I had one of those "D’oh!" moments last Tuesday. I had a spare half hour, and went down to Ikea to get a rug. Well, okay, I actually wanted to look at a table, but it didn’t look all that great, so I ended up looking at rugs. Something to at least partially disguise the yeucky carpet in my livingroom, and to be aligned with the TV and couch, which to my mind look a bit odd placed diagonally to everything else in the room.
I found an okay rug, and as I was walking to the checkout, I heard the roof erupt with the sound of rain hitting tin. (Ikea in Melbourne is, essentially, just a well-disguised big shed with lots of air-conditioning). By the time I’d paid and walked out, it was absolutely pissing down. I ran to the car and threw the rug into the boot. Then I ummed and ahhed about what to do next.
You see, the area around Ikea has become something of a home wares paradise… well, at least if indeed home wares is your idea of paradise. First a Freedom Furniture popped up on one side. In the last few months, they’ve knocked down the car dealer on the other side, and built a Dare
and Adairs (which given the names, go quite well together). I decided since I was there, to go into Adairs and invest in some new towels. So, should I walk the three-or-so hundred metres, and possibly get soaked in the process? I had an umbrella with me, but it was a titchy one that had been bought for the kids to use. Or should I be a complete slob and drive, despite my green anti-car
leanings, just so I could stay dry?
I’m telling you, it was pissing down. Bucketing. Cats and dogs. So no matter how much I contributed to global warming that day, I decided to drive. Terrible, aren’t I?
I pulled out of the car park onto the service road. Ah, there’s a good spot, right in front of Adairs. A little small? Nah, it’ll be okay. Pull up along side the car in front, put the left indicator on, and prepare to do one of my devastatingly graceful reverse parks into the gap. Reverse, turn in, look in the rear mirror… how close am I? Back a little… slowly… that’s it… slowly… bump. Shit.
Ease forward a little. I’ve definitely bumped the car behind. There’s a guy walking past, watching. I’d better get out and look concerned. I do so. Thoroughly look at my car and the other one. No damage on either. The guy looks too. "No damage, I wouldn’t worry about it." I kind of nod, ‘cos he’s just someone walking past showing an interest, right?
Back into the car. I decide to go park elsewhere. The guy walks around the car behind, and starts putting something into the boot. Oh man, dammit. I didn’t realise it was his car, or I would have said sorry. He probably thinks I’m a complete arsehole. I make a run for it.
Oh well, better that kind of accident than the kind that involves screeching tyres, crumpled cars, ambulances and huge insurance claims.