The Stories I Tell ~ from The Word Cellar

Stories. Anecdotes. A free round of words for everyone!

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I love stories. I'm the one at social functions with a dozen new anecdotes. But I worry about hogging the conversation. Sometimes I tell myself that I'll be quiet and let others do the talking. But no matter how hard I try, my stories insist on bursting out! Here I can let my stories (the classics that I tell again and again, as well as new ones that unfold along the way) run free. I'm a professional writer and editor, and sole proprietor of The Word Cellar. I write for a variety of publications and clients on everything from green buildings and nuclear reactors to entrepreneurship and the arts. If you need words written, edited, or enlivened, I can help. Contact me.


My First Car Accident (4th 1st)

[Stephanie over at Cool People I Know (whom I found via Jen Lemen) has tagged her readers to jump in on her meme and provide a list of five firsts. This is my third first. Read the others here.]

I'm sitting in a line of traffic about 10 cars long, backed up at a busy intersection. To my left, and across the oncoming lane of traffic, is the parking lot of a bar/pizza joint. I see a car start to back out of the parking lot. He backs across the oncoming lane of traffic and right into my front driver's side.

We both pull into the parking lot and get out of our cars. The other driver, a guy in his early 20's, speaks the first words between us: "Didn't you see me?"

I want to say: "Yes, I saw you as you backed into oncoming traffic and then into my car. Yes. I saw you, dude."

But in the end, I just say: "Didn't you see me?"

At first he seems stunned to realize that the accident is his fault, but then quickly adopts a "my bad" attitude and apologizes several times. We exchange insurance information.

While we sit there and wait for the police, whom I called after realizing that he smelled strongly of beer, he tries to bond with me. "Hey, I see the sticker in your window for that local public radio station. I listen to them to!"

Then he tries to make me feel bad for him because now he'll be late for the gig his band is playing at a house party tonight. I tell him that I'll be late for friends who were going to stop by my place. I also explain that if he's drunk, I don't want him to hurt anyone or himself. He says, "I told you. I had one beer. That's all."

I want to keep him in a good mood so he'll stick around. (I'm actually surprised he hasn't gotten belligerent or just taken off.) I say, "Tell you what. If the cops tell me you're not drunk, I will apologize to you."

"Okay," he says. "But I think you're gonna owe me an apology."

Forty minutes later a State Trooper is handcuffing him and arresting him for DUI.


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