Makes my shunt look a bit crap by comparison.
Well, it has finally happened. I crashed a hire car on Friday night. It was only a minor accident in the grand scheme of things, butit was enough to set off the two driver airbags, one of which was such a stunning design that all it did was shove the lower bit of trim into my legs at such a force that I had a fist sized (I kid you not) lump on my right shin, and now have some fairly serious bruising to my right lower leg. All black and painful. Sadly, it doesn't show up on camera or I'd post a picture, but at least you get a very poor one of the lump about an hour and a half past it's best (i t had reduced to nothing inside 4 hours after this shot):
It was more impressive in the flesh, but at least you also get to see the rather gorgeous duvet cover that I have on my bed in my current hotel. Yum. And before you ask, yes it is perfectly in keeping with the rest of the room.
Anyway. The shunt. It was so pathetic that I still struggle to actually believe it happened. It had all the hallmarks of the usual "it was always going to happen" crashing inevitability; I was tired, it was late, dark, raining and we all just wanted to go home. We'd been testing all day at a cold circuit and taking the hire car back to a badly lit car park seemed like a great idea, frankly. Doh. I had pulled across the front of the line of spaces outside the hire shop while my boss checked that there was a key drop. He came back over to the car and opened the door to confirm that there was and to tell me to park over the far side of the car park. He didn't shut the door properly afterwards, but being as I was only going (literally) 60 feet across two rows of spaces to the far side, I just turned and drove across them. Of course, the wipers had been all clever and stopped while I was stationary, producing a film of water on the screen.
I had got less than 20 feet when the car stopped absolutely dead with a massive bang and all the airbags exploded. Scared the living shit out of me, I can tell you.
"What the fuck...?"
I looked out the screen and could see no reason why I had stopped. I assumed that the wheel had dropped into a hole or something. I was sat there for a few seconds in the airbag smoke trying to work out what the fuck had happened, and got no nearer. It was only when I got out of the car that I could actually see the black pole with the blown light on it, smack in the middle of the car park. If I had swung a little more sharply, my headlights would have shined on it, but just missed it. It had an enlarged (black) base that was just the same height of the top of the bumper, and this had hit pretty much where the chassis rail was - basically one of the least forgiving parts of the front of the car, hence the airbags, I guess, although I didn't think that they triggered under 15mph, I have to say. Suggs? You know about this shit, should they have triggered?
So I felt pretty fucking stupid, I can tell you. But the fact that the boss was stood there, and clearly knew I wasn't fucking about, and, from my reaction as I got out of the car, knew I absolutely hadn't seen the post at all was probably a good thing. He was pretty good about it, but they have destroyed their fair share of hire cars themselves, I gather, so maybe it is a team rite of passage. I would have preferred to have shunted attempting some severe and highly dangerous and utterly irresponsible manoeuvre, rather than in a fucking car park, but maybe I should be thankful for that. The amount of times I have been so completely dangerous and got away with it is something that I wouldn't be able to begin to count, so maybe it was just my turn.
So. The car is fucked - 2 airbags, one bumper. Possibly $2-3000 with paint but it is all on the hire car insurance. And yours truly is mighty fucked off about it and has two painful lower legs and some interesting bruises. Other than that, my first test (and first week!) with the team went really well...
Borne of a particularly silly mind (mine), this idea occured to us while wandering Los Angeles streets one afternoon. Ellipse managed to capture it rather well, I thought. I only need some raggedy hair (or even some at all) and I could be a sketer dude type.
Childish, but awesome also.
So. After a seriously ball-achy journey, I am finally here. I've met the team, and there is a huge amount that I can do, and a fair amount that I need to do, so a fair balance.
I have had a fair to average meal (by which I mean better than the average american establishment) and everyone seems friendly so far. Now, as I am pretty knackered, I am going to go down to the bar, have a couple and go to bed.
p.s. Fecking hotel didn't have wireless, so fortunately I had my router to unpack and set up. Walked in the room and opened the suitcase, got the iPod speakers out, got the router plugged in, got tunes on and fired up t'interweb. Sorted. One must organise the essentials...
I arrive for my 1115 flight to Charlotte to then connect to Toronto at 1320. To find out that it still (as we speak it is 1150) hasn't even left Charlotte to come the 2 odd hours to Atlanta. So unless I teleport, I would have little chance of making my connection. The next one that I had a viable chance of getting would have been a 2120 connection, meaning a fourteen hour journey for me, rather than the originally intended one of four. Suckola.
So, I have spoken to the guy on the gate and am now transferring three gates down to go to Washington and transfer from there. This is actually the more pfreferable flight in terms of travelling time, but was down as a $640 flight versus the #348 one I initially took, so I discounted it. So, essentially, I have saved $300 because of fog. How weird.
The only down side is that I had to leave the company of an extremely attractive young lady (called Bridgette) that I had ended up sitting next to and chatting with at the last gate, which was really rather pleasant, and dreadfully easy on teh eye. When I came back from the desk and said I was transferring, she actually looked noticeably disappointed, which was nearly enough to turn back round and change my booking back. If she'd been going all the way to Toronto, I think I probably would have...
So. it is official. I told my boss that I was leaving this morning, and I am now packed and getting on a plane tomorrow morning. Zoom.
Canada, here I come.
Looking forward to it, actually. I haven't slept as well as I have for the last 4 nights (since I made the decision to take the job) for quite a while, which I suspect has been due to the constant frustration at work and the uncertainty over visas and where I will be living after November. But still, all sorted now. At least I can live in a country that will (no doubt) enthusiastically join in with all my abusing of americans and their arrogance and bad habits. Not too good at criticism here, you see, as america is, so I hear, the greatest country in the world and has no faults and everything is better here.
Apparently. Yuhu. I certainly see some. Not least that attitude. Still, I get to visit it fairly regularly to top up my vitriol. That'll be nice, eh?
Hmmmm. I just got a phone call from Canada. And it was a long one.
The upshot of all this is that I am, at this stage, 90% sure that I will be living and working in Canada next year. Looks like the job will be pretty interesting, paid the same as the onen I have now, and be in Toronto...
I have my notes from the phone call to go through and some thinking to do. Then I will confirm or deny my that I will accept the job.
How interesting. Brock is pleased. Eh.