I’m beginning to think that there’s something about my return to Memphis in 2007 that is jinxed, or starcrossed, or just plain unlucky.
I decided to grab lunch the other day by going to the Kroger across from where I work. It’s a quick walk across Kirby Parkway, but since it was a little chilly that day, I decided to hop in the car and drive over. I was on my way back, waiting for a break in north and south traffic so I could drive back across Kirby. When that break came, I pulled out into the intersection. A couple of seconds after that, a 17-year-old in a pickup truck coming from the opposite direction decided to turn left — right into my driver’s side door. After rolling to a stop after the crash, I found that I couldn’t get out — because the door was pushed in so far. I climbed over to passenger side and got out that way. The 17-year-old, who was in a F-150 with drive-out tags asked me what I wanted to do. I think he was hoping I’d just let it go. This is even though the front left of his truck was jammed against the front tire. I called it in. I remember this from my last traffic accident in Memphis — if there aren’t any injuries — expect to wait a looooong time.
I was able to use the first few minutes to call the office, which I could see from the intersection and let them know I’d be late getting back from lunch. I also got in touch with my State Farm Insurance agent (Kathy Thurmond-Edwards, a former television journalist and a pretty good person; if you’re looking for home, life or car insurance, give her a call). After about a half-hour, an off-duty traffic officer stopped by long enough to have the other driver back his truck out of the intersection. Another half-hour passed, and Officer Downs showed up to take the report and call a wrecker for the other driver’s truck. I was going to go ahead and drive, since all I’d have to do was some acrobatics to get behind the wheel.
I was a bit annoyed that the young guy had smacked into me; but I was relieved that I was able to walk away from the crash. My mild annoyance increased exponentially when the officer told me I was the one being cited. The kid gets away with it because he was coming from a city street. So, even though I got hit, it was after I pulled out of a private driveway. There goes that $500 deductible. And then I found out that my car wouldn’t start. The best we could figure is that the impact tripped the car alarm’s kill feature. So the officer had to call a second wrecker which took another half-hour.
So, this is the second time somebody has hit my car since I got back to town. I got rear-ended on 240 last year. I took the car to a State Farm-approved body shop, Gordon’s, on Monroe, near the Wonder Bread bakery. They did an excellent job, so I wanted to go back. There was a little confusion at first, ’cause they’re not there anymore. turns out they’ve consolidated operations with their other body shop, Bobbie Smith Auto Body at 448 Beale (at Danny Thomas). For some reason, they’re very busy right now. The first time estimate I got is that the car might be repaired by Christmas!
One reason I wanted to go back to Gordon’s, besides the lifetime warranty on body repairs (901-527-3345 if you need quality auto body work) is that the old garage was a block behind Enterprise Rent-a-Car on Union Ave. No need to be that close; my young lady friend was nice enough to give me a ride to the body shop and then to Enterprise, where, slightly unnerved by my luck on the road, I rented a Buick Enclave. It’s classified as a mid-size SUV, but the think is honking huge, let me tell you! One of my brothers just got a lease on an Enclave, so I wanted to see how it drove. Smooth, comfortable, quiet; and it’s honking HUGE! So at least I feel safe. I have to say, that after two wrecks, a boatload of personal drama and getting fired, 2009 has had its drawbacks.
Going through another change right now. Finally got rid of cable TV. I had gone through several levels of Comcast since moving back to Memphis. Standard, HD, HD with DVR, no box at all. I’m still alternating between throwing money away and trying to cut costs. I still hadn’t gotten the channel lineup straight, finding myself looking for channels where they were on my service in Atlanta. After talking to my friend Joe Larkins, who recently removed the last vestiges of cable from his house in favor of satellite TV, I decided to give that a try.
The Direct TV guy was here a few days ago, putting the dish up outside my kitchen window. With the specials, I’m getting an HD-DVR box, an HD box and a standard box with 3 premium channels for less than I was paying Comcast for one HD-DVR and one premium channel. Is it better than cable? Ask me again after a heavy storm. Right now, I only know that it’s cheaper. There’s no picture-in-picture, which I had with the cable HD-DVR. But when you fast-forward through commercials and overshoot where you want to stop, you don’t have to fiddle around with the rewind like you do with cable. The satellite automatically goes back to just before the end of the commercial break. Nice. Comcast will just have to use someone else’s money to pay for NBC Universal.