Commuting in traffic alone in a rental around L.A. is a killer on the mind. Take that and multiply it on top of other chaotic instances during the day, and you've got a pot full of bad news. It's hard enough to travel to and from work, but when you get out of the office to commute across the valley to another shop for a story, you can get a bit stressed out. Top off the day with less than perfect timing on stories (usually late), and you could snap.
To make matters worse, an accident six months earlier was haunting me. Finally though, I made the effort and got my daily driver to the body shop. Naturally, I took my car to Rubio's Auto Body for the repairs. His shop is taking such great care of Project Brutus ('66 El Camino), it only made sense. After a couple days of cruising the rental, I got my daily driver back in pristine shape. So what's the big deal? Well, less than a week later, I was side-swiped by another driver who wasn't paying attention, again!
How could she not see me? Obviously she was in a rush and wasn't using the two large side-view mirrors at her disposal. She jumped lanes so fast there was no time to hit my brakes.
What bothers me most is the etiquette she illustrated after exiting her vehicle to observe the damage. First, she didn't even bother asking if I was all right. Second, she took a glance at my car and claimed I had no damage. Are you kidding me? I was willing to let the accident slide, but the attitude she was throwing my way was unquestionably irritating. I kept my cool though, keeping my name clean. To make matters worse, my registration papers were snatched up by a gust of freak gail-force wind. I went scrambling down the street after the paperwork, only to see it vanish underneath a storm drain-never to be seen again. Perfect. What else could go wrong? Mark my words: My driver's license almost suffered the same fate. Luckily I was able to stretch far enough to grab my license from under the opening in the sidewalk.
No matter how you slice it, that day was horrible, and I am back in a rental again.