Monday, January 08, 2007

Bumper Cars

I can parallel park really well.

It's a talent some people fail to develop. Others take to the rules of the road like a fish in water. I'm one of those latter types.

I aced my driving test (both written and in the vehicle) on the first try and pride myself on my talents behind the wheel.

I can probably nail a parallel parking job 95 percent of the time. My apartment doesn't offer parking spaces so street parking is a way of life for me - forcing me to consistently rely on that trick of lining up the corner of my vehicle with the opposing corner of the vehicle behind me.


Even an expert makes a mistake once in a while, and that's why I'm glad cars have bumpers on the front and the back.

This past Saturday I was backing in to a space in Oakley near a darling gift boutique - on a mission to buy a gift for a wedding reception I was attending that night.

There I was, lining up with the car in front of me, inching back, cutting my wheel to the right, backing in, turning the wheel to the left. Straightening, driving forward, driving back, driving forward driving back and then -bump- hitting the front fender of the car behind me.

Normally I wouldn't feel so bad, only because I am driving five miles an hour and because -yes- normally people are not sitting in the vehicle I bump.

There I was, trying to perfect my parking job, when I saw in the rear view mirror what appeared to be a woman sitting up and getting a good look at the back of my car.

It appeared a woman was breast feeding her baby when she got to feel first hand the power of my little love tap.

Oh. My. God. I wanted the earth to swallow me whole. How embarrassing.

I sat inside my car and pondered how long I could stall, and then I stepped out and checked the back of my vehicle and checked the front of the SUV.

Not even a scratch in sight.

The woman in the SUV sat there until I was like two steps away from the boutique. Then she got out, baby in tow, and checked the vehicles for any damage.

I lingered in the store a bit longer than I wanted to (what was I supposed to do? She stayed in the SUV when I got out of my car, and I didn't really know whether this was a situation that warranted an apology. I mean - we all tap the bumper once in a while, right?) and then I finally made it out. The SUV was gone.

The only luck I have is bad luck...

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