Thursday or Friday of last week, I was driving home in crawling traffic, listening to NPR, as has been my wont ever since Eric accused me of knowing too little about current events. (He was not entirely wrong.) Crawl, crawl, crawl, thunk. The car behind me had hit me. We got out; the driver, a woman a little younger than me, apologized profusely. She noticed the dent in my bumper and gasped, "Did I do that?"
"No, that was already there," I said. There was no damage to my car, just a license-plate-shaped smudge in the dirt, so I shrugged, she apologized once more, and we got back in our cars.
Today I was driving home, listening to NPR, thinking about whether we should buy stocks since everyone else was probably going to. I stopped at a light and fished out some trail mix from the Eric Hypoglycemia Emergency Stash. Chew, chew, chew, thunk. This one was a little harder. I got out and the driver, male this time, said, "Are you all right? I'm so sorry! I saw cars moving in the other lane and just started going." He looked at the dent in my bumper and said, "Did I do that?"
"No, that was from before," I said, and we examined the bumper. There were a couple of slight scratches this time, but not enough to be noticeable under the dirt or worry me, so after another apology and another "Are you sure you're all right?" we got back in our cars. It vaguely amuses me that both people thought they could be responsible for a dent in the side of the bumper when they hit me straight on. Could I have said "Yes" and gotten a free bumper repair out of it? Probably their insurance companies would be smarter than that. However, I feel sure that either I will myself get into an accident before long and be forgiven, or have a third person hit me even harder than the second one, and this third person will buy me a new bumper.