It’s a new year, and although Thanksgiving has passed, I want to say thanks to one very special person. I don’t know who you are, but you deserve a great big thank you for bashing in my bumper and running away.
I’m not sure what your particular implement of destruction was – your own bumper, an errant shopping cart that you couldn’t manage to steer straight in a big level parking lot; maybe even a 9-pound hammer that would do John Henry proud.
No matter, you still managed to break my bumper cover, sending my car back to the condition it had been in for several years.
The thing is, you somehow managed to hit the exact spot on the corner of my car where I had been hit a few years ago. It was a very pleasant young man who hit me, and he didn’t run away. He pulled over and showed me his license and everything. After I had gotten estimates for the repair, he paid me in cash because he didn’t want to raise his insurance rates.
Just as I was about to get the bumper repaired, my wife destroyed the side of her car, so we used that money to pay our deductible to get her car fixed. After that, things just kept coming up and the smashed bumper stayed smashed.
A couple of months ago, I was rear-ended again by a very nice man. That spelled doom for the entire bumper, and his insurance company was extremely nice, too, and paid for the new damage. That spurred me to spend a few bucks, and for the first time in years, my car was intact.
It made me feel good. Proud, in fact. And you know what they say about pride. It goeth before a fall.
Well, sort of. The actual quote from Proverbs 16:18 is: “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”
So, you see, I was proud of my bumper, and your destruction of my bumper led to my fall. Thank you.
Thanks for taking me down a peg for feeling so smug about my car. It’s just a vehicle, and though it is otherwise unblemished, I suppose I should expect a dent after 11 years. That doesn’t affect its good mileage, great handling, perfect size and the ability to haul people, dogs, dirt and lumber.
The Greeks had a word for pride that does a person in: hubris. We all learned about it in high school when those Greek heroes got into trouble with their gods.
Hubris is, according to Benét’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, a tragic flaw of pride, ambition or overconfidence that leads a hero to ignore warnings of the gods or to disregard established moral codes, resulting in his downfall, or nemesis. (Nemesis was a goddess who personified righteous anger and exacted retribution from those who broke the code. That’s another interesting piece of mythology.)
So, dear Bumper Smasher, thank you again for opening my eyes to my excessive pride. Moreover, thank you for keeping me from wasting a New Year’s resolution about being proud.