Looking at our 2000 Chrysler Town and Country van and all its dings and dents got me thinking about the punishment our family has given its vehicles. So much so that whenever we shop for cars, you can almost hear the vehicles saying, “Please, please don’t pick me. I have so much to live for.”
Maybe it’s because of my bad karma with cars. There I was, 16 years old, driving a car full of teenagers to Marin when suddenly there was a back-up on the curve before the Golden Gate Bridge, so I stoppped. I even remember Boz Scaggs’ “Lido Shuffle” playing on my rockin’ new cassette player. Wham! We were rear-ended. Everyone was OK; the car needed surgery. The next year, I’m parked in downtown San Francisco to pick up a friend. Just as I was about to pull into traffic, a Brinks truck cuts in front of me to park, taking off the front corner of my car. Since I’m a stupid teenager, we exchange information but don’t wait for the police. Guess who’s fault it ended up being?
Fast forward to my progeny. Child #1 is driving to high school on Calistoga Road. A fellow student has been pulled over by the police, so everyone slows down to see who it is. That’s when he rear ends the car in front of him, and is then rear-ended by the vehicle behind him. It was a Kenwood sandwich, since all three cars were from Kenwood, and everyone knew each other, of course.
Child #2 is driving home from school on Hwy. 12 approaching the Oakmont Dr. stoplight when he fails to slow down enough and rear-ends, you guessed it, another Kenwoodian. And not only that. His fifth grade teacher is driving by and sees him, so she calls us just to let us know everyone is all right. Thanks, Carolee.
Child #3 is leaving home early Saturday morning to take the SATs. She backs the car out of the garage and right into our friend’s vintage Jaguar. He was visiting and had parked it there the night before. We told him it would be his fault if she bombed the test! Any idea how much body work on a Jag costs? She’s still cleaning the patio with a toothbrush for that one.
Of course, Ann has had her share of bad karma too, she of the Jack-in-the-Box, milkshake, MGB vs. Cadillac accident when she was 18. Be sure to ask her about that one.
We’re all out of our teens now, but if you ever see a member of the Peters family on the road, you might want to give us a wide berth. – AP