So last night we decided to commemorate two occasions with one stone: the Finishing of the Christmas Shopping and the Last Night of Irresponsible Childlessness. (Technically, the Second-to-Last Night, but since we’re heading out tomorrow morning early, we won’t be in any position to go celebrate tonight.)

There’s a local jazz band–the Pete Krebs Trio–that Jim had seen before and enjoyed, and they were playing at the Press Club last night. We hopped into the BLT and headed out to the Clinton area.

Suddenly, this huge white thing came billowing up in my face. I shrieked, and realized the car wasn’t moving. Then I realized two other things at the same time: the white thing was the airbag, and there was another car wedged against the door with a frightened-looking girl in the driver’s seat.

I climbed out of Jim’s side of the car, a bit disoriented, and we started piecing together what had happened. At first, I thought either Jim or the other driver had run a stop sign. But as the other people got out of their car and a couple of witnesses approached, we realized that there was construction at the corner we’d just passed and that the stop sign had been removed from its place on the corner. There was a small stop sign attached to a sawhorse placed at the end of a line of sawhorses, but it was impossible to see as you approached the intersection.

Luckily, no one was hurt. No one, that is, except for the BLT, which we’re going to have to start calling the Battered Little Toaster:

If we’d come through the intersection a quarter of a second later, that stove-in part of the car would have included the shattered remnants of my legs…

Fortunately, the people whose car we hit were incredibly nice about it; they could tell that there was no way we could have known there was supposed to be a stop sign there. Their car was also much much less damaged than ours. Things are a little fuzzy–I think I must’ve been in shock or something–but I think their fender might’ve been damaged and that was all.

Also fortunately, we had two witnesses come up and volunteer their information. One works in a building on that corner and saw the whole thing; the other works in a gas station across the street and said that he’s seen tons of near-misses at that intersection since the construction began and that every night except last night that block’s been closed off to through traffic. (The "Road Closed" sign was off to the left of the construction stuff.)


(Right after he shot this picture, Jim dragged the stop sign out from behind the sawhorses enough so that the next driver would be able to see it.)

And although the poor little BLT won’t be making the drive to California tomorrow, it did manage to limp home… groaning with pain and with various lights flashing at us all the way.

The iPod connector and the stereo, though, continued to work absolutely fine. Important things in life and all that.

About Molly Newman

Writer, cook and trivia/spelling bee hostess, living it up in North Portland.
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11 Responses to Ker-smash

  1. Magpie Ima says:

    Yikes! I’m so glad you’re both OK, but having been through an accident myself I know how rattled you can feel for a long time afterwards.

  2. Stephanie T. says:

    Holy Crap! SO glad that everyone was able to walk away intact…Thank goodness for airbags!
    It’s cold here…dress warm!

  3. Amy Sorensen says:

    OMG, Molly! I’m so glad you are OK. That sign set-up is just moronic! Now comes all the insurance fun…Hope the trip to Cali goes well!!!

  4. Lori V. says:

    Damn, Molly! *That’s* some excitement! (On a much less exciting, but eerie, Twilight-Zone moment, I personally had a “sympathy bang-up” in a parking lot thousands of miles away the same day.)
    Now, my question is this: Is everything SO perfect in Portland, that when something goes wrong and requires fixing-upping, such as broken roads, don’t they know how to do it right (i.e. with visible stop signs)?
    Hang in there!

  5. Herm says:

    Grr, Herm, that is so lame. Are you getting a rental? If so, make it a king-sized Lincoln. Fun!

  6. Helena says:

    Oh no! Poor BLT. I’m glad you guys are okay. Scary!

  7. Mimi says:

    Yikes! What a scare! I’m so glad you are ok. Hugs.

  8. Zara says:

    You’re car looks as bad as mine did at the end of October. You’re in luck your airbags went off. Mine did not.
    Glad you are OK, as well as the other family. May the rest of your Holiday be safe!

  9. azureavian says:

    omg! molly! glad you guys were ok, hope you continue to be so. grrr, what a thing to happen right before holidays.
    merry holidays to you and yours. continue in wellness.

  10. ami says:

    DAMN. That’s some merry friggin’ christmas… so sorry.
    But so glad you’re both okay.

  11. Lynn says:

    Hey Molly,
    Sounds like a close call. I’m SO very glad to hear that neither of you were injured. 🙂

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