Nov 13, 2008

On Bad Days and Comparative Hardship

Not quite eye-appealing, but better than hunger

I drove to Detroit this morning not realizing that I forgot: a) to pack a lunch; and b) to bring along either my debit card or some cash. I cursed aloud my lack of preparation, realizing that the $1.10 or so in change lurking in my car would not translate into much of a lunch.

Now, as someone with an extra twenty pounds, missing a meal will not equate starvation, but the thought of having to wait nine or ten hours to eat did not exactly brighten my morning, an overcast day that matched my temporarily impoverished gloom.

Yet something caught my eye in the backseat of my Hyundai: it was sort of brownish-yellow and looked remotely edible, and happened to be an uneaten banana that had been bouncing around my backseat for a few days. A lump in my jacket turned out to be another small blessing, as I found a granola bar stashed away a week or so ago.

My mood remained less-than-chipper, but I drove on, comforted with the knowledge that I possessed caloric options when hunger began to gnaw.

As I neared my destination brake lights suddenly screamed in front of me, and I watched a four-door silver sedan do its best imitation of an accordion under the rear bumper of a panel truck. As I gawked past, I noticed both airbags deployed in the car, though no one appeared injured in the collision.

The truck had minor dents and scratches, but the silver vehicle was in a sorry state: in addition to the significant body damage, the car's engine would no longer start, and the street was awash with coolant, oil, and a hundreds of shards of metal and plastic that spelled the letters t-o-t-a-l-e-d.

The police arrived almost immediately, and I left my number should a witness be needed, stepping back from the accident to take a few pictures (note to self: regularly carrying the camera around translates into more material for blogging, like how hitting the jackpot in Vegas requires actually hopping on a plane and traveling there).

So I walked back to my car, silently thanking God that this was not my day for an accident (at least not yet), and I noticed my meager lunch on the passenger seat. Suddenly an overripe banana and a granola bar looked a lot more like a feast than desperate leftovers, and I write these words with the last remnants of the savory, extra-sweet banana on my tongue, grateful that my day went better than the days of many people less fortunate than me.


Anonymous said...

Considering the death trap you drive, it is amazing you did not cause the accident. Now just be careful and don't trip on the banana peel, which you probably threw in the street.

historymike said...

Zoiks. It appears I've cheesed off an anonymous poster. As far as the banana peel, it went into my office trash can, but now I'll probably get dinged for not finding a method of peel disposal using a higher degree of biodegradeability.


As far as being a death-trap, the Hyundai Accent actually has reasonable NHTSA safety ratings for a subcompact in front-end and side-impact collisions.

Mad Jack said...

You're still driving that foreign rust bucket? Why don't you buy something made in the USA and get on the winning team. Liberal traitor.

I vividly remember going to a job interview once in Melbourne, FL. I flew out of Detroit, missed lunch during the interview which ended at 6:00 PM, almost missed my flight back (picture an out of shape 40 something doing the OJ shuffle through the airport. I got in sight of the gate and the stewardess yelled for me to keep running), and after I was in the air I realized that I didn't have enough cash for a drink or anything. The sexy stew comped me a drink (a bloody mary, and she left the can of mix) and brought me several bags of pretzels and nuts. I lived.

I later learned that I was the only person the company interviewed that was qualified for the job and that passed the interview. I turned them down, having secured a better place for myself in Jax, FL.

You're lucky to find the banana and the granola bar. Please drive carefully!

Say, by the bye, did the Dee-troit LEOs call the SWAT team, or did they just taze everyone themselves? And, just to satisfy my curiosity, how much jail time did you draw for being an accessory? Did you get GenPop or did they put you in solitary?