Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

As if this year hasn’t been interesting enough, Sunday afternoon found Mrs. Robbo backing out of the Port Swiller Manor driveway in the Honda Juggernaut® just in time to T-bone some kid bombing up the street in her Mercedes C-Class.   I’m not exactly sure what happened – Mrs. R swears she never saw anyone coming and the kid swears she honked and swerved – but the result is a slightly battered right-rear panel on our car and a stove in right-rear passenger door on the other car.  Thankfully, nobody was hurt.

Mrs. R has specialized over the past few years in backing into or brushing against various stationary objects with said Juggernaut®.  This was the first time she managed to wing a moving target.

I happened to be on the phone jawing with teh Mothe when Mrs. R reappeared in teh house with breaking news of the calamity.   I went outside to discover my own younger gels (who had been with Mrs. R) buzzing about the driveway, while the kid was still sitting in the middle of the road in her car, bottling up traffic.   (We live on a relatively busy street.)  I quickly strode up in my most Charlton Heston/Moses-like manner and, after enquiring if the kid was okay, instructed her to pull into the next driveway up.   Which she did.  I even got the opportunity to move said bottled-up traffic along, acknowledging my own achievement in clearing their path with a gentle wave.  I love it when a plan works out.

Anyhoo, a few minutes later, this kid’s mother appeared (having been called).  Said mother was driving one of those sooper-sleek, James Bond-type, Beemer sports coups and – while her daughter was in a t-shirt and ragged jeans – was, herself, dressed to the nines.

“Aw, Jeez,” I thought to myself, “The Beautiful People.  Here we go…”

Well.  As it turned out, the mother really was not a-tall bad.  Her first concern was that nobody was hurt.   Satisfied with this, she calmly took down our insurance information.  And when the kid, who herself was evidently a first-class spoiled brat,  started in on the mother about how she (the kid) couldn’t drive that car anymore and had to have a new one, the mother fixed her with a fish-eye and said they would sort all that out later on, emphasizing again that the important thing was nobody got hurt.

I got the overall impression that these people could buy this kid a dozen cars if they felt like it.  Alas, I also eventually got the impression from the body language between mother and daughter that they probably will.


As for the crash itself, I immediately phoned USAA (who accept our custom thanks to the Old Gentleman’s stint in the Army Medical Corps).   Despite the fact that the fellah I spoke with sounded like he was auditioning for the part of the village idiot, within twenty-four hours we seem to have got everything squared away.  Adjusters appeared, garages were opened, rentals were engaged:  Baddah-bing, baddah-boom, it was done.    This is the first claim we’ve ever made in twenty-plus years of coverage.  I’ve nothing against which to compare our service of course, but I will say it’s nice to see all those premiums are going to a good cause.

But the thing that made me chuckle – and made the episode blog-worthy at least pursuant to port-swiller standards – was a very small incident:  When the dressed-to-the-nines mom went to copy down our contact information, she first started to lay her pad down on the hood of her own car.   After a second or two, she evidently began to fret that writing with a ball-point on her hood might somehow….leave a mark on it!

Horribile dictu!  Realizing what she was about, she suddenly squatted down in our driveway and instead wrote it all out on her knee.   My fellow port swillers, I tell you truly that for an instant the idea flashed through my mind to get down on all fours and offer her my back as a suitable writing desk, but wiser council prevailed.   Instead, I simply turned away and had a quiet laugh.

Sophisticated? Gawd!