Sunday, December 30, 2007

Who is the bigger doofus?

Nominee: Me.

Incident: Getting ticketed on I-81 by a friendly Virginia state trooper for driving 79 mph in a 65 mph zone.

Cost: Around $120, plus points on my driving record.

Mitigating factors: I'd been averaging at least 80 mph for most of the drive home, but that was mostly in a pack of cars going roughly the same speed. When we got back onto the freeway after a rest stop, it was surprisingly empty. Instead of waiting for a pack of cars to catch up, I just accelerated and was alone in the trooper's radar within 5 minutes of getting back onto the freeway.

Complication: When I was pulled over, it was within an hour of the start of my cousin's wedding out in California, which we unfortunately had to miss. Karmic payback?

* * * * *

Nominee: Gretchen.

Incident: Backing her car into a mailbox and doing substantial damage (surprisingly, to her car rather than the mailbox).

Cost: Not sure yet, but probably at least $1,000.

Mitigating factors: At the moment of impact, my Mom was commenting on the beautiful weather, so Gretchen was distracted (not an uncommon condition when she's driving).

Complication: My Mom lives on a very quiet street, where basically the only possible obstacle is the mailbox opposite her driveway. There is nothing else to watch for...and even if you hit it, you'd have to be going pretty fast to do much damage. Oops.

* * * * *

The Winner: Me.

Why? Despite the greater financial impact of Gretchen's accident, the scales were tipped in my favor by two things when we got home:

(1) We discovered that I forgot to turn the heat down in the house when we left, so it was a comfortable 70 degrees when we got home. It was nice not to come home to an icebox, but a real waste of energy to keep the heat running in our empty, drafty house for a full week.

(2) Walking downstairs this morning, I somehow slipped on one of the steps, landed squarely on my back, and slid down several more steps. Gretchen said she had never heard such a loud crash in our house (at least not since the time a few months ago when I slipped on a blanket on Baby's floor and crashed into her crib and landed on top of a basket of her klutziness truly knows no bounds). Thankfully I didn't break a leg or ankle, but my back and hip are aching, and I suspect tomorrow I'm going to wake up sore in parts of my body I didn't even know I had.

I am indeed the bigger doofus!