Today, I lost my crown.
There was no ceremony.
And an audible sigh of relief.
Maybe I should explain . . .
In the main drive of the ranch, there was a light/electricity pole.
A large one.
I’m not sure whose idea it was to place it thus, but there it stood.
In the centre of the circular drive.
Any drivers had, of necessity, to be vigilant when negotiating our driveway.
Even though said pole had stood there, unmoving and in the exact same place, for years.
As a permanent resident of the ranch, I had always known of its existence.
I knew the exact place where one had to turn the wheel in order to miss it.
And just when to swing around when parking.
But this one day, I was . . . distracted.
Have you heard the ads on TV where they caution you not to drive while distracted?
Listen to them.
Ahem . . .
Without thinking, I shoved the gear shift of our large red and white Chevy Beauville 12-passenger van into reverse.
And started backing up.
After a few feet, I felt a rather large thump.
And the van made a sudden stop.
Frowning, I turned to look behind me.
Sheepishly, I pulled ahead.
Then got out to inspect the damage.
The bright silver bumper had been neatly creased just to one side of the center.
A deep enough crease to force both the top and the bottom of said bumper . . . umm . . . out.
Quite effectively preventing the back door from opening.
I must admit that when my Husby saw it, all he could do was laugh.
Then saw the top point off the crease so the back door would open.
And laugh some more.
That was twenty years ago.
He has been laughing since.
But today, I heard another bumper story.
A better bumper story.
Told by my good friend, Jen.
Jen was backing out of her garage.
It has been sleeting and freezing and her drive way was a sheet of ice.
She backed out cautiously.
After a few feet, the vehicle stopped moving.
She pressed harder on the accelerator.
Still no progress.
Just a bit more.
Suddenly, the bumper of her vehicle popped off.
The whole thing.
And it was at that precise moment that she realized she hadn't, as she had thought, been slipping on the ice.
Her bumper had snagged on the garage door.
The door had won.
She stopped the car and got out to survey.
Then, abandoning her travel plans for the afternoon, she went back into the house and stayed there.
Some time later, her Husby and his dad came to inspect.
Jen watched them as they shook their heads and muttered to each other.
Finally, they picked up the bumper and refastened it.
With cable ties.
It has been 10 years.
They are still driving that car.
And that bumper is still attached.
I happily pass the crown to her.
She’s earned it.