Car Accident or No, You Gotta Stop for Italian Market Sausage

Fiorella's ... Check! My husband’s got his priorities straight

Several years ago I experienced a slight mishap. I’m calling it a slight mishap because it was my fault so, naturally, I’d like to downplay the level of stupidity it takes to run oneself over with one’s own car. Yes, I ran myself over with my 10-day-old Mercedes wagon. And not just my feet but my whole body. I know because there were tire tracks running down my legs and over my lower back. Luckily the tire crossed my back and missed my head. I know all this because the cops and the paramedics told me so. That and the bruises in the exact design of a tire tread. Now that’s some body art.

It was a Saturday morning, and my daughter had a doctor’s appointment. We were running late (what’s new?). My daughter’s friend had slept over the night before and was going to accompany us to the doctor’s visit. We rushed into the car, kids in the back and me in the driver’s seat where I started the car and put it into reverse. Just at that moment, the kids decided they wanted to ride in the really cool rear seat that faces out the back window so they jumped out and headed toward the back of the car. Because we were late, I raced out and ran around to help. But first I put the car into park. I did, didn’t I? I thought I did, but as I was running toward the rear of the car, I realized that I was making no progress. Like Lance Armstrong, the car was keeping pace. I remember thinking, “This is weird. What’s going on here?” That was my mistake because, as I pulled up short to try to figure out what was, in fact, going on, the open door hit me and knocked me to the ground.[SIGNUP]

I should tell you that the kids, aged 10, were much smarter than me. They stepped back and let the 6,000-pound death weapon glide right by them, leaving them safe and sound. I, on the other hand, wasn’t so insightful. To the pavement I went. The tire started at my ankles, grinding that knobby ankle bone into the blacktop. Then it traveled down my legs and over my lower back, exiting over my left shoulder. It then traveled across the driveway and ran into a stone wall. The wall ripped off the door, exploding the window glass. If I weren’t on the ground concerned about things like a busted spleen or collapsed lung, the exploding glass might have been more entertaining, like it is in the movies.

Three cop cars and an ambulance later, it was off to the hospital for me. I was poked and prodded, X-rayed and MRI’d, and no busted spleen or other damaged organ was detected. In fact, the knobby ankle bone was my only injury. Everyone was amazed, including me. There was much crying and praising God and the huge rubber tires on my car and the extra 25 pounds I was sporting at the time. (I’m not sure which was responsible for my lack of injuries so I figured I’d cover all possibilities.)

We left the hospital. Because they had sliced all my clothing off with an industrial-size pair of scissors, I was in an orange paper jumpsuit with no undies or coat. It was December so my husband loaded me into the car and cranked up the heat. As we exited the parking lot, finally calming down from this near-death experience, my husband turned to me and asked “Do you mind if I stop at Fiorella’s and get the sausage? I mean, you know, since we’re down here anyway.” Tomorrow would be Sunday. That means sausage gravy and pasta in our Italian household, and the meat has to come from Fiorella’s in the Italian Market. Grateful to be alive, I agreed.

We got the sausage and headed home, where we were able to see the extent of the damage to my brand-new car. It was at that moment that I realized that my gratitude to God (or the tires or the fat) was well placed. It was entirely my fault that my just-off-the-lot Mercedes Benz was now a crumpled mass of metal and, had I not experienced the terrible trauma of being run over, my husband would have been completely justified in being irate. But how can you yell at a girl in an orange paper jumpsuit who has just seen the white light? You can’t. As I hobbled into the house, my husband summed up the day, “Wife is good, car can be fixed and, best of all, we got the sausage!” Now there’s a man with his priorities straight.