dark boat dark night

By necessity, this will be a truncated blog this week as my trusty laptop is going in for a hard drive transplant tomorrow so I’ll be on edge all day hoping the surgery was successful. My current C drive is 98% full, and it’s amazing how much storage solid state hard drives have these days. This little upgrade will obviate the need to replace the whole darn machine just to gain some breathing room.

I asked my IT guy for advice on the laptop issue and he came back with some options and a recommendation, which I duly followed. We at Coastal Climate Control endeavor to advise our customers on the best way to plan, install, and troubleshoot the equipment we offer and represent, but there’s always some folk that want to ignore good advice and go their own way. Why is that?

Here’s a good example, with a less-than-good outcome. My neighbor has a beautiful and probably very expensive Porsche, a real sporty beast all shiny and jet black. His house is at the corner of an intersection in our sleepy neighborhood, and he keeps it parked on the street and nearly always covers it in a matching black cover.

One night a year or so ago I came home driving our company Sprinter van, and as I turned the corner I almost clobbered the Porsche, hiding there in the dark under its black cover, having seen it only at the very last second. I mentioned this to the neighbor and suggested he put some reflective tape on the cover to hopefully prevent any future carnage, but my suggestion was shrugged off. No reflective tape materialized.

Then, early this year, the neighbor found that someone had swiped his Porsche during the night and left a rip in the cover and a nasty dent in the bodywork. The presence of a speck of red paint seemed to suggest that it could have been one of the fleet of rescue vehicles that often use our road as a cut-through to and from the nearby fire house.

If that were the case then the driver probably would not have even known he hit anything, especially if driving one of those big, heavy, noisy fire trucks. Again I urged the Porsche man to add reflective strips to his car cover. Again the advice was ignored and the incident shrugged off as just plain bad luck.

The Porsche sported that ding for quite a while before it was joined by one or two smaller ones plus a nasty crunch in the hood that looked like the result of quite a serious prang. Then, just a few months ago, the car disappeared for a while before returning all patched up and pretty with a new lick of paint. It looked gorgeous! The cover, now sporting a neat repair, had faded over time to a dirgy dark grey color, perfectly matching the road surface. At night, the concealed speedster was stealthier than stealth.

Fast forward to last Friday evening which was rudely interrupted in my house by the sort of crunching, grinding sound that makes you screw your face up and cringe. Yup, it had happened again, but this time it was much, much worse. There were no other cars parked at our end of the street and the driver of the paramedic’s truck must have taken the corner wide and ended up slamming into the front driver’s side quarter of the phantom Porsche. The force of the big heavy vehicle had then pushed the Porsche against the curb and backwards, twisting it badly so that I would think it most definitely a right-off, although a thoroughly gorgeous, shiny, right-off.

We’ll have to wait and see if that car makes a miraculous return or another takes its place, and also if there will be a black cover and whether it will have reflective strips. I wouldn’t bet on the latter.

My advice for the holidays? Stay safe, have oodles of fun, and don’t OD on the eggnog.

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