After a brief second or two, which he used to assess the situation he now found himself in, he heard himself say just one word.
And the matter of fact way he said it seemed kind of inappropriate at the time.
Hmmm, bad start. Perhaps I should give you some background information before continuing this story.
It was a wet night, a very wet night. The rain had been coming straight down and to the side like all afternoon and it wasn't for letting up. But it mattered none. It had been a long week and finally it was Friday and the chance to go home was upon him. First he got himself cleaned up. Then he got his things together before throwing them in his vehicle. He then sat himself down in the drivers seat, making sure to click the seatbelt into position before putting a cd, he had deliberately made the previous weekend with this drive in mind, into the cd player (more about that cd later). And off he set on his 3 hour journey home.
Only he didn't get very far. Perhaps 15 minutes down the single track road he spotted something small and white on the road (a rabbit perhaps) about 150 yards ahead. Not wanting to add to the road kill that he saw on this road on a daily basis the driver decided to brake nice and early to allow whatever animal was dilly-dallying on the road to notice the vehicle that was coming towards it and move out of the way.
Sometimes though being considerate for the life of others doesn't pay. And so it proved on this Friday night. When he gently hit the brakes he was driving at just 33mph, which at the time he didn't think was particularly fast. But unbeknownst to him both left wheels were driving through a shallow river of water that had formed on that side of the road due to the heavy rain. Hitting the brakes caused the vehicle to aquaplane across the surface of the road and so he found himself over correcting the slide, resulting in the wheels on the right driving on the soft sticky verge. Not wanting to risk driving off the verge and tumbling 150 yards below he tried to move the vehicle back to the left but he foolishly left his foot on the brake pedal and with the right rear wheel having nothing solid to grip onto the vehicle overturned and landed on the driver's side. His heavy rucksack, which felt like the weight of another person landed on top of him.
After a brief second or two, which he used to assess the situation he now found himself in, he heard himself say just one word out loud.
The matter of fact way he said it seemed inappropriate at the time. The calmness out of place considering the events that had happened just moments before.
After taking a few seconds to determine that the vehicle was no longer moving anywhere it was time to get out and warn any traffic that might be coming up behind or coming round the corner in front, to prevent one accident from causing another. The problem was getting out. The drivers side was a no go being that was the side that the vehicle was lying on. The windscreen wasn't broken so that left the passengers door as the only escape. One problem with that, doors are heavy. Heavier still when they have gravity on their side. The driver discovered under such circumstances its not possible to open the door as normal by just pulling the handle. Before escape was possible he had to first discover a way of pulling the handle and pushing the door open at the same time, time was not on his side since this single track road was as busy as some of the main roads found in the region. A little gymnastics was called for. He used one hand to pull the handle and both legs outstretched to push the door open and his free arm to first support his weight and then inch upwards and out. It was only once he was out and safely on the ground and able to prevent other cars from driving into an accident not of their making that he realised he forgot to switch off the engine and had left the cd player on.
How do I know that this all of this happened as it happened? That numpty was me. Yesterday.
Why I typed this story in the third person I have no clue. It seemed like a good idea at the time but in hindsight it looks kind of pretentious so I won't be making a habit of it.
Anyway back to the story, as you can see from reading this I am unhurt. I managed to climb from the wreckage with only a small 1 cm long scratch on my finger to show for it. Disappointing really seeing as I just lost my 6 years no claims bonus. Bugger indeed. I could have at least have got a war wound for my trouble. Ah well, it wasn't to be.
I'm thinking of getting the damaged side of the van spray painted with large letters ALWAYS LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE OF LIFE followed by ..... at least my underwear stayed the same colour as they began the day in tiny lettering. Oh and they began the day, clean and white just in case you were wondering.
I could always go for NOBODY EXPECTS ... the white rabbit. Except that's not very Monty Python like. Oh and the rabbit, I don't know what happened to it. I didn't hit it, but neither did it hesitate and stare into the headlights like other rabbits tend to do.Maybe their was no rabbit, perhaps I imagined it and the crash was for no reason. Ah well, thats life!
Back to the cd. I just had to laugh at the songs that were playing through the speakers, songs that I had chosen myself not realising at the time of making the cd what was going to happen. It might be my sick sense of humour but I just found the music my ears were being subjected to amusing and entirely appropriate for the situation.
Blue Oyster Cult - Don't Fear The Reaper - this song was playing as I was crashing, that moment when I knew the van was going to overturn and wasn't entirely sure if I was going to remain on the road or if I was going to go rolling down the hill and end up 150 yards below the road. Strangely though it all seemed to happen in slow motion and I didn't fear anything I was ready to accept my fate, whatever that was.
After managing to climb out the passengers side of the van I recognised the opening chords of Scribe's - Stronger. At this moment I was still reflecting on how I managed to get out of the van with nothing but a small scratch on my middle finger to show for my ordeal so with the combination of this song blaring out of the speakers and my mood of relief I couldn't help but reflect on the old phrase 'whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger.' Then when I heard the first verse of the song begin and those first few lines going on about the 'I made it through the rain and the cold', 'if I could turn back time and change the road that I chose', and 'mistakes that I made' the song somehow seemed right for the moment, of course the rest of the lyrics in the song
Blu Cantrell - Make Me Wanna Scream. As a perfectionist I'm normally the type of person that would be angry with myself for making such a foolish mistake especially when it involved wrecking my no claims bonus and damaging my 18 month old van when I had still 2 and a half years of payments to make. I should have at the very least wanted to scream out. On this occasion though there was no anger, no shouting, no screaming, no throwing my hands up, no losing my cool - just an appreciation for the comic timing of the song.
By the time Lovin' Spoonful's - What A Day For A Daydream started to play I was seeing irony everywhere even when there was none.