With a bang, bitches.
Not the bang of fireworks or noisemakers, but the bang of my right front passenger side wheel making terminal contact with a foot-high curb.
I was driving to my friends’ party across town in light snow when my amazing luck with cars decided to pop in for a friendly visit. Pulling up to a stop sign, where another car was waiting its turn, I completely lost traction and plunged headlong towards the rear end of a minivan. My incredible powers of splt second reasoning told me that I had but two choices: either hit the minivan or head for the curb and hope for the best. I couldn’t have been going all that fast, but you know when you hit a really big pothole at like 35 mph? That noise that makes your stomach clench up? Imagine that, but without the cushion of a tire. And imagine that instead of 35 you are only going 5, but the noise is the same. And then imagine that coming off impact your car simply refuses to steer normally and has all the precision control of a wild boar skating on an oil slick. Would you be worried?
I wasn’t. I was headed to a fabulous party to get my drink on and nothing but nothing was gonna rain on my parade!!
The next morning, once I could stand upright again, I hopped in the Focus to drive home, hoping that all would be well again.
My dad and I brought her to Big Fred’s repair shop, that being a dome-like structure made from corrugated tin sheets, and asessed the damage. Big Fred put her up on the lift, directed a bright light into her undercarriage and noticed that the right front tie rod was bent within an inch of its life. So that, my friends, is the start of 2006. If I put a lot of stock in “signs”, I might be kind of worried right about now.