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Hit and Run

Honesty is the best policy. That's the moral. Now here's the story.

I was enroute home in my ancient Dodge van, blissfully unaware that I had failed to latch the side doors shut. Nowadays, you kids have sliding doors on your vans, but back before the War (in Granada), vans had doors that swung open. Usually, they swung open over the sidewalk, but if you failed to latch them shut, they were as likely to swing open into traffic.

I was approaching San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, an idylic strip of reclaimed sand dunes stretching to the sea, repleat with hundreds of thousands of trees, shrubs, and flowers, and an equal number of San Franciscans vainly seeking a reprieve from urban congestion. Beside me to my right was a yuppie driving, of all things, a sleek BMW.

Little did he know the horror that lay ahead.

We approached an intersection unusual in that both the right and middle lanes could turn right. The traffic, in anticipation of the peace and tranquillity of Golden Gate Park that lay just ahead, sped up. Past 30. Past 40. Past the magic speed-limit-plus-20mph usually honored by the urban dweller. We laid into that right turn at a frightful speed--and the doors let go.

At first, I thought a nuclear weapon had been unleashed. I expected to see trees, houses, horses, and people melting before my eyes. But no, the sound was coming from my own van, every part resonating from the shock of the two side doors slamming into the (formerly) sleek BMW, then instantly slamming shut and latching.

I began to slow down, preparing to fight through the traffic to the curb, so I could begin the embarrassing ritual of the insurance-card exchange. I was quite prepared for the inevitable hissy-fit that sleek foreign car owners feel compelled to release upon old Dodge van owners, but I need not have concerned myself, for the BMW was not slowing down. In fact, it appeared to be accelerating. Like a bat out of hell.

I watched in amazement as the car fishtailed around the next corner and disappeared forever.

Well, I thought to myself, that's pretty weird. And then I realized what had happened.

The driver of the BMW undoubtedly likewise experienced a sound akin to a nuclear meltdown. He then glanced out his left side mirror to see what hit him. But the nearest object was an old dodge van with side doors firmly latched, and that van was three feet way. No, he must have struck a parked car on his right, and that meant it was time for the getaway!

Yes, I hit and he ran.

He must have been one surprised yuppie when he got home and found which side the damage was on. He's still probably trying to figure out who did it.

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