the car was freshly painted, in glorious white. Then anger set in, as I pondered what had happened and remembered that there were no orange cones or signs along the road to warn unsuspecting drivers like me that they would be receiving a free paint job, and that it would consist of two colors.

Then I really felt sick. So, I did what any other normal, middle-aged woman would do at this point: I turned up the volume of my almost-on-the-verge-of-crying voice, and I phone my husband.

The volume and tone worked like a charm, because his first question to me when he heard me begin to speak (more like whimper) was, "Were you in an accident?"

Between you and me, I have to tell you that I smiled. I smiled because it was clear from his concerned tone of voice that a little unexpected paint was minor compared to what could have happened. I explained to him that there were no cones or signs to warn me of the wet paint, and after a few choice words were spoken from his end of the phone, we discussed what to do. My car is now at the shop, and at this point we're not sure if the yellow and white paint can be removed without damaging the normal blue color that is supposed to be there. We have a deductible of $1000.00 on our insurance policy.

By the end of the phone call, my husband sighed, "It could have been worse." I smiled again. THAT comment is so unlike the man who inspects the car often, looking for any dings or scratches that might have occurred along the way. "Wait 'till you see the car," I thought.

But then I went inside again and finished making the potatoes, his favorite.

"I've never seen a car with both sides painted before," the nice man from the body shop replied on the phone.

And to think that if only I hadn't stopped to buy those potatoes... I would have been driving ahead of that truck ... and I would have missed the paint on the road ... and this would not have happened ... and...

It could have been worse ... Right?

Anyone else ever had this happen?


Kelly said...

Aww. I'm sorry about the paint on your car. But you have to admit... it made a great story!

Mmmm. I love twice baked potatoes!

Debby said...

No, but it would have made me angry, even though I drive an old car.

Kim said...

I'm so sorry about your car but the manner of your blog made my smile. Thanks. Have a great Tuesday.

WhiteStone said...

Aww, you should have taken photos for us! Because, nope, I've never had this happen to me before! Lotsa other happenings, but not this one.