Divide and conquer.
It’s a simple strategy really, although it didn’t work so well for General Custer and his 7th Cavalry.
Should have worked for me. But I didn’t divide. I didn’t conquer. Heck, I wouldn’t even socially distance my two cars parked under the old ash tree at the end of my driveway,
Instead, I left them so vulnerably parked side by side where one sizable limb falling 30 feet might crash down on top of both of them.
At this point, I’m thinking of old Papa Bear George Halas and how in the early days of pro football and commercial flight, he ingeniously chartered two planes to take his team on road games. He put his offense on board one and the defense on the other,
Foxy Papa Bear’s theory was that should disaster strike and one of the planes actually go down, he’d still have one unit of his football team intact.
Well, disaster never struck the Chicago Bears, except for the on-field shenanigans played out through most of my life.
But Halas -- who fellow Chicago Bear legend Mike Ditka once so famously grumbled, threw nickels around like manhole covers – may have been on to something.
Had I parked either my Jeep Commander or Mitsubishi Spyder in the garage, I’d at least have only half of the claims for Jake from State Farm to process. And it would only be half the hassle of getting the cars to York Auto Body for estimates and repair.
As it sits, the Spyder is going first what with at least three holes in its convertible top punctured by smaller falling limbs.
The Jeep and it 299,310 miles is a bit more banged up, taking the brunt of the falling limb on its hood and right quarterpanel. Can’t open the passenger side door but then again I seldom ride with anybody any more lately.
And it was really a miracle that the way the limb fell neither windshield shattered in the carnage that confronted me as I set out to go to work the other morning.
With my health issues of the past year, I haven’t driven the Spyder for at least 18 months, spanning winter of 2019 and my lost summer and fall. So with the car’s battery dead, the local insurance office called to set up a tow from home sweet home on Highwood to Indianapolis Road at the Southern Highway.
But the district office took over, arranging for a tow truck out of Indianapolis, which seemed silly, knowing it would undertake a 100-mile round trip for a two-mile tow.
But when they missed their 5 p.m. ETA, a dispatcher called from Tucson to ask if the driver had arrived. He hadn’t, and neither did the tow truck make its designated times of 5:40 – “he’s 30 minutes out,” I was told --- or his promised 6:10 or 6:40 times.
Having taken a seat on the driveway behind my cars, I had a nice chat with the neighbors as they walked past, and the mayor stopped to see if I needed anything (he didn’t offer a tow).
By the time 6:40 rolled over to 7:30, the Arizona dispatcher was no longer calling to check on her guy, who no doubt had headed off to Greenfield, Greenwood or Greensburg and was now hopelessly lost.
I tried to call back on the dispatcher’s number as it appeared on my cellphone but all I got was a brusque message that it was not a call-back number and I needed to call the 800 number on my card. Problem was, I had no card. It was now 8:45, nearly dark and I was getting exceedingly closer in luck to Custer than Halas.
I gave up, went inside and called it a night, safe in the knowledge that when State Farm calls Jerry’s Towing in the morning, this was going to be about a 15-minute job.
Tearing down that tree limb from limb might take a little longer.