Sometimes, stupidity sideswipes you, and there's not too much you can do except go along for the ride.
Sometimes, the ride is pretty straightforward that when it's done, you sit back and just shake your head. Other times, the ride takes twists and turns and has bumps and humps that keep your head jumbled for days.
As much as I hate to admit it, stupidity and I are on a first-name basis. I don't go looking for stupidity. I don't set a trap to catch it.
It just seems to find me rather regularly.
The latest was last weekend.
I was about to head out to the store. I went into the garage, opened the garage door, got in the car and started the engine. While sitting there in the garage, I looked for my sunglasses. While doing that, I put my foot on the brake and put the car in drive. The car was facing the garage door opening.
Before I could find my sunglasses, I saw the car registration and the sticker that needed to be put on my license plate.
I took the piece of paper from my visor, tore it open and put the registration into a holder in my glove compartment. Holding the paper with the license plate sticker on it, I thought I probably needed to stick the sticker on the license plate before I went to the store. Why tempt stupidity and run the chance of getting stopped by law enforcement?
Granted, the sticker should not have been above my visor for as long as it had been. So, in that sense, I guess I was tempting fate and stupidity at the same time.
Also notice I haven't mentioned anything about my seat belt. I have a long driveway and usually don't buckle up until I get to the end at the road. Why? Because if there's anything in the driveway that needs to be moved, I simply hop out and move it.
But, stupidity has a strange way of working. Just when you think you've done everything to avoid it, you realize that's not going to happen, regardless of your best efforts.So, with that, I open the car door and begin to get out. As I do, I feel something move beneath me. All of a sudden I realize the car is heading out of the garage with me half in and half out of the door.
I park so the driver's side of car is closest to the post between the two garage door openings.
Everything is kind of a blur, but I know I'm in panic mode. The car is going and the post is getting closer. I try to get back in the car before reaching the post, but no such luck.
The door rubs up against the post, and I'm still not in the car yet. I'm thinking if my butt and belly weren't so big, there might have been a chance me and that car could have zoomed past the post without rubbing.
About four car lengths dead ahead of me is my son's car. Panic mode escalates, and I'm not worried about the post anymore. Now, I am concerned about stepping down on the brake and not the gas. The car is out of the garage and heading toward my son's car.
Luckily, I'm able to smash down on the brake while still trying to get back in the driver's seat and stop my car about two car lengths from my son's car.
I move the shift to "P" and slowly take my foot off the brake. It remains still.
I turn off the car and get out. I look at the damage. There were some rubber scuffs on the door and two huge gashes about the size of the Grand Canyon, or so it seemed.
I knew I would be able to get the rubber marks off the door, but what was I going to do about the gashes. I did put the sticker on the license plate and I did go to the store. I spent a lot of the rest of the day kicking myself in the butt for what I'd done.
I stopped at George Ballentine Ford Lincoln Toyota Scion to see if they had touch-up paint for the car. First, I stopped at the collision center and was pleasantly surprised when one of the representatives looked at the door. I explained what happened. While he didn't burst out in laughter, he did smile.
He said it wasn't as bad as I imagined and told me to pull under the canopy. He buffed out the scuffs and looked at the gashes. He told me to get touch-up paint from the parts department, and he would apply it for me.
I did and he did. He applied the paint with precision that filled the gashes. He told me to bring it back because he needed to layer the coats. Rain delayed that, but I did go back and he laid down another coat. Another buff and the car was done.
It looks better than I could have imagined. There are no more scuffs on the door and the paint blends well with the original color. The way it looks, I'm the only one who is going to know what happened to cause the two lines on the door.
Me and stupidity that is.
Sitarz can be reached at 943-2529 or via email at email@example.com. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and does not represent that newspaper's opinion.