Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Even back in high school, I was sort of an asshole about making people wear their seatbelts. Maybe because I realized I was a pretty shitty driver. I drove a ’77 Lincoln Continental, a huge chunk of Detroit metal, so I could afford to be. I got in a couple accidents where people hit me from behind. I’d pull over and do all the insurance stuff they told me about in driver’s ed, looking at their demolished front end. I might have a scratch on the back bumper or a broken taillight. A few weeks later I’d get an insurance check for a couple hundred bucks.

So yeah, I had been in accidents before.

My parents left me alone one summer and took my sister on vacation. I quit my job the minute they left in order to have more time to devote to building ramps, watching TV in the daytime (something that was not tolerated in the Adams household) and driving up to Tampa to go record shopping.

One afternoon I was driving down some back roads to Wendy’s. I wasn’t wearing a seat belt. I wasn’t driving too fast, although I always felt a bit more comfortable a good 5-10 miles above the posted speed limits. I saw this lowered pickup truck coming towards me. Holy shit. That dude’s not stopping for his stop sign.

Everything slowed down, just like in the movies. I remembered getting thrown around through the car, and I guess I hit my head pretty hard on the windshield. People were coming out of their houses and giving me water and telling me not to move. I kept telling them I had to get in the car, since I had a 20 dollar bill in there on the seat. Then I noticed my white Thrasher T-shirt had a pretty sizeable blood stain growing on it so I sat down like they told me.

The paramedics came and loaded me onto one of those board things with a bunch of stuff around my neck so I couldn’t move. I ended up spending a couple hours lying on this board in the hospital while they developed the X-rays of my head and stitched me up. Finally a doctor looks at my X-rays and says, “You know, you have some really bad sinuses.”

“Yeah, thanks, doc. How about doing something about the bleeding hole in my skull and I’ll just buy some Tylenol and Afrin twice a year, huh?”

So I get all stitched up and wait for a friend’s parents to drive me home. Everyone in the waiting room is looking at me funny so I go in the bathroom to check myself out. They didn’t clean me up or anything, so I had caked black blood all over my face, as well as a shaved patch on my head with my stitches poking out. After realizing that, I put on a little show, Frankensteining around the place to make people be quiet and stuff.

I woke up later that night with the worst headache I’ve ever had. I went to get some water and noticed this big toad sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor.

“Look man, I’m just going to pretend I don’t see you. Do whatever you want, just don’t be here when I wake up.”

And he wasn’t, proving that the lower animals do listen to reason now and then.

Later still, I found that the tow truck driver stole my $20 as well as my delicious Wendy’s hamburger. I took some pictures in front of my totaled car and marveled at the bumped-out spot in the windshield where my head hit. The rest of the summer when I wanted something I’d casually lower my head so the person I was dealing with could see my nasty scar for some extra sympathy points. The scar’s still there, by the way, right around my part. I am going to look ugly when I go bald.

Years later my parents told me all sorts of lawyers called trying to get them to sue the other driver, but they didn’t bite. Which sucks, because there were quite a few years there where I could have used some settlement money.

So yeah, kids, always wear your seatbelt.

No comments: