I could have just gone!

On top of this irritating snowstorm, my car was hit -- hard -- today in a very irritating rear end collision. And there's a utilitarian moral (hmmmm.....) to the story which I don't especially like.

After running a few errands in a local shopping center, I was on my way home approaching a fairly major T-intersection at which I intended to turn left. I got in the left hand lane, following the car in front of me, which was going pretty fast. So fast, in fact, that the driver entered the intersection after the light had already turned red. I decided not to push my luck with an already red light, so I stopped (no, I wasn't speeding and I didn't come to a screeching stop). Almost immediately I was rearended by a large van (of the size normally used to transport airport commuters). This bent and crunched my bumper and left rear quarter panel, screwed up the trunk latch mechanism so it binds when I open and close the trunk, and derailed the driver's seat mechanism so the seat slides back and forth and won't stay in place.

All because I was a good boy and didn't run the red light! Had I been a bad boy and ran the red light, I'm sure I would have made it through, and I wouldn't be facing the bureaucratic hassle I do now. (I don't want to be driving around getting estimates, and then arguing over how much my nine year old car is worth. Plus my damned back is sore, and the last thing I want is to go to a doctor or chiropractor!)

So what's the unpleasant utilitarian moral lesson?

I'm wondering if sometimes it's better to just do the wrong thing. . .

posted by Eric on 02.24.05 at 05:58 PM


welcome, dear, to the axiom

"no good deed goes unpunished"

The nice thing you have going for you is that commercial businesses are more apt NOT to hassle you in such a situation.

Glad you're ok. :-)

Darleen   ·  February 25, 2005 12:18 AM

Thanks Darleen, hope you're right. (It turns out the driver was the business owner's daughter....)

Eric Scheie   ·  February 25, 2005 9:00 AM

Sometimes there are just no good options. Games of "might have been" are less rewarding than predictions for the future. With prognostication you at least get your answer eventually, "might have been" leaves you forever in a lurch.

If you had run the red light you "might have been" t-boned and killed. Maybe you did the right thing.

Also glad you're ok...

Andi   ·  February 25, 2005 12:49 PM

Hmmm.... Made me think of "Justine, or the Misfortunes of Virtue" vs. "Juliette, or the Fortunes of Vice". Maybe you should become a sadist, become TOTALLY evil. Boo-hoo-ha-ha-haaa!

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