Call it friggatriskaidekaphobia or paraskevidekatriaphobia (fear of Friday the 13th) or triskaidekaphobia (fear of the number 13), some people will not welcome today because of the date. While most folks look forward to Friday, I’m looking forward …
Call it friggatriskaidekaphobia or paraskevidekatriaphobia (fear of Friday the 13th) or triskaidekaphobia (fear of the number 13), some people will not welcome today because of the date. While most folks look forward to Friday, I’m looking forward to Friday the 13th. After the week I’ve had, even the most unlucky day has got to be better than the preceding days.
Everything seemed to get off to a good start. Monday was stressful but we got the papers to the press more or less on time and, on a side note, my new glasses were ready almost a week before expected.
I didn’t get much “work” done Tuesday as I was tied up in meetings and interviewing a candidate for an open editor position. Publisher Sudie Gambrell and I said goodbye to the guy and sent him heading home around 3 p.m. I went inside to start going through the mountain of emails that had amassed since 9 that morning. I had barely made a dent in the primary mailbox when John Underwood stuck his head in the door. In his calm, unassuming voice, he said, “I hate to say this, but they said there was accident outside in the parking lot and they hit both our cars.”
With the Gulf Coast Newspapers plant located on Highway 59 next to McDonald’s, I have seen a slew of folks spot the Golden Arches too late and drive backwards through our side parking lot. I figured someone in dire need of a French fry fix had temporarily lost motor control when they spotted the fine scarfing establishment and had scraped both our cars. I wasn’t ready for the carnage that my eyes beheld.
Instead of a couple of scratched bumpers, John’s Kia was sitting a kilter in the parking place with a red Ford Focus firmly attached to the left rear wheel area. Someone was telling the driver of the Ford that she didn’t need to get out until the paramedics arrived and checked her out. Sage advice, if ever I heard it.
That morning when I got in my Honda, I noticed that it was only 200 miles from rolling over 200,000 on the odometer. It seemed like just yesterday that I picked up the new car with just 3 miles on it. But in fact, it was December 2004.
As I walked around the corner of the building, I noticed my trusty dark blue steed was more or less where I left it. At least the front end was in the same spot. The back end had shifted about 5 feet to the left. So I suddenly switched into accident reconstructionist mode. The Ford had hit my car, pushed it out of the way and hit John’s car before coming to a rest.
As the emergency responders began arriving, I started looking around. The car appeared to have left the road about 100 yards to the south. She climbed the four-foot, bluff-like side of the ditch, took out a 20-foot crepe myrtle and her oil pan at the same time. The remains of the tree traveled on top of the car about 100 feet, while the spray of oil continued on to the final resting place. Thankfully, no one was injured. Thirty minutes earlier, there would have been a host of kids walking from the high school to Mickey D’s.
I wish I could say my week got better from there, but Wednesday was even worse. An early morning trip to Moss Point for a vehicle inspection sticker (my truck still wears a Mississippi tag) began with a gas pump refusing to accept either of my two credit cards. Luckily I had enough cash. Then there was two hours of driving to spend $5 to avoid a $100 (or more) ticket.
The afternoon devolved into a potential litigious situation over items I had little control of before I even knew what happened. Ironically, dealing with insurance people was the easiest part of the day. Thursday saw me doing double duty to layout two different papers.
The sports editor asked me if I wanted to cover a football game in Robertsdale tonight. The first instinct was to say no. But the rules and regulations of a football game might be just what I need. And seeing folks knock the stuffing out of each other might help vent pent-up frustrations. Of course, the way my week has gone, I might end up the victim of a sideline pileup. I could always get the players to sign my cast.
William Moore is the Senior Editor at Gulf Coast Newspapers. He can be reached at email@example.com