Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My all-time biggest whopper...

The weirdest thing happened this morning. I didn't blog for three days and when I checked in today, the internet didn't explode. Huh.

So speaking of three-legged animals...

I once told a HUGE lie and it's a good thing there's no such thing as karma or Odie-karma would be coming around in a bad way.

Odie was the dog that lived in my seminary teacher's neighborhood. He loved to chase cars and as a result, he only had three legs. He was friendly but dumb, which is why he kept running after cars. I think he may have been some kind of Golden Retriever mix, but all I know for sure is that it was sure bet we'd see his yellow coat flying after us in the rearview mirror when we left seminary every morning.

In Louisiana (where I grew up), you could get your driver's license at fifteen. That meant I got mine when I was in ninth grade because my parents didn't want to get up at 5:30 anymore to drive me to seminary.

I thought it was the greatest thing ever at the time, but let me go on record as stating the obvious: giving a freshman a driver's license is a BAD idea.

I don't think I'd had my license for a month when I was driving three of my friends home from seminary and disaster, in the form of me, struck. To clarify, we had seminary at my teacher's house. Nine of us, representing all four grades and seven different high schools, crowded around her dining room table every morning. When leaving the neighborhood, the road was long and winding. On this particular occasion, my friends and I were all having a discussion about secret handshakes, joking that people could only hang out with us if they knew the handshake. My best friend Anna and I were in the front seat and decided to demonstrate for the benefit of my girlfriends in the back, our deliberately absurd and convoluted handshake du jour.

This handshake was soooo complicated, apparently, that it meant I had to concentrate on doing the silly gestures and not the road exiting the 'hood, and all of sudden there was a huge thump and a wall of green, followed by girlish screams and a whap-whap-whap sound.

Now to make a lonnnng story short, Odie was fine. As far as I know, he wasn't anywhere near us. But when we got to my friend Anna's house, we discovered that every place on the car that could get a large piece of green shrubbery stuck in it, had a piece of green shrubbery sticking out. I looked like I was driving a modified camouflage Dodge Shadow. You know, if you count ficus as camouflage.

When I returned to the scene of the crime with my mom after school, prepared to make amends, we discovered I had entirely removed the third of four six foot tall bushes growing in some poor people's yard with the front grill of my car. Oh, and I had left a twenty foot tire skid across their lawn. Awesome.

They ended up being really nice about it, saying they didn't expect me to pay for it, just to drive more safely. And after seeing all the damage I did, I couldn't confess that it was just because I was an idiot.

So I told my parents that Odie had run in front of the car and I swerved to avoid him. Having braked to avoid him many times themselves, they easily believed me. It was the only reason I didn't get in more trouble than I did.

I've been an excellent driver since, but I honestly can't remember if I ever told them the truth or not.

Poor Odie. He was slandered by a freshman armed with a Dodge Shadow. He never stood a chance.


Kristina P. said...

Wow, I am so disappointed. I am totally OK with cheating, but lying is just unacceptable. Glad to see you posting!

Merry Christmas!

Shellie said...

you know that chain of events probably actually saved your life. because you got so freaked out that you actually began to drive safer... which is a good thing. also you probably would have joined a secret gang with super secret hand shakes. and then where would you be? probably living under a bridge now.

CaJoh said...

OK, confessions time… I was a senior in High School and our youth group just finished watching The Day After. It was snowing that day and I decided I would "jump the tracks". I made the jump, but lost control and spun around backwards on the other side. I couldn't help laughing when the other drivers got out of their cars to see if I was alright through what appeared to me to be "fallout snow". Never again did I gun a RR crossing.

Annette Lyon said...

That's right up there with my little sister's first accident--like you, a month after getting her license. It was yearbook day, and she was driving slowly along a residential road when someone just had to show her a picture in the yearbook. Of course, she looked and crashed into a parked car. Totaled Louise, the Honda Civic I'd driven for two years.

She's coming over tonight. I should totally tease her about it. :D

Stephanie and Co. said...

I was afraid you had hit Odie, so I was glad it was just a big lie you told. :0)

charrette said...

Our 17-year-old did that to my husband's car last month. Interesting to now be on the OTHER side of that story!

Those little accidents can be huge wake-up calls. Looks like it was for you.

Do your parents read your blog? Are you in trouble now?

Debbie said...

Well, I never! And I thought you were a fine, upstanding woman.
If that is the worst lie you ever told, you are doing well:)

Jessica G. said...

So...do your parents read your blog? :)

I'm glad you came clean in time to make it onto the "Nice" list.

Annie Valentine said...

Can I learn your secret handshake?

Heather of the EO said...

I just love your writing!!! Do I say that too much? Too bad.

I ALWAYS told the truth my whole entire life about every and all things. It's the right thing to do. Except when something happens with a car. That's the exception.

Merry Christmas!