I learned a few things about raccoons. They are unpredictable, indecisive and totally uninsured.
Just over a week ago I was rolling down a two lane strip of blacktop we like to refer to as FM (Farm to Market)1488. It was 3:00 AM and I was just cruising along, minding my business and leaving a lot of Creedence Clearwater Revival in my wake, when I spotted this BAC (big ass ‘coon).
It was running across the road from my left. I stabbed at the brakes but then saw that it had safely made it all the way to the right shoulder. I let out a sigh of relief and moved my foot back toward the go-pedal.
That’s when the darned thing showed unpredictable indecisiveness. It tagged base and made a U-ee. I don’t know if it had suddenly remembered something it had left at home, was a thrill seeker who happened not to have a bungee jump rig or simply had a death wish, but we did meet with a bang.
My little Nissan Versa, which at the time seemed to be equal in size to the ‘coon, quickly recovered from the impromptu speed bump sensation and, as there were no signs of a drivability issue, I kept on keeping on.
Several hours later, in the bright sunlight, I saw the damage. That huge chunk of plastic that auto makers euphemistically call a bumper had a concave depression the size of a soccer ball, the trailing edge was bent outwards some 45 degrees and, more importantly, the row of plastic clips designed to hold the whole thing in place had separated leaving that side of the assembly held by a single 7/16 bolt.
I immediately called my “Good hands” guy and after we did the claims reporting thing he steered me toward a body shop. Which brings me to the purpose of this post.
I want to give props to some deserving people for a job well done. I am not compensated for writing this, just appreciative.
Since I had no preference, my Allstate agent suggested HODGES COLLISION CENTER in nearby Magnolia, TX.
Whenever you commit your damaged vehicle to any repair facility the very least you expect is that it will be returned looking undamaged. Matthew Guinn and the crew at Hodges did that. The work was flawless.
But while I was dealing with them they reinforced the realization of how important those little things in life can be. As often in the past when putting a car in for work, I needed a rental.
Usually the repair shop will call a rental agency for you, the agency will dispatch someone to pick you up and drive you to their place of business and you will then enter into the stream of whatever customers might be waiting for service. This often turns into a game of hurry up and wait.
Hodges arranged for a rental. I was sitting in their waiting room when a guy from Hertz showed up. He handed me a clipboard which contained a rental agreement, already filled in, indicated where to initial, where to sign and then said, “here are the keys, it’s the grey sedan by the front door.”
Okay, it’s not exactly winning the big door prize for being the millionth customer or something, but it meant a lot to me.
I hope that my next raccoon will looks more like this guy.
Oh, and one more lesson: Opting for a huge deductible can prove to be false economy. I had to split the bill down the middle with Allstate.