Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tale of Woe

This has been, my dears, a trying day.  It started off on a very wrong foot and hasn't really gone uphill since then.  Which would have been easy, really, since the first thing that happened was someone slamming into the Muscatomobile as I eased out of the gates of the Villa Muscato (houses here are all gated; it's not like it's really all that fancy) and into our quiet lane.

I felt rather badly for the poor little Subcontinental gentleman who so inexpertly piloted his company's aging sedan into my dear little car (my rolling midlife crisis, I call it, for how else to explain a red convertible if you are a portly middle-aged gent?), as he was clearly horrified at having done so, but nonetheless the damage was done.  Sadly that damage was considerable, as he managed to hit the back of the car in just such a way as to maximize the impact by whomping me (forgive the technical term) into the just-opened gate, leaving a very nice series of punctures and gouges all along the side of the vehicle facing away from the accident, on top of the crumpled bumper and worse where he hit me.

I rang the police, as well as the office, and soon enough representatives of both appeared.  Routine road problems have been contracted out here, and the earnest officer-equivalent who came along was pleasant enough, but I was quite glad that I had our trusty public-relations man on my side, too (the PR manager - called a PRO in Sandlandian- is in these parts not someone who handles one's publicity, but rather one's interactions with all things official - if you are a lucky corporate stiff, your PRO does everything from renew your liquor license to, well, show up and wrangle with the contract cop when you have a fender-bender). 

The issue, it turned out, was that I had better insurance than the [company of the] man who hit me, and therefore it seemed only fair to the policeman (equivalent) that it all should be my fault.  Since everything that follows an accident here hinges on the first police certificate issued (without which you can't get a car repaired at all), it's thus rather important that fault be assigned correctly from the start.  It took a great deal of intense (and in Arabic, intense is intense, and all the more so when you throw some Hindi and/or Urdu into the mix) backing-and-forthing to finally wring from him the admission that since one side of the car was covered with all-too-clearly gate-induced gashes, it was unlikely in the extreme that I had deliberately pulled all the way into the street, prevailed on the gentleman to hit me, and then headed back to ensure that I dragged the car along the gate.

At long last, however, all was resolved, and I emerged triumphant with the certificate in my favor in hand.  Now all it will take is several weeks and doubtless endless bureaucracy to restore the poor car to something like its pre-whomping condition.

And the rest of the day?  Suffice it to say that the accident was in fact among the less annoying things that I've suffered.  Nothing fatal, nothing really even serious, but my lord it does seem to be a phase of the moon when everyone around one seems intent on testing the boundaries of that elegant phrase, "my last nerve."

Speaking of elegant phraseology, I include the rippling specimen above as a kind of calmative, both for me for having gotten through the day and you for having had to read at such length about it.  I think he's really rather appropriately automotive and a not at all untoothsome example of what dear Mr. Peenee so tastefully refers to as "muscle pussy."  So at least today has that going for it; here's to a better tomorrow.


  1. Oh, I just assumed that photo was you, taken by your PRO! Thank goodness you're OK, even if the red convertible isn't. This too shall pass.

  2. Maybe it's time to cash in the little red corvette for an armoured Landrover? Mind you, if HE's doing the repairs, the type of vehicle you own does rather take second place... Jx

  3. I guess I shoulda known
    By the way you parked your car
    That it wouldn't last...

  4. And while the story of your day might be a Tale of Woe, that lovely photo appears to be much more a Tail of Whoa.

  5. Accidents can be so stressful but thank goodness you came through unscathed unlike your car. Hope the reconstruction is not to painful. Unfortunately mechanics in real life rarely look like the gent above.

  6. I'm relieved to hear that the only damage is to car metal and your schedule, not your own frame. Nevertheless, it seems to call for 2 Vicodins chased down with a big cocktail!

  7. I hate this when it happens. But it must be miserable when when you are dealing with natives. Last Saturday I was back in Ohio tying up loose ends and I had to deal with a native of Kentucky. I kept explaining that I had moved to the east coast and no longer needed their companies services and was ending the contract. "You got to pay a termination fee," says she, "but it'd be cheaper just to keep paying us for the next six months." Cheaper by five dollars AND the cost of postage. When I explained that she replied "But you're saving yourself enough to buy a pack of cigarettes if you do it my way." I explianed that I don't smoke and wanted to terminate the contract. What do I care if the new owners get a mouse. "Suit yourself," say she as she hitched up her pants. I bet the natives were restless in her pants...