She has a new car now, that little old lady with the white curls and tiny glasses. She wrote hers off that day she barrelled out of a side street and hit us sideways on! Hit us, even when we tried to get up on the empty pavement, out of her way, because there was no way she was going to stop! As the painful screeching of metal on metal ceased, and the steam hissed menacingly from under her squashed bonnet, my nerves kicked in.

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” I admit I yelled, as I struggled out of the passenger door, while my husband, the driver, banged his head down on the steering wheel and swore quietly to himself.

“Where do you think you were going?” We had right of way and were totally bewildered by her racing tactics on a suburban street.

“I was going to the farm for fresh eggs and bread,” she responded, seeming rather unconcerned by her dying vehicle and the big dent in the driver’s door of ours.

“Well, love,” said the spouse, with admirable patience. “You aren’t going anywhere in that, it’s a write-off”

He and I pushed her car into a safe opening on the street, then he calmly drove her home. She admitted it was her fault, so in a manner suggesting she had been here and done this all before, gave him her insurance details. Meanwhile, I had ceased to shake and jump and jiggle with shock. But our car was un-drivable, as the driver’s door would not close. We manged to drive the few hundred yards home. Why am I so glad about the insurance? Our insurance company immediately authorized a courtesy replacement vehicle for however long it took for all repairs. The problem was, the car was a Rover, and Rover had just ceased trading, so replacements were hard to come by. But the insurance company paid for the courtesy vehicle for four weeks, for all new parts and thank heavens we were covered. They asked if we needed to claim for injuries, in fact, I felt slightly guilty that I had no whiplash, cuts and bruises to please them with. They phoned about it, they sent letters about it, and finally accepted that nobody was hurt.

As we pass that side street on a daily basis, we watch out very carefully for one little old lady who appears to have forgotten the rules of the road. A week ago, my daughter and I encountered her, doing the exact same thing in her new car, no stopping, just barrelling on. I wonder what her premiums cost? I bet she is glad she has car insurance. Over the moon, even.

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