Monday, August 24, 2009

The Phone Call

This column ran just before I met My Boy. Let's just say My Boy met my dad's only criterion to marry me -- being able to afford my car insurance.

On August 31, 2005, I made the phone call I'd dreaded for my entire life. The phone call I'd had nightmares about. The phone call I'd prayed would never come to pass. The phone call where I told my dad I'd just wrecked my car.

I'm not really sure how it happened. One second I was slapping the ant on my leg, the next I was thrusting my head through the car windshield. There was smoke coming from the engine. There was fluid pouring from the hood. There was my head, spinning quicker than a washing machine on the "fast" cycle.

And there was my neighbor's tree. That's pretty much all I remember. Except the phone call. I do remember the phone call. My hands shook uncontrollably as I dialed the number.

"Hello? Dad?"


"Please don't kill me..."

I spent the next several moments attempting to explain to my dad how the ant bit my leg, and my car bit the tree. I don't remember much of what he said, except that he was glad I was OK, and he'd look at the car later. I walked home and crawled into bed. That's where he found me later, depressed and weepy about wrecking my only mode of transportation.

Then my dad did what he does best. He went out in the driveway and surveyed the damage. He replaced the headlight, the radiator, and just about everything else on the car that was replaceable. In a matter of a week, he got the old '92 Pontiac working again (which is miraculous, even without wrecking it first). Meanwhile I breathed a sigh of relief that my social life wasn't going to end after all. I also breathed a sigh of relief that I'd never have to make that dreaded phone call again – at least not any time in the near future.

So imagine my shock, 5 months later, when my sister's house jumped out in front of my car. I was backing up at about 60 miles per hour, nothing major, when Wham! I was making the dreaded phone call again. This time, I could hear my dad trying to stifle his laughter.

Cough… "Are you…" cough… "OK?"

"Yes, but Molly's house isn't."

I spent the next several moments attempting to explain to my dad how the accelerator bit my foot, and my car bit the house. Thankfully, the damage was minimal, and the house was still in one piece.

A few minutes later, I walked into my living room and handed dad the car parts that had fallen off in the accident. He put them back on the car, and I was driving again within 48 hours. We now own stock in a little company called "Gorilla Glue." Yes – I'm the biggest redneck in all of North Carolina. My car is held together with Gorilla Glue.

My car still works, most of the time. Unfortunately, today is not included in "most of the time." I can't miss out on my social life, so I asked dad if I could drive his new truck to meet my friends. I watched as all the color drained out of his face.

"Sure, baby…" he said simply. "Sure."

I caught him in the driveway, praying over the truck just before I pulled out. I waved goodbye and smiled.

"Don't worry," I said. "I'll be back in time for Father's Day!"

"OK," he said. "But please – no phone calls before then."


banderclip said...

yeah, I'm not the best driver either...I have to pray every time I back out of the driveway. haha

BJ Hamrick said...

Christy, I really do pray! LOL! I need it!

I know all about waiting--for the right guy, for high school to end, for my boobs to come in (two out of three ain't bad).

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