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My Life as a Comedy – Sarah’s Car Accident


To fully appreciate the events you are about to read, you must understand that Knoxville had a snow and ice storm over the weekend. The forecast was so certain that announcements on Thursday night declared all area schools closed for Friday, except Pellissippi State Community College where my oldest son attends. The snow came Friday afternoon and PTSCC closed early.

We are a seven person household with five children attending five different schools: pre-school, elementary, middle, high, and college. We have one functioning vehicle.


On Monday, schools delayed opening two hours due to icy roads. Normally, Sarah gets a ride to the high school with a neighbor who teaches at the high school. To protect identities, let’s call her Tonya. For the past decade, I have worked out of my basement, telecommuting to answer my client’s needs around the world. On this particular Monday, I actually had a rare onsite appointment from 8am to 5pm downtown. Before leaving, I asked Sarah, "Do you have a ride?" She replied, "I called last night and Tonya wasn’t there but they said she’d call back if she couldn’t give me a ride. She didn’t call back so I’m good." I left. At 9am, with 30 minutes left before Sarah’s 2 hour delayed pickup, Tonya’s husband called. To protect identities, let’s call him Randy. Randy explained that Tonya went to the high school early. I knew Cathy, my wife, was fighting a migraine and sleeping in so I called Sarah directly. Sarah explained her boy friend, let’s call him Zach, would drive her to school.


Cathy calls me a little amped, "Sarah and Tonya have been in an accident! Air bags went off and Sarah won’t call an ambulance because she’s waiting for the police. You’ve got to call Randy and tell him that Tonya’s been in an accident."


I stare into my half finished first cup of coffee trying to shake the fog out of my head and process what I’ve just heard, "Tonya. Sarah. Accident. Call Randy." That doesn’t make sense. Other thoughts: "The woman is always right" "Yes dear" "Want a happy life, keep a happy wife!" I call Randy and about the time his very confused question, "Tonya was in an accident?" hit my ear, I realized Cathy didn’t know Zach drove Sarah so I apologized to Randy for the confusion and called Cathy.

Enter Larry, Moe and Curly stage left

If Cathy could be sheepish over the phone, she pulled it off, "Whoops. I just told the elementary school they had a pregnant woman in a car accident in the parking lot and they needed to get her to a doctor." Later that night I apologize to Randy again who chuckles and asks, "Did you know I was in an accident today?" No way! Then he explains, "See, Tonya took my car in today and I drove hers. So when her principal, let’s call him Dr. Barlett, checked on her because he’d heard she’d been in an accident, probably from the elementary school, she just knew someone had seen her car in an accident, assumed it was her, she knew it had to be me, and called to see if I was okay." Cymbal crash.

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