Colliding with Wisdom, Part II - Guest Post By Burrill Strong

Note from Ricky: We had the baby! This week is going to be a potpourri of guest posts from a few kind folk who knew I wouldn't have time to blog. I hope you enjoyed Burrill's post from yesterday, and that you enjoy his post for today even more. Later this week we have Knox McCoy, Zechariah Brewer, and Rob Shepherd. Chad Jones kicks it off again next week. I'll start posting again when I can. Enjoy!

If you don't remember the lessons in Part I, go back and read the post again before I get offended and start driving in your neighborhood.

Angry Indian men are easier to handle than distraught teenage girls
Does this one really need explanation? Well...yeah, it probably does.

For some bizarre reason my parents continued to let me drive their minivan; naturally, I repaid them by getting in another accident with it. I’m that cool.

At the corner of Crazy Busy Main Road and Quiet Residential Street in Ann Arbor, one homeowner thought it would be a superb idea to plant hedges along the sidewalk. As I discovered when I was trying to turn onto Crazy Busy Main Road, it was, in fact, a lousy idea: because of the hedges, I couldn't see approaching traffic unless I actually pulled into the road. Like the suave gentleman I am, I pulled out right in front of a teenage girl who was just learning to drive. Here’s the sequence of events summed up in five words:


I spent the next half hour wondering what on earth I could say to a distraught teenage girl whose first car accident I’d just caused. I ended up talking to the understandably miffed but dry-eyed driving instructor.

Both vehicles suffered minor damage. On the bright side, the obstructive hedges suffered drastic trimming.

That road sign you’re seeing might have been purchased by somebody you know
More specifically, it might have been purchased by that person’s insurance company.

One extraordinarily snowy evening I was on an extraordinarily snowy -- and, fortunately, extraordinarily empty -- highway when my vehicle caught a large clump of snow. Hello, spin cycle! I wasn't cool enough to pull a 360, but I did pull a 270, ending with my front wheels in the ditch and my rear wheels on the shoulder. When I got my bearings, I realized my rear bumper had taken out one of the posts of an exit sign.

Months later, my insurance company called to inform me the state had filed a claim for the damage to the sign. Months after that, a new sign appeared. Though the state of Michigan might disagree, I still consider it my sign.

Oh, and that was my parents’ minivan. AGAIN.

Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name
And sometimes that’s the site of an accident.

Solve for x:
6:15am + (barely freezing temperatures + light rain) + a highway entrance ramp designed to create havoc = x

If you’re having trouble with that inconceivably complex problem, you can see the answer here.

Amidst the chaos caused by the ice (ice, baby), a police officer approached me and asked for my license so she could take down my information. (I thought she might be signing me up to receive money-saving special offers and exciting new product information from the police department. Boy, was I wrong.) When she glanced at my license and saw my last name, she cheerfully exclaimed that she’d gone to high school with my older brother.

I ended up sitting in the back of her police car, but don’t worry: she didn’t arrest me. She just took pity on me because I was shivering. I guess she decided I had the right to remain warm. You can read every last little detail of that morning here.

That was the last accident-based lesson I learned. I think I might have left out an accident or two, but I’m not sure. Seriously. In any case, I hope I've learned my lessons.

Have you learned any valuable lessons from car accidents?