Jez and I burst out the backdoor this morning where we ran into a neighbor getting ready to walk her dog. They joined us for our zigzag through the neighborhood. With a cautious approach to crosswalks and alleyways, we got on the subject of crazy drivers and the notion of getting hit by cars. I started in with my usual rant, but quickly ran out of steam.
“Getting hit by a car was one of the best things that ever happened to me,” said the neighbor.
I looked at her completely dumbfounded, but interested in her explanation.
“I was 12. Me and a bunch of my friends crossed the street right in the middle of traffic. I was the only who got hit. I hurt my ankle a little, was on crutches for a few weeks, no big deal,” she continued.
I waited anxiously to hear the “best” part of the story.
“I wound up getting ten thousand dollars out of the deal. I had to put it in the bank ‘till I was 18, but that was OK because as soon as I turned 18, I spent it!”
The cogs began to turn. I started thinking of all the things I could do with 10K and all the close calls I encounter on a daily basis. I scratched my chin and began having visions of grandeur—just as a black suburban cut us off halfway through the crosswalk.
Instead of getting angry, I smiled.
“Next time we meet, I hope you have your checkbook ready…” I mumbled, glaring at the huge truck. “Next time…”