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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Oops (01/14/10)

TITLE: A Sorry Tale
By Darlene Casino


“Thanks for a great day.” I called from my rolled down window.

My friend lived at the end of a narrow, dirt road. While it was possible to drive in, it was necessary to back down the road about half way till I could turn around in a little parking area, and drive forward. Putting my new SUV in reverse, I slowly began down the road looking over my shoulder, past a long, white picket fence and backing into the little turnaround area.

The car jolted to a stop just as I heard a sound of metal against metal and my own voice respond, “Oops.” I couldn’t see a thing out my rear view window so I slowly exited the car and walked to the back of the vehicle. I found my rear light on the driver’s side hanging out of its socket. Under that was a small, ugly crease in the rear panel. On the ground was a piece of broken plastic casing. I had been rear ended by a low rising dumpster!

I placed the light back in place and slowly headed on my way. I was relieved to see the light working in a shop window as I passed by. But what would ‘Himself’ have to say, I wondered.

Several miles down the road, as I stopped for a red light, I heard a noise. Glancing in the mirror I noted the light was hanging once again. Determining that this would probably make the damage worse, and knowing
I still had a good twenty miles to drive, I stopped at the next convenience store to get some tape. As I looked over what was available, my eyes rested on a roll of grey tape. “Bingo”

‘Himself’ had used this often down through the years to fix broken things; like broken toys and pipes and book bindings. He’d even used it on con-
struction sites to mend tears in his clothes or button-less shirt cuffs!

“Duct tape works on anything!” he’d often proclaim.

Taking my miracle solution to the register, I noted a mechanic type man standing in line. “Sir, maybe you could help me.” I whined. I just backed into a dumpster and my rear light is hanging. Will I damage the finish on my new car if I use this to hold it in place?"

He gave me a strange look, then a little smirk and replied, “Just use a little and remove it as soon as possible.”

I followed his direction and was soon on my way.

“Honey, I’ve got a little question.” I purred into my cell phone. “Would you use duct tape to hold a car light in place…well, if it fell out…well, if a dumpster hit it?” The voice on the other end was quiet for a moment. “Are you okay?” He asked. “Just come on home, I’ll check it out.”

True to his word, ‘Himself’ was waiting as I drove up the driveway. Carefully, he removed the tape and surveyed the damage. He then put a roll of the tape around the frame and reinserted the light. I was impressed, it wasn’t even detectable…except for the little crease just to the side and under the light. A little paint, and one might not even see it. But it was a new car and I knew it was there.

The insurance company was very helpful, even concerned that I might have been hurt. They sent me to their affiliate to have the damage assessed. I was
informed that the whole light unit had to be replaced and the little crease repaired.

“No problem. The insurance will take care of this. We’ll need a couple of days to do the work once we have the part. You won’t be inconvenience as
we can give you a rental out of here.” The man offered.

“What will it cost?” I inquired.

“Oh, under $1200 dollars minus your deductible.” He responded.

A few weeks later my car was as good as new. I had not been inconvenienced, it had only cost me my deductible and all was well with my world. That was until ‘Himself’ got an insurance notification informing us that I had been assessed a 3 point surcharge for the next seven years! This occurred while the company was advertising on television about their one time ‘forgiveness’ benefit for their insurers. It seems I was over 50% responsible for colliding with the dumpster.

“Himself’ took action. He divorced our insurers. In a few weeks the car will go into the garage to have a backup warning system installed. I no longer
drive all the way into my friend’s house.

To think, a little duct tape and a dab of paint might have fixed my problem,
but I had insurance for such a time as this…

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This article has been read 651 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Mildred Sheldon01/22/10
I nearly fell off my chair laughing at your tale. Your Himself sounded just like my husband when I tried to help. At least in my opinion it was help but his was another story. I loved this and keep writing. God bless.
Joan Campbell01/25/10
As a woman who is constantly backing into things and having to explain it to a husband, I could really relate to this story. Good job!
Jan Ackerson 01/26/10
So funny!

I've started a thread in the message boards specifically for Beginner and Intermediate writers, and I'd love to have you stop by. http://www.faithwriters.com/Boards/phpBB2/viewforum.php?f=67

I really got a kick out of this story, and your writer's voice is very engaging.
Patricia Herchenroether01/26/10
Don't get me started on insurance companies! Instead, I'll just tell you that I really enjoyed this good story.
Jackie Wilson01/27/10
Wonderful writing with a very personal, genuine feel to it. Way to go!