Our afternoon, in infographic form


Infographics are trendy, apparently. I made one today. Refer to the icons in the photo below:

  1. Driveway of the house we’ll be closing on tomorrow, which we were planning to visit today to check for possible damage caused by yesterday’s hurricane

  2. Realtor, who was there to let us into the house.

  3. Emily, who was not prepared for the practical effects of saying the magic words “My neck hurts” to an emergency medical responder, and who will spend the next 90 minutes strapped to a board in pain (1)

  4. (not visible behind vehicle) Driver of the car which rear-ended us at high speed as we were pulling off the road into the driveway, spinning us 180° into the guardrail and then skidding along another 200 feet or so down the road before stopping and then almost catching on fire. Driver has bicep tattoo reading “200 MPH / Need For Speed” (2), is bleeding from cut on forehead, and is clearly deeply embarrassed

  5. Purple surgical glove which I did not notice at the time and never saw put to use, but which I am now inordinately curious about

  6. License plate blurred out, because people always blur out their license plates in photos online, even though I have no idea why people do that and it’s not like we’ll be using those license plates again, ever, but hey I have a blur filter so why not

  7. Our vehicle, which was only repaired a few months ago after another major accident on an icy Savoy road (which accident was a factor in our decision to buy the house in lower-altitude Williamstown which we were planning to visit today but never actually got inside because we went to the hospital instead).

  8. (Not pictured) Photographer, who has now been in two vehicle-totalling accidents in two years, both 100% the other driver’s fault. In both accidents my injuries were limited to a slight cut or scrape on the left leg. I am not sure whether to view this as a positive or as a negative trend.(3)


1 The pain is partly in her neck, but mostly in the back of her head because they strapped her barrette into the cervical collar so she had to lie down with two sharp bits of metal boring into her scalp for the whole 90 minutes. Two lessons can be drawn from this: if you are talking to an EMT, A: remove all sharp headgear immediately and B: do not say your neck hurts unless you really really mean it.

2 I am honest to god not kidding about this part at all. I kind of wanted to take a picture but it seemed in bad taste to take a picture of a guy who is bleeding from a scalp wound, even if he did just destroy your vehicle. Instead I offered him a bottle of water and an aspirin, because we had them and because what do you say to a guy who just crashed into you? I don’t know. I keep going back and forth between feeling bad for the guy and thinking dude, slow the fuck down and watch where you’re going and by the way nobody believes your story that “the gas pedal got stuck”. But, then again the guy just crashed his car, and that’s no fun for anybody, so I feel bad for him again. Plus, you know, scalp wound. We talked to his mom at the ER and it sounds like he’s not badly hurt, which I’m grateful for.

3 Also in both accidents my first automatic instinct was to immediately leap out of the car and sprint towards the other vehicle and then halfway there start to wonder why I am sprinting towards the other vehicle, especially in this case because in retrospect I’m not 100% sure I actually checked to see if Emily was okay first, which oops, and probably I should have helped her out of the car (we’d spun around so her door on the driver’s side was crushed into the guardrail) instead of sprinting barefoot across a few hundred feet of shattered car bits towards a total stranger to ask him if he’s okay. But then we wouldn’t have all qualified as “self-extricating”. “Self-extricating” is a bit of ER dialect we learned in the ambulance on the way to the hospital: it means “got out of the car”. Everyone involved in this accident self-extricated. This is a good thing. If anyone had gotten seriously injured I would not be writing about this, like this.)

In case it is not clear, we are all totally okay; the ER doctor checked Emily over and told her her neck would be sore for a few days but that otherwise she’s “at low risk for a neck fracture” — which is a strange way to tell someone they haven’t broken their neck but fair enough.

Stellan was not in the car.

I got a slight scrape on my shin but am otherwise completely unharmed.

And financially speaking it’ll be inconvenient to have to get a new car the same year we’re buying a new house, but we’ll figure it out (and anyway there were a few things about it that had never worked right after the last accident but which we’d procrastinated on getting fixed, which now we don’t have to worry about anymore, hooray.)

Things could be a lot worse, I’m saying.

Photo of Our afternoon, in infographic form