Friday, April 01, 2005

Accidents Suck but Insurance Companies Blow.

So, I had innocently parked my car, unbuckled my seatbelt, and had my leg out of the door when something caught the corner of my eye. The flash in my peripheral vision turned out to be a 1988 Toyota Corolla barreling down the street about to take out the left side of my car. Fortunately, I swung my leg back in the car in time as I saw my door being ripped from its hinges and almost thrown onto the street. As the city I live in is filled with miscreants I looked up expecting to see the car proceeding down the street at a faster rate, leaving the scene of the accident. I was pleasantly surprised when the driver slowed down, pulled over, and began to walk towards me. It was at this point that I noticed her car was covered in “Dennis Kucinich 2004” stickers and a few others that more or less condemned meat eaters, war mongers (Code for all Republicans), bigots (Anyone who doesn’t agree with ultra-left viewpoints), and environmental softies (People who don’t agree that an owls life is worth more than the livelihood of 1000’s of people). So, half expecting her to tell me that she doesn’t believe in corporately imposed “insurance” and therefore was willing to barter for the damages in wampum, and half expecting her to berate me for not driving a hybrid vehicle [She would if she could afford one of course. After all, with ultra-leftists sacrifices should be made, but just by those they consider “rich” (You make more than 50K a year)], I approached cautiously.

She immediately (fortunately) admitted culpability but told me that she, unfortunately, did not have her insurance information handy (shocker). At this point I should have called the police and gotten them involved but that would have required more time than I was willing to devote to this event. I copied her information, gave her mine, and left the scene. I must tell you that it is kind of exciting driving around in a semi-doorless vehicle in the city. It is a sort of urban “Dukes of Hazzard”. If there was a “Boar’s Nest” in the area I would have stopped by, slid across my hood, and went in to find Daisy. Of course, in this city the closest equivalent is a crack house (of which there are many) so I decided that, rather than getting shot, I’d just go to the body shop.

Body shop owners are notoriously shady but unlike mechanics, they are shady and on your side. They have become experts by necessity in “negotiating” with insurance companies (I hate them but then, who doesn’t?) to get you the maximum amount for your trouble. I chose a body shop run by a Russian immigrant named “Mike”. I figure if you are going to have someone fighting for you it might as well be a huge Russian guy who sounds as if he can be more than intimidating when he needs to be (Plus, if only half of those stories you hear about the Russian Mafia are true it’s generally a bad idea to go up against a Russian). He told me that the left side of my car would need to be replaced and painted. The door hinges were knocked out of alignment so they need to do some frame work (The kiss of death for a car). I wouldn’t mind a new paint job, or a new car. Of course, the way things have been going I’d settle for a big wheel with a motor. I’ve learned not to expect too much.


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