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A Bingle

I had a little bingle the other night, a small prang (Australian slang for a car accident.) In the UK I’m told they also call them a shunt, and in the US a fender-bender.  Nobody was hurt, the damage to the cars was superficial — mainly a little bit of panel-beating and some paint required and in my case a new front indicator light.

Really, the worst thing about it was the embarrassment. It was my fault. I was doing a U turn and though I checked the rear-view mirror, I didn’t see the car in my blind spot, and when I pulled out — Bang! 

The even more embarrassing part then followed. See, I wasn’t properly dressed — I was wearing a t-shirt dress (that also works as a nightie) and showing my bare (hairy) legs. I was also wearing my fluffy sheepskin slippers. No make-up, and no mask. 

In my defence, I’d only come out to post a parcel full of tax papers, driving to the mail exchange (as opposed to walking to the corner post office) so that it would go out that night and arrive at its destination the following business day. The plan was that I’d be out of the car for 10 seconds, max, and nobody would see me — it’s not a busy road and there are usually no people around.

 So now having caused a bingle, not only did I have to get out of the car in all my (lack of) glory, I’d also come out without my bag, so I didn’t have my phone, or my reading glasses or my licence. There wasn’t even a paper or pen in the car. 

English was not the other driver’s first language so he handed me his phone to type in my details — but without my reading glasses, I couldn’t see to type them. “Hang on, I should have a spare pair of glasses in the car,” I told him, and dived into the glove box. Yay! I found the tubular metal container that holds my $2 shop skinny emergency glasses.  I opened it and triumphantly produced . . . a fold up fan! Well, it gets hot here in summer and an emergency fan is often as useful as emergency glasses. Though not on this occasion. The fan exactly fits the glasses container. <g> You can see the folded-up fan in the container on the left, glasses in the one on the right, and a similar fan behind them, opened up.

I think the poor guy was starting to think he was dealing with a nutcase!

Luckily I hadn’t yet posted my parcel so I showed him my sender’s name and address and he took a photo of it and seemed happier for that. He was really very nice, for which I was grateful. 

Anyway, it’s all dealt with now, my insurance company is handling it, and all I have to do is pay the excess, and take my car to the mechanic to get my indicator light fixed. It’s an old car and my friends have been suggesting that rather than get it fixed, I should buy a new car. So guess who’s been surfing car sales on the web? Oh, the temptation. . . 

And oh, dear readers, I succumbed! Here is my new car — a Hyundai i30 Active hatchback. It looks bigger in the photo, which I pinched off the dealer’s site, but it’s just as red and shiny. And it’s full of (slightly intimidating) technology!!! With a handbook the size of a brick. And it beeps and flashes at me for reasons I haven’t yet discovered. But it’s very smooth and quiet to drive, and I’m sure we’re going to get along just fine (as soon as it stops telling me what to do!)

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theo
theo
4 months ago

That, my friend, is one of the only two colors for cars! Arrest Me Red :) The other is Deep Black. Those are the only two colors I’ll allow in my driving world.

I’m glad no one was hurt and that you’re okay. I’m so sorry about the embarrassment of being dressed like that. Same thing happened to me once. It was not pretty. But! You got a nice, shiny new car out of it all. That’s called ‘incentive’ ;)

Sue McCormick
Sue McCormick
4 months ago

Congratulations on the new car. I am sure you WILL be able to tame it!

Malvina
Malvina
4 months ago

Oh dear. I’ve learnt from ducking into Coles after a Pilates class looking like Dracula’s mother, that is the moment when ALL my friends are also shopping… When I get all gussied up, nope, don’t meet a single friend. Sorry for your prang but YAY for your new car! It looks glorious.

Margot
Margot
4 months ago

You are not alone in leaving the house not as well dressed as normal for just a quick stop. I do this often in my at home clothes during the pandemic. Well this shiny red car is quite an improvement over your old one. Cars now have way too many new gadgets which I do not like. We were lucky when we bought ours that they had a basic model with none of the new gadgets – just what we wanted. Next time we will not have that choice as new cars all come with so much automatically. My first… Read more »

K. Welles
K. Welles
4 months ago

Best laugh I’ve had all week! Love the new car and hope it has stopped telling you what to do!
Love your books. You are a great story teller.