Last Thursday, I had to make a sheepish call to a family friend, David, and announce that I’d wrecked my car. “Are you OK?” he asked, panic rising in his voice. “What happened?”
“I’m fine,” I sighed. “I wasn’t even in it.”
Let’s back up, shall we? Earlier that morning, I’d rushed out of the house to make it downtown for an early meeting. Running late, I decided to save time by parking in the visitors’ lot instead of driving down to the parking garage and taking the elevator back up.
With ten minutes left before the meeting, I parked the car, locked the door and began to walk toward my building. Then, in the corner of my eye, I noticed that something looking suspiciously like my car seemed to be rolling away. Wheeling around, I discovered that it was in fact my car and that it was picking up speed with every millisecond. Holy shemoligans! I ran after my little Corolla, sprinting toward it in my work dress and heels in a wild effort to stop what was certain to be nothing short of a total catastrophe.
In case you’re not grasping the full ridiculousness of the situation, let me spell it out:
- Car: Rolling away.
- Me: Running helplessly after it, trying shamelessly to unlock the door and climb in before all hell breaks loose.
- Everyone else: Stopping, staring and pointing at that foolish girl who couldn’t even manage to park her car correctly.
As you may have guessed, my efforts to catch the runaway Toyota were not successful. Instead of stopping at the curb in its path, my little four-door slammed – with surprising force, I might add – straight into a concrete barrier and iron lamppost leading to the Four Seasons parking garage. The right side of my bumper practically fell off, and dirt, wiring and shards of glass flew all over the adjoining streets.
As I later found out, my emergency brake had failed (I drive a stick shift). So, while this wasn’t technically my fault, it definitely goes down as a solid 11 on the 1-10 scale of tranwreckitude I keep tacked up in my office.
The best part? I didn’t even make it to my meeting. I called my boss before calling the cops or our building manager (welcome to the world of communication consultants, folks), but ended up having to reschedule for an hour later.