The call from Tim came in just about the time he was supposed to be home, “I’m all right Mom” he tells Cindy, now this is not a good way for a teenager to begin a telephone conversation when he is due home. Tim was supposed to be at a church function in Grady, NM, which is about thirty-five miles from where we lived and then to a birthday party for a friend in the same town, the conversation continues with “a coyote ran out in front of me and I hit a sign when I swerved to miss it, I was only doing 30” he goes on to tell Cindy that a man stopped and towed his car to the Grady High School parking lot because the radiator is busted, now this nice man gave him a ride to Grandma Dixie’s house and he will stay the night with her. We called Grandma Dixie and Tim was already there so he was in her care now.
This is when my mind starts breaking down the story and coming up with the questions I would be having for Tim, first off why did they tow his car back to Grady if he was on his way home and how in the world did he bust his radiator after swerving off the road at 30 mph, in the meantime we called a friend who lived near the school and asked him to go look at the car so we could have an Adults view of the damage, it was a couple hours later before Walon called saying “Jimmy I towed his car to my house because if I left it at the school there would be police all over it” now this got me thinking for sure, you just have to come see this was all he would tell me and he assured me that 30 mph was not the speed this car was going. I now had a road trip planned for early morning.
Tim arrived home real early in a borrowed truck from Grandma Dixie and I asked for his version of what had happened and where it had happened, “A Coyote ran out in front of me and I swerved to miss it and hit a sign” OK how fast were you going, 30 mph honest I looked at the speedometer and I saw 30, OK where did this happen? “Right up the road from the school”, you mean right down the road from the school if you were coming home, “No Sir, up the road I was actually coming in from San Jon” why were you coming in from San Jon, “I went to get a coke” OK the story starts the twisting here. San Jon, NM is about 20 miles from Grady all the way up to I-40 now he had no reason to be here.
Cindy, Tim, and I load up into my truck and the road trip begins, I finally had to ask Tim to stop explaining because the story was beginning to get confusing and I wanted to see the car before I jumped to any conclusions, we arrived at Walons house and there sits Tim’s car next to the driveway, the hood is bent back across the windshield and laying on the top of the car, the grill and headlights and busted and both front tires are flat and flat spotted all the way down, the radiator is obviously busted, heck even the battery was even busted and there was gravel all over the roof of the car, Tim is still sticking to his 30 mph story when the coyote ran in front of him, I am thinking Walon just may be right about the actual speed and Walon is just grinning at me because he is seeing the same thing I am that Tim’s story is falling apart, OK Tim let’s go look at where it happened, Tim doesn’t think we need to drive out there because there is nothing to see, I assure him there is something I want to see, at the scene there is a 20 mph curve and coming off the road there are black marks which go into deep ruts where tires have cut into the gravel, these ruts go all the way into the grass and off into the brush where I found the sign which has the curve sign showing you which way the road turns, I walk back out of the brush to my truck, Tim is not saying anything now, this is rare for Tim, I now start walking up the middle of the road following the straight black marks that tie directly into the ruts that go to the sign way off the road, recon these are Tim’s tire marks? He assures me they are not but to make a long story short I walk back to the truck and tell Tim, “This is what happened, you were driving about eighty five mph when you came up on this curve, you were too busy talking (I was actually hinting at cell phone use) that you didn’t see the curve until it was too late, there was no coyote you were simply going too fast and not paying attention, “Who told you Jose was with me, did he call you?” I assured him I didn’t know anyone was with him until just now, and after realizing he had told on himself and the condition of the car and marks on the road told the rest of the story.
Tim had the nerve to ask when I would be turning it in on insurance so he could pick the repair shop, I told him insurance is for accidents and stupidity is not an accident, he then says that’s OK I can fix it myself but I need you to front me the money for parts, you can see where this is going, Tim had to sit home and get his friends to come get him until he saved up the money to order the parts, he did all the work himself and paid for it all except for the shipping which I did pay because this was all he was short on.
Tim was never a good liar, he always told on himself and this time we knew there was more to the story by the look on his face, he learned a lesson here about eighty five mile an hour coyotes and twenty mile an hour curves, he learned that you have to be responsible for your own actions and to never start a phone conversation late at night with I’m all right Mom, he also learned that getting money fronted for parts depends a lot on whether you are honest or not when explaining how you got into this situation.
Tim also learned that invisible coyotes can run really fast and you don’t see them when they run in front of you and your parents who have been there themselves rarely buy stories like this.
85 mph through a 20 mph curve---------$600 parts plus 2 tires and a battery
Lying to your parents about it--------loss of trust until you prove yourself truthful
Time waiting for your car to be repaired----depends on your speed and skill
Nothing but pride injured and regaining your parents trust----Priceless!!