My Neck Hurts - 3/4/04
In most cities when the weather gets bad, the drivers get awful. Since there is no bad weather in LA, drivers get awful when the weather turns really nice.

Yesterday was evidence of this. It was a beautiful day (sorry to all you Minnesota peops who got 10 inches of snow ) - about 80 and cloudless, and since it's been raining a bit the air was washed temporarily free of smog. It was so clear in fact that standing strategically on top of the hill near my house, you could see Palos Verdes to the South, Malibu to the North, the Hollywood sign to the Northeast and snowy mountain peaks to the East. Or maybe that was Minnesota.

I also, however, saw no less than nine accidents on the way downtown to check out the La Brea tarpits with Sarah from Irvine (now known as Sarah from Costa Mesa since she moved). The 405 was a parking lot at noon... not that I ever expect much from the 405, but noon is about as far away from either rush hour as you can get. And people were cutting each other off, running red lights, and everyone was honking, all the time, for no reason. Now it's funny when I honk at people for no reason, but when everyone else does it it's just annoying.

The reason I mention the nine accidents is because one of them was ours. Being both from the snowy north, Sarah and I don't freak out when the weather changes, but apparently the pickup truck behind us did as he rear-ended Sarah's car, pushing us into an SUV ahead of us. Hey, at least an SUV was involved. Don't worry - it wasn't anything too devasting - just a bender - but it really drove home the lesson of the day.

The guy who hit us was extremely apologetic, and the woman who we got pushed into was very sweet, quiet and coincidentally Asian, and Sarah's about the nicest person there is so it was the most cordial accident investigation there's ever been. My neck was kind of hurting after nearly taking off the head-rest with it, so I was the only one not smiling as information was politely exchanged. The SUV barely had a scratch - I guess our car took most of the impact, but still only sustained a bent license plate in the front and a mid-sized dent and twisted bumper in the back, which hopefully the dude's insurance will cover. His car, however, was rocked. I'm not sure exactly how exactly - he was only going about 20 - but his front end looked absolutely totalled. On closer inspection though I realized that much of this damage wasn't new. Things were smashed that hadn't even come near our car, and the piece of rope that held on part of his bumber was the final clue.

I wonder if he does this a lot. I wonder why his insurance hasn't insisted he get his car fixed previously - maybe the were just waiting until he struck again. Maybe he has 405 narcolepsy or something - he wouldn't be alone. But mostly I wanted to ask him how long he's lived in LA.

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