Monday, July 09, 2007

Mobile Nation

So I was back in town for less than 12 hours before another incident struck.

I was about 3/4 of the way home after a very groggy half-day at work when a Hummer -- which I had waited patiently behind as it signaled to turn left -- apparently turned in front of a Land Rover heading north (or the Land Rover was heading west and ran a stop sign -- I'm not sure who was at fault).

I heard the sound -- it was deafening -- and turned in horror as my peripheral vision detected said Hummer spinning into the northbound lane (previously, it was heading south and turning east). I double-parked my car, flashers going, and ran over to the Land Rover (which was on someone's lawn).

I'm no mechanic -- not even an insurance adjustor -- but it didn't take a genius to determine the vehicle was almost certainly totaled. The driver was crawling over his seat and towards the passenger side when I opened his door (turns out it wouldn't open from the inside). I confirmed he was (by some miracle) OK, before I did the same check on the guy in the Hummer.

"I'm OK," he said. "Is she OK?"

About that time I realized a third vehicle was involved -- a smaller sedan that had been heading south when the Hummer spun into it after hitting (or being hit by) the Rover.

The damage to her vehicle was minimal by comparison. She was uninjured, but clearly quite shaken.

The only reason I mention this is because of what happened next:

I asked if anyone had called 911. The first two drivers -- bear in mind, both were driving nice, new cars that come with moderately hefty price tags -- each told me they didn't have cell phones.

I was befuddled.

"Well," I said. "Do you want me to call?"

They nodded, and I did. It took another 15 minutes for police to arrive (we were on the border between the city and a suburb, and I half imagine they were arguing over who should take the call), during which period one guy borrowed my phone to call his wife. Later after the police arrived, the other one borrowed it to call a tow truck.

Now, I have no problem letting people borrow my phone for emergencies such as this. And I certainly understand the hesitation to buy a mobile phone, for fear of becoming a slave to it.

But I was nevertheless shocked. I mean, my car's entire worth wouldn't buy a new bumper for the Hummer.

Guess when you drive a P.O.S. you know you've gotta be prepared for emergencies.


Pamela said...

you would think a fancy car would have onstar.

But I know what you mean. I take my cell phone in case I break down

Anonymous said...

I take my cell phone with me when I bike. Just because it rings doesn't mean you have to answer it.

Sounds like someone in a SUV got dumb.

Winter said...

I held out as long as I could.

Speaking of which have you chosen what type of car you are going to get?

Michael K said...

Yer like some kind of cell phone hero. Call yourself Celly or The Verizonator or something.

Stacy said...

Maybe they think they are invincible because they are rich.

Stacy said...

Also, like Winter said. My sister in law just bought this cool , inexpensive little Nissan. I want to buy one at the end of the year. Roomy, 35 MPG, not the bio diesel I yearn for but I guess it isn't time.