I was driving around with the family on Sunday afternoon in Bernal Heights, a neighborhood here in San Francisco where it's pretty tough to find a parking spot. They were having a street fair that day, so parking was tougher than usual. After quite a while I finally spotted a chunk of curb that was big enough for our car. I excitedly cut over to the right and.... heard that horrible grinding noise that only comes from car-on-car action.
"I just hit that parked car, didn't I?" I asked
"Yes..." Hank sighed.
I finished parking in the spot and got out to look at the car that I hit. Sure enough, I had scraped the front driver corner, busting the turn indicator and bending the metal around it. I walked around the rest of the car, noting that every other corner on the car had already been bent and bruised. At least now they matched!
I dug out a piece of paper from our glove box and left a note for the owner, giving my name and phone number. I hoped that they were the sort of person who didn't care much about how their car looked rather than the sort of person who would take advantage of my honesty to get the rest of their dinged-up car fixed. I checked the bumperstickers on their car, and they were typically San Fran stuff, lauding environmentalism and whatnot.
Then I waited for the phone call. For days, nothing happened. I began to theorize that my note had blown away, or perhaps they had mistakenly taken it for an advertisement and thrown it away. I grew increasingly hopeful with each passing day. With Steve Austin: The Six Million Dollar Cat, and a recent Disneyland trip on the books, we were feeling rather cash poor.
The phone rang tonight. Hank answered it, asked who was calling, and then handed over the phone with a smirk.
"This is the phone call I didn't want, isn't it?" I asked taking the handset. She nodded.
Some Lady: I am so impressed that you left a note.
Me: And I was so hoping that you'd never call.
Some Lady: You know, I hit a car once, and I left a note, and the person was so impressed that I left a note that they only charged me half the amount of the repair, so I figure it's time to pass on the favor.
Some Lady: So, which part of my car did you hit?
Me: The front driver-side corner.
Some Lady: That's what I thought. All I really care about is the turn signal, for safety reasons. I'd like to get a quote on that and then split the cost with you. Just ignore the insurance stuff. Sound ok?
Me: That sounds very reasonable.
Some Lady: Great. I'll get the quote and then get back to you.
Dude. Unless this is a thousand-dollar turn signal, I'm a lucky bastard. Somehow I ended up with good car damage karma.