The Time I Totaled the Washing Machine
To understand how it happened, first you have to know that the lower part of our driveway was very steep, as steep as one of those streets in San Francisco where you have to curb your wheels when you park and you think you’re going to lose your balance when you get out of your car. Next, you should also be aware that the driveway, though so very steep, was not so very long. This was coastal California, after all, where there is not usually room for such luxuries as an extended driveway. Finally, and of course obviously given what occurred, the laundry area was on the wall at the front of the garage, or, looked at from a different perspective, at the very top of the very steep driveway.
It was early in the afternoon, just after lunch, and I was bringing the kids home from preschool. I always brought them home from preschool, and things often seemed to happen when I did. Usually it was pretty routine, like the neighbor boys looking for their baseballs in our yard, but occasionally it was more surprising, like the time we found our indoor cat on the stairs with a dead bird in his mouth.
In any case, on this particular day, I pulled into the driveway as usual, and had to tap a bit on the accelerator, also as usual, to get the car to transition from the steep driveway to the flat garage. I must have hit the accelerator a little too hard, because the car seemed to pick up some extra momentum as it rolled forward. I went to hit the brakes, but — you guessed it — must have accidentally tapped the gas again instead. Cruuuunch, went the front of the car as it collided in slow motion with the washing machine.
That car was trouble, I’m telling you. Right after we bought it, there was a fiasco in which I let my brother’s girlfriend borrow it and she damaged the front fender in a way that she couldn’t pay for. This led to some very disagreeable interactions with my then-husband, who always hated (still hates) letting people borrow things. Then there was the washing-machine-totaling incident, which we’re about to get to. And finally, to add injury to insult, the tailgate came crashing down on my head one afternoon, leaving me with a nasty concussion. Needless to say, when it came time to divide up our possessions during the divorce, I…