Thursday, October 23, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

None of my garage wrecks are really my fault

stanhope column sig

By
From page A2 | May 11, 2014 |

We got Mrs. Brad a new car a few months ago, which meant a promotion for me from a 20-year-old Toyota to a 9-year-old Toyota.

I feel like a king! For the first time in a while, I’m driving a car that’s worth more than my TV. Now I just need to avoid having a fourth wreck in my garage.

You read that right. But your reaction is unfair. It’s wrong to consider me a bad driver, because the three in-garage wrecks weren’t really my fault.

Seriously. It’s been awhile since they happened.

Who hasn’t run into a closed garage door? Who hasn’t torn off a side-view mirror or two? It sounds terrible, but it’s reasonable.

Let me explain (in a way that won’t compromise my now-reasonable insurance rates).

The first two garage accidents simply cost me my side-view mirrors. Who hasn’t tried to back out while listening to radio sports talk, not realizing the mirror on the passenger side was being clipped off by the garage door’s frame and spring? Those things happen.

Oh, sure, you could say that the horrific screeching of a plastic mirror tearing off my Saturn (after all, I was backing out slowly. I’m a safe driver!) should have alerted me to the problem. But you don’t know how important the radio topic was, and how distracted I was by getting to work.

If you condemn me for that,  you probably think my second in-garage accident was bad, too. It wasn’t – it was just a mirror-image repeat of the first one.

By that, I mean a literal mirror image. It was the opposite side of the car. And it involved a mirror.

It also involved me listening to the radio and not paying attention while backing out, which didn’t please Mrs. Brad – presumably because like me, she thinks our garage is too narrow. I’m not sure, because she didn’t tell me why she was so mad.

But she got over it.

The third garage accident was also very understandable. We bought a not-so-mini minivan and one day I was preoccupied as I prepared to go to work – adjusting the radio and thinking about the Giants’ outfield situation. I put the van in reverse and backed . . . into the closed door.

How come it was closed? I don’t know, but the door took a fairly serious dent. I could have sworn I opened it when I came into the garage. Maybe someone secretly closed it on me.

When Mrs. Brad found out, she just walked away, probably because there was no point in agreeing with me that it wasn’t a big deal and that the door should automatically open when a minivan gets close. I’m not sure, because she didn’t tell me why she was upset.

But there’s no need to focus on three unfortunate accidents. They’re in the past. They weren’t really my fault (blame interesting sports-talk radio, narrow garages and doors that aren’t automatic). Now that I’m driving a newer car, it’s unlikely it will happen again.

Mrs. Brad, meanwhile, is driving a car that plugs into the wall. Seriously! She isn’t giving me an opportunity to drive it. I suspect she thinks that if I drive it, I might leave with the cord still attached to our house.

She’s probably right. I’m sure that she’d agree that it really wouldn’t be my fault, too. Who plugs in a car? That’s as silly as a garage that’s too narrow and doesn’t automatically open its door as you back out.

Reach Brad Stanhope at 427-6958 or bstanhope@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bradstanhope.

Brad Stanhope

Brad Stanhope

Brad Stanhope is the Daily Republic's news editor. He began his career at the DR in the last millennium. He spent 17 years as a sports editor and three years as the associate editor before spending three years away from the newspaper (though continuing as a columnist). He returned in December 2010 as news editor. Brad lives in Suisun City with his wife, Mrs. Brad, and two sons. He enjoys cheese.
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  • Mirror, Mirror.... On the Wall... Literally... ( But U R still the Fairest of them all... Mr. Brad )May 11, 2014 - 7:18 am

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZLt4H11Tcs

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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