Monday, July 7, 2014

Yup, that sucked. (Thing One's first hour of independence)

Not my circus . . . not my monkeys . . . not my circus . . . not my monkeys . . .

It's been over two weeks since Thing One left home.

Thing Two is doing better for the moment; he's spending his time doing a job search and just asked about purchasing auto insurance this morning. He's still quiet and withdrawn, still obviously working things out slowly, but he's trying.

#3 Son is making the most of summer, playing outside, going to the zoo, baseball games, museums, classes, and camp-outs.

My Bride is beginning to enjoy the peace of the household.

Thing One . . . well, he's having some trouble. It took them six days to make an eight-hour drive back to Bio-Mom's house, so they left at noon on Thursday and arrived in the early hours of the following Wednesday. It took him about another hour or so after arriving in his new home to crash a borrowed truck into an SUV with four occupants.
Luckily, no serious injuries. He's lying about "the drunk," but what else is Facebook for?

I know this because he called me at 3:00 AM to tell me that he really needed my help, and I rolled out of bed and left a cabin of snoring campers to go stand out by the bathrooms in the woods and listen to this story for half an hour.

Thing One's Version (1.0):
They "had car trouble," which was what obliged them to spend nearly a week about an hour from home before heading up to Wisconsin. When they finally went, they arrived in the middle of the night, and after they'd unloaded, somebody had to go for food. It is implied that Thing One is the only driver sober enough to go out, and it "just doesn't make sense to go to a restaurant." Everyone at the house knows he doesn't have insurance, but they all figure it's OK, because it's only a few miles. BM's (Bio-Mom's) married sugar-daddy, "SD," has foolishly left his truck at her home, so for some reason they send Thing One and his 13-year-old half-sister, HS13, in his truck instead of BM's vehicle. He gets about a mile down the street and comes to an intersection with a red light, but it turns green before he reaches it, so he heads on through. There's a "drunk driver" coming from the other way, though, and that dastardly character turns right into Thing One. Thing One sees that he's about to hit the drunk driver's car, so he lets go of the wheel and grabs HS13 so she won't hit the windshield. 
After the crash, Thing One jumps out and checks on everyone. No one is badly hurt, though he and HS 13 have bumps and bruises. Neither was wearing a seat belt. There are four people in the other car, all drunk, all underage, none injured. But when the police arrive, they insist that the other driver doesn't count as a "drunk driver" just because she blew a 0.04 BAC on a breathalyzer. Apparently, you're not considered DUI unless you meet the legal standard of intoxication. Thing One is not drunk, either, but his mind is somewhat blown at this news. The police officers also ticket him for failure to carry insurance and for failing to stop for a red light. For reasons he does not specify, the police on the scene don't seem to buy version 1.0 of his story. They also have a conversation about the value of the other party's vehicle, the value of the vehicle he crashed (since it's not his) and his potential liability. At this point, Thing One does not seem to be aware that he is "judgment proof" because he doesn't own anything, and I keep that to myself for two reasons: first, because it's not an absolute guarantee that he won't be sued, and second, because I have a feeling that the next step is going to be to throw everyone as far as possible off the scent of SD's assets (and Bio-Mom's, if she has any.) Seems to me the obvious strategy would be to put as much liability as they can on Thing One as fast as they can. This is about to happen anyway, but why should I be the one to suggest the idea to him? The only regret I do have about keeping that to myself is that I could have warned him . . . but I didn't know specifically what they were going to pull, and they can do no wrong in his eyes anyway.

Version 1.0 of his story ends with him talking things over with Bio-Mom. She has a lawyer, you see, and she's going to sic him on that drunk driver and those cops, and they'll fight and win! Well, they'll challenge the red-light ticket, anyway, but apparently nothing else, because it's pretty hard to dispute that he canceled his auto insurance the day before he left home. In this version of the story, it's not a coincidence that Bio-Mom has a lawyer; he's been fighting to get her driver's license back ever since she lost it after her last DUI. That was news to me, too, especially after she drove here to pick him up.

He's out there learning on his own. Learning hurts sometimes, but it could have been a lot worse if someone had been badly hurt or killed.

In our next installment, we'll hear Thing One's Version (1.1) complete with retcons! As Heraclitus taught us in antiquity, "there is nothing constant in a bullshit story except change."


Tam said...

I am so glad that I am no longer a teenager nor spend much time around them. I do not have the patience.

You, Don, are a saint.

Don said...

I don't know if a saint would have spent as much time as I did finding just the right country music video snippet to mock a young man finding his way in the world, but you said it. No take backs.