Tuesday, February 26, 2008


As we were pulling up to Spouse's mother's house Sat morning, we noticed that her next door neighbor Charlotte's car, parked in her driveway, had obviously been in an accident.

"Look, Charlotte's been in yet another accident. How many is it now, 3 within the last 2 years?" I asked.

I recalled them for Spouse, in case he'd forgotten. "There was the time she mistook the gas for the break when she was pulling into her driveway, and subsequently plowed through her own fence."

"Then there was the time she swung too wide when making a right turn and began driving on the wrong side of the median. Oncoming cars were blowing their horns and flashing their lights at her until she decided to drive OVER the median, tearing up the underside of her car. I wonder what happened this time."

We needn't wait long to find out. As soon as we got in the door, and before we could get our coats off, Spouse's mother attacked us with the sad but simultaneously funny story of Charlotte's latest adventure.

Charlotte is 77 years old, which is usually not too old for driving 2-3 miles to the grocery store, hairdresser, and doctor's office which are the only places Charlotte drives. But after hearing what happened, I'm convinced the police did the right thing by confiscating her license.

Apparently Charlotte backed out of her driveway, then started up the street but somehow got confused as to where she was supposed to drive. Barely 50 feet from her own driveway, she drove up onto the sidewalk across the street and hit a neighbor's parked car - not on the street side, but on the curb side! Rather than stop, get out, and do what normal thinking people would do, Charlotte decided to keep on driving! A neighbor saw what happened and called the police.

Remember, she wasn't on the street, she was up on the sidewalk, so when she continued in the same direction she drove right through another neighbor's front yard, running over their trashcan. That didn't stop her either, unfortunately. As she got to the corner of the block she got back onto the street and turned left, then hit another parked car! Apparently on a mission, Charlotte continued down the street and hit a 3rd parked car before making another left and hitting 2 more parked cars on that street! In case you've lost count, she hit 5 parked cars and a trashcan. That's the funny part.

Charlotte made another left turn, effectively circling the block, and pulled back into her driveway. 4 police cars and an ambulance were waiting for her, and the officers escorted her inside her house to talk.

When asked why she didn't stop after hitting the 1st car Charlotte replied that she had to go to the store to get some chicken for the dog. The officer asked her 'what are you supposed to do if you hit someone's car' and she said she didn't know. That's the sad part.

So the officer took away her drivers license and told her if she wanted to get it back she would have to pass a driving test. Most likely her insurance company will drop her after repairing all 6 damaged vehicles.

Charlotte has decided she will not drive anymore. Her son and daughter-in-law live on the same street so they can take her to the grocery store and doctor's office. When her car is fixed her son will sell it for her.

I believe Charlotte is experiencing signs of dementia or Alzheimer's. Hitting 1 parked car is understandable; accidents happen. But continuing to drive after hitting a parked car, and then hitting 4 more parked cars tells me she was not thinking clearly. Hopefully her son and daughter-in-law will see to it that she gets to the doctor for an exam. I'm sure we'll hear about it from Spouse's mother the next time we visit.

So that's the sad but funny story.

Crush du Jour: Thomas Jane


Chris said...

I would comment on that story, but the picture of Thomas Jane has weakened me...

Damn, that man is HOT!

joe*to*hell said...

i love funny but sad things. in this life, so much sucks - but if there is something that makes you laugh - regardless of how awful it is - i say run with it. and run away from charlotte too

ps - thanks for directing me here...i loved this story and i am soooo behind in reading these days

tornwordo said...

That is kind of sad. And not funny at all for the car owners I imagine. Poor Charlotte.