The Marine View Driver: Car, Meet Garage. Garage, Meet Car. Bam!


Wherein the author encounters yet another miraculous car healing.

By Mike Smith

Every day I drive up and down Lake City Way, aka LCW. There is an espresso stand near Nathan Hale High School that has at least three different employees. Every day a car is parked in the spot presumably set aside for employees–always one of three different vehicles.

They are all different, that is, except for one thing. They all have a large dent in the rear quarter-panel.

I chuckle at this for a couple of reasons. If these cars are indeed owned by three different people, there is a weird confab of coincidence in how or where each drives. I guess it is possible that the three cars belong to one person but then that may speak of how this individual drives, or takes a corner, or pulls out of a parking garage.

Odd, thinks I. But perhaps not entirely implausible. Given that it is LCW after all.

Cars are delicate products. And cars are often-times kept in garages. Which are not all that delicate. In fact, garages (and even carports) are quite. uhh, stout. Very stout compared to cars, I’d say.

Cars and garages often meet and the meeting is not at all significant. One might say that the car and the garage inadvertently miss-perform, as it were. And a practical example of stout-meets-delicate ensues.

A couple of days ago, my wife was pulling out from our garage and caught the right fender on the corner of our garage and pulled the fender and entire bumper loose from the front of the car. I was not home at the time so I received a heartfelt text note: “I hurt the car :(”

When I got there it looked like a pretty major problem. We’ve had plenty of car issues throughout our married life so we simply took it in stride. I had things to do… like respond to my Friday lunch friends that I couldn’t make lunch due to our car having the appearance of an impending demise. My wife took the car to the local body shop, which by the way is two blocks away. It’s good to live in the city sometimes.

About an hour later she came home. The estimate was eight-hundred dollars. As she said this she gestured that I should follow her outside. She led me to the car which had almost no sign of damage. At all. Just a small scratch on the headlight cover.

The body shop guy told her that if she wanted a new bumper he could do the job well enough. But while he was talking to her he banged his mallet here and there, put a couple of screws in place and before she knew it, the car was completely whole and intact. I sort of mean, repaired. I’m not sure you can say it is repaired, knowing what we know, but you should see it! It looks like new! With a puny little head light scratch.

We were very happy. We don’t have to spend eight hundred dollars and the car should be fine for quite some time. Crazy. Crazy with relief and not a little thankfulness for an honest body and fender man. We were willing to shell out the eight Benjamins. But look at us, not having to.

But alas, I am still a bit concerned. I mean, are we driving a chintzy lightweight car that can’t take a punch? Good or bad? It was almost easier to repair it than to damage it. It certainly took less force and about the same amount of time, it seems.

I do take comfort in the fact, though, that our garage seems to be completely oblivious. My big strong well-built garage. Very stout indeed.

Some garage repairman just lost a ton of work!


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