Scratch That!


I’ve never owned a car which would feel out of place at a scratch and dent sale, but aside from the odd fence, gutter or pole, it isn’t all my fault: public car parks share the blame.

Last Sunday we took the kids and a couple of their grandparents to the park, the local markets and then McDonalds. It was a great way to spend the morning but it wasn’t without incident.

After walking around the markets buying vegetables and getting pleasantly rained on, the kids and I arrived back at the car ready to drive to McDonalds for breakfast (Sausage McMuffins were going out the door for $1 each – we bought 12 – great special).

Walking up to our car I saw a woman pull into the park beside ours. As I arrived at the gap between the cars she opened the door and …. it hit our car.

I had a moment where I contemplated which way to go with this: righteous indignation or silent disbelief perhaps? I mean, this was a golden opportunity. How often do you actually catch the person taking half inch chunks out of your car’s duco?

Well my brother has. He had an incident many years ago with a bloke who bashed a car door into my brother’s old but well cared for Toyota Corolla while Shane was still in it.

“Hey!” said Shane. “Careful!”

“Get over it, mate,” the bloke yelled back over his shoulder as he raced into the newsagency. “It’s only a car.”

So Shane got out of his Corolla, took his car door in both hands and slammed it into the bloke’s car. Then, as the guy ran out of the shop, Shane drove off waving at the bloke and reminding him, “It’s okay, mate, it’s only a car.”

All this ran through my head while I weighed up my options.

Then I looked at her car – it looked brand new. Then I looked at our car – it was a dump on wheels.

I put a smile on my dial. “Not a lot of room there,” I called out to her and waited.

She looked up at me and agreed, but continued to try squeeze herself out of her car.

Continuing to stand on the footpath I took my keys out of my pocket and tossed them in my hand, just so she knew it was my car and I was about to get in and drive away.

Her car door remained pressed against mine. She didn’t seem to mind at all that as she jiggled and pushed, her door was bobbing and rubbing up against my car’s paint.

And then, just as she was about the burst free of her car, she suddenly froze. Briefly our eyes met. Moments later she’d slipped back into her seat, slammed her door, started the engine and, in a series of short manoeuvres, reparked her car a more generous distance from ours: a distance which didn’t allow for her door to touch ours at all even when fully opened.

I briefly wondered why she’d suddenly changed her mind about damaging my car. And then I realized five of my seven children had appeared behind me.

She wasn’t repenting: she’d just realized my kids could do much more damage to her nice new car than she was doing to mine.

 When not typing away over here and checking his stats every two minutes Bruce Devereaux hangs out at his ‘BIG FAMILY little income’  Facebook Page.

 ’raising a family on little more than laughs’


  • I really don’t understand why people walk away from things like this (damaging someone else’s property) without even a hint of remorse. Where is the integrity nowadays?
    That being said, when my husband accidentally nudged the bumper of another car while reversing out of a spot he got out to check everything was okay (the owner was there). The bumper was COVERED in scratches and dents, you couldn’t even tell if our car had left a mark, and we certainly hadn’t hit hard enough to dent it. The owner sent it off to his insurance company and got a brand new bumper out of it, at our expense. No integrity in exploiting a situation either 🙁

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