Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Gosh I had a wonderful day Friday, the 19th of June.

I am coming home from work, traveling south on a suburban road, thinking what a beautiful day it is,

(This is how I felt before)

when someone traveling north decides to make a sudden left turn and dart in front of me.

Apparently he did not see me, but I saw his car just for an instant, long enough to swerve right. I avoided "T-boning" the errant traveler, but he did not avoid me, smashing into the midsection of my car on the driver's side.

This precipitated a high speed spill in my small "toaster" (Scion XB, 4-door, for those taking notes on survivalist cars). I was both spinning and rolling over, and wound up hitting the concrete curb twice before winding up passenger side down, hanging from my safety belt.

As the car was spinning and rolling over (very, very slowly - a very strange internal effect) I thought "well God, maybe this is it." I wondered if the roof would hold up as the car was flopping over. I felt really peaceful, although I was totally disoriented as the the car spun and flipped. I thought I was in the oncoming lane of traffic, hitting other cars, but it turned out I was just in a losing battle with the high concrete curb by the side of the road. Eventually the curb gave in and the car flipped again onto the grass, passenger side down.

(This is how I felt after toaster came to rest.)

As I hung by my safety belt, looking out my twisted, shattered windshield, I started taking inventory. I could move my toes and my fingers. My legs felt fine. My back and neck felt fine. I could not see any blood. I did not hit my head. After a second or so I came to the conclusion that I was probably fine.

And what was weird was the sense of euphoria that came over me, like I had just been through a ride at an amusement park. Only, for the first time in my life, I was not ready to puke!

(How I felt after euphoria set in.)

The rest of the evening was interesting but pretty tame, as they pulled me from the wreck, put an ungainly collar on my neck that made it difficult to talk, tied me to a board and hauled me off to the trauma center in an ambulance. There they took about 30 X-rays and a CT scan.

At about 10:30 the doctor gave me a prescription for Tylenol III and sent me home. My only visible injury was a slight scrape and bruise on my left collar bone, where the safety harness saved my life.

I got to keep the neck brace as a souvenier. It probably cost $250. Some day I will check the insurance bill and see. I am pretty sure my brother could make one for $7.00 in materials. My wife has already tossed it out, as it is ugly, bright yellow and just takes up space.

All evening long at the hospital everyone kept asking me what kind of car I was driving. I would tell them a Scion and they would look puzzled. Then I would say "a toaster" and they would say "Oh, yeah!"

Thanks, God. Thanks, Scion. Thanks, safety belt.

The truly miraculous thing is that when I checked the car Monday morning I found that my newly acquired bottle of Russian vodka, given to me by a fellow worker for covering some event here in 'Merica while fellow worker was in Russia testifying before the Duma, was intact.

Basically everything else in the car was in tiny smashed pieces or bigger smashed pieces. Except the vodka bottle.

The Russians know how to make vodka and, apparently, vodka bottles, too. So I got that going for me.


  1. Sympathetic thanks to our mutual Creator for the type of ending you experienced with your "ride"! As a veteran of "rides" ending in things like head trauma, I can say categorically that such "rides" are not worth repeating!! .............:-)

  2. Hey! With an euphoric story like that to live to tell, who wouldn't be an eternal optimist?... With a bottle of vodka to boot! I'll bet if we all think REAL hard, each of us has had our brushes with...scary rides. Maybe more of us should work on the whole eternal optimism idea...though not necessarily with the sharp wit and GREAT PICS you share, EO!

  3. Have you imbibed the vodka yet ??

  4. I have not finished the vodka yet, but it is fabulous. I am working on it slowly. Will try to post a blog about its passing when it is all done.