So I had to file an insurance claim. Which reminded me of an old friend who used to be an assessor. He said that all accidents have one thing in common; they were in every case caused by someone else.
He reckoned he had the best job in the world. He said he got paid for reading humorous fiction every day. Whenever he felt tired or depressed he'd go to work and know he was in for a good belly laugh.
He gave me this list one time. He claimed it was a collection of actual statements taken from insurance forms. Whatever its veracity, I decided to use it as a handy frame of reference when completing my own claim:
* I knocked over the man; he admitted it was his fault as he had been knocked down before.
* I was keeping two metres from each lamp post, which were in a straight line. Unfortunately there was a bend in the road bringing a right hand lamp post in line with the other and of course I landed in the river.
* I thought the side window was down, but it was up, as I found when I pushed my head through it.
* Coming back, I took the wrong turning and drove into a tree that was not there.
* To avoid a collision, I ran into the other truck.
* My accident was due to the road bending suddenly.
* I was having a dispute with my wife. She pulled my hair, causing me to turn into a lamp standard.
* I was in a hurry to pick up my sick mother and did not realize I had driven into a coal sack.
* Coming home, I drove into the wrong house and collided with a tree I don't even own.
* a pedestrian hit me and went under my car.
* I went to put my foot on the brake but the manufacturer had put it too far to the left so I had no option but to accelerate at top speed into the wall.
|photograph: Ervin Pospisil|
* I had been driving for forty years when I fell asleep at the wheel and had the road accident
* A truck backed through the windscreen into my wife's face.
* The guy was all over the road. I had to swerve a number of times before I eventually hit him.
* I pulled away from the side of the road, glanced at my mother-in-law, and headed over the embankment.
|photograph: CJ Taillie|
* If the woman had not been wearing thick glasses she would have seen me reversing out of the parking spot.
* I had been shopping for plants all day and was on my way home. As I reached an intersection a hedge sprang up, obscuring my vision, and I did not see the other car.
* I collided with a stationary truck coming the other way.
* I was sure the old fellow would not make it to the other side of the road when I struck him.
* I was on my way to the doctor with rear end trouble when my universal joint gave way causing me to have the car accident.
* To avoid hitting the bumper of the car in front, I struck the pedestrian.
* My car was legally parked as it backed into another vehicle.
|'I would not have hit Elvis Presley if my dress was not jammed in the car door.'|
* An invisible car came out of nowhere, struck my car and vanished.
* I told the police that I was not injured, but on removing my hat found that I had a fractured skull.
* As I approached the intersection, a sign suddenly appeared in a place where no stop sign had ever appeared before and I was unable to stop in time to avoid the accident.
* The pedestrian had no idea which direction to run, so I ran over him.
* I saw a slow moving, sad-faced old gentleman as he bounced off the roof of my car.
And my personal favourite.
* The indirect cause of the accident was a little guy in a small car with a very big mouth
What I love about them is they are all, in fact, very short stories. They paint a whole scene in just a very few words. I wonder what I'll write on my form?Perhaps I'll write it from my villain's POV.
I was reversing out of a parking space in my Hummer and this guy's car, which was parked behind me, leaped out without warning and smashed itself repeatedly against my tow bar. To avoid paying for the damage I decided to drive off fast and hope no one saw me. Oh, and Merry Christmas.
And wherever you are, Merry Christmas to you, too.
But on the other hand, sincere Christmas wishes to John, from Singapore, who won a copy of OPIUM, and Lara, who won a copy of HAREM on last weeks' posts. May Santa be kind to you both.