Back when I first got my license (1996… I am old… Just call me grandma…) we only had to wait one month after getting our permit. ONE MONTH! Thirty measly little days and we were free to take the BIG test to see if we could handle the roads on our own. I waited exactly thirty days, not one day more, before I headed to that little concrete building to take my driving test, all the while praying that I didn’t get the fabled teacher who was old and mean and blind in one eye because of some kid who wrecked into her BEFORE he got his license… (Not even kidding… We were always told about this wretched old lady who would fail us with one look from her one good eye…) My mom and I pulled up to the building and she got out and left me alone to wait for my teacher. It was an old lady. With a scowl etched into her face. But she wasn’t wearing a patch on her so I breathed a sigh of relief. Score one for little Itty…
She slid into the passenger seat and off we went. I passed with flying colors. My only mistake was not putting the parking brake on after I parallel parked. (Uh.. Hello! Completely flat road! Why on earth would I need my parking brake?!) Anyways, all of this is NOT the point of my story. (Yeah. I’m a rambler. What of it?)
Six months later I was cruising freely thinking I OWNED this driving nonsense. Parallel parking? No problemo, compadre. Oh you want me to pick up some other unforunate unlicensed soul for a ride to school? Gladly. These curvy country roads I take every day on my way to and from school? Pshaw. Under control.
That is until that one fateful morning where I thought I’d be a badass and pass this old rickety truck with my sleek little Mazda 929… Oh wait.. Forgot to mention that this was in January and there were excessive amounts of black ice covering the roads. So, you can guess where this is going… I passed the truck with ease and then promptly hit black ice, slid across the road, overcorrected went BACK across the road, bounced off a tree and threw my car into a pond. (What? You’re telling me you didn’t know exactly where this story was going?) So, let’s re-evaluate… Here I am, sixteen years old, car windows completely busted out on one side, half of my car (MY HALF) is sinking in freezing cold water, and I have Snoop’s “Doggystyle” album effing BLARING from my cd player… I even remember the song that was playing as I climbed out of the other side. “Pump, Pump…” No, you shut up.
I manage to get myself out of the pond and back up onto the road when I decided that I need to tuck my long, blonde hair behind my ear and get myself together. It’s cool, I’m fine… OMG WHY IS MY HAND COVERED IN BLOOD?! WHY IS MY SHIRT COVERED IN BLOOD?! WHY DOES MY EARLOBE FEEL LIKE IT’S KIND OF FLAPPING OR SOMETHING?! Oh. Simple. Those busted windows? Yeah, they were made of glass. Glass that was broken out by a very sharp tree branch which also decided to almost completely lop my left ear off. Awesome.
A few minutes later, as I’m laying on the side of the road convinced that my brain is more than likely falling out of my skull, this truck driver passes me and pulls over to see if I need help. Me? Need help? What gave you that impression? Could it be my car that’s behind me slowly sinking into that pond? Or maybe it’s my shirt soaked in blood? Whichever reason tipped you off, YES I NEED HELP.
(Sidenote: This helpful citizen also happened to be the slow poke I passed going sixty on icy roads. Who’s got two thumbs and is an asshole?? THIS GIRL!)
My aunt, who lived next door to me, was on her way taking her daughter to school when she passed the pond with my pitiful car in it. I, on the other hand, was up at some house trying to notify my mom that I had maybe just cut my ear off. Add these two together and you have my aunt who thinks that I’ve wrecked my car, passed out and drowned in a pond… So, I come back to wait by my car and I see my aunt, in the middle of the pond, crying her eyes out and screaming my name repeatedly… Dude, what are you doing? I’m right here. I’ve only got one ear (total exaggeration of a dramatic sixteen year old), but I’m right here.
She pulls herself together and gets me home where I’m met by my mom AND grandparents. I got taken to the hospital where I sat around and waited to be called back. I had to answer a bunch of questions that my sixteen year old mind couldn’t wrap my brain around. Why? Because they were so stupid, that’s why.
Are you seriously injured? I dunno, lady. I’m holding a washcloth to my head where blood just happens to be gushing out. I actually just thought I’d take the day off for a field trip to the ER.
Was there alcohol involved in the accident? It’s 8am, I’m sixteen and I was on my way to school. If I was boozing it up before noon on a school day I’m going to go ahead and say I have bigger problems than just my wonk ear at the moment.
Are you having trouble breathing? Nope, but I am getting a little dizzy from the blood loss…
Doc finally comes and takes me back… I get a grand total of 23 stitches in my head. I did not by any means chop my entire ear off, nor was I deaf in one ear which were the rumors that were going around school when I got back a few days later. My little Mazda was totaled, but, dude, I completely salvaged that Snoop cd…