Charity Work & A Car Accident! Where’s The Karma! (AZ) “DAY 141” – 11/22/10

November 23, 2010 - 1:10 pm - (AZ) “DAY 141”

I woke up on Mike’s couch with my mind free and ready to tackle the world again.  It’s much easier when you only have one person to be concerned about even if you like the other person. 🙂

The first thing I had to do today was... some charity work!  Unfortunately, it’s been a little while since I have donated my time.  Yes, I can blame Wendy for dropping the ball 😉 (I blame her for everything - lol), or I can blame the community itself for not having something there or easy to volunteer at.

But... sometimes you have to look in the mirror and blame yourself... This is one of those times.  It’s my trip and I have to do a better job at making sure I find places to volunteer at if Wendy was unable to find something, bottom line.

Anyway, as I was getting ready to leave I noticed Mike was still home (he’s usually at work by 10 am latest).  He told me took the day off so he could do charity work with me at UMOM.  (He had some sick days left and figured he could give back if I was.) 🙂 Nice!

Charity Work - UMOM
Mike and I arrived at UMOM in Phoenix around 10:30 am ready to some good for the community.  After getting past security (the guy with the rubber glove was surprisingly gentle, “Ace Ventura”), we checked in at the desk where I was met by Tina.  (Wende set this up for me through Tina.)  Thanks Wende!

After meeting Tina, signing in, and getting a day badge, we were introduced to Dominic who was in charge of the facility where I was working for the day.  Dom was a really good guy but... he’s a Bronco’ s fan so you kinda feel sorry for him at the same time! 😉

Tables & Chairs
Anyway, the first thing Dom had Mike and I do, was to set up a room with some tables and chairs but we had wait for it to be vacuumed first.  Mike worked hard as he moved all the chairs in by himself (with a dolly), then I placed them around the tables.

We were working like a well oiled machine as we finished that task in about 20 minutes. 😉 Since we were done, we went back to Dom and asked him what we should do next.?

Working In The Kitchen
Our next task is where we worked for the rest of the time, the kitchen!  The first thing we did there was set-up for the rush of people.  We had to get everything organized and ready to be replaced when the line gets busy. (We were serving hamburgers and hot dogs.)

F.Y.I. - UMOM is a facility where needy people get a chance to rebuild their lives.  Yes, it helps the homeless who are need but it does much more than that.  What they try to do here is build a foundation that will last well beyond their time here.

UMOM houses about 600 people at one time (mostly families and people involved with an abusive spouse).  Within the facility is a laundry room, recreational area, child care building, as well as programs to help each individuals needs (other stuff too).

Back to serving, Mike and I worked with Marie.  She lived at the facility and explained to us everything we had to do as well as the inner workings of the UMOM.   (She was thankful to be there with her kids.)

For the next hour or so, the three of us served about 100 people their lunch with a smile.  Marie was serving the burgers, I was serving the corn and burger sets, and Mike was dishing out the fruit (I think pears but we keep saying peaches).

F.Y.I. - Each city I am in, I always surprised to see how many people are in need who look like you and me.  What I mean is, regular people who just hit a bad patch in life and have nowhere to turn. (left: Dom)

After serving lunch, we cleaned up the kitchen area and said good-bye to all cool people we meet while working there.  On our way out, I took one last picture of a sign they had because I liked what it said, “We do not remember days, we remember moments!”

Driving Home - OH NO!!!
Mike’s house was only about 15 minutes from where UMOM was located but it was still a 3 highway ride.  First we had to get on the 10, then the 60, followed by the 101.  Got it.

Anyway, while Mike and I were driving home in the Rooster mobile on the 10, I knew I had to get over to the right lane to exit onto the 60 (only on the 10 for a few miles).  There were 5 lanes and I was in the 4th (to right).

So as I was getting into the fifth lane, I checked my mirrors and then before I knew it... I hit the car next me while I was going 60 mph.  Luckily, Mike yelled, “Watch out Rooster!”   As I swerved left and avoided a major collision.  (He was in my blind spot, it happens.) 🙁

Pulling Over On The Highway
I immediately pulled over as did the car I hit.  Then, I got out and approached the person I collided with and told them I was sorry, it was my bad.  (The guy who got out of the car happened to about 6’7, 280 lbs.)  Yeah... a real big dude!

He was cool but visible pissed off about the accident (who wouldn’t be).  We talked for second then moved our cars down the highway because we were on a off ramp and it was getting dangerous.

The guy I hit was named Anthony and by the time we had moved to the new area, he was already on the phone with the police.  I didn’t mind, I wasn’t drunk, I wasn’t speeding or driving reckless, he was just in my blind spot and it was an accident.

The Police Arrive
About 20 minutes went by before a cop arrived on the scene.  By then, Anthony and I had already bonded a little (well as much you can when somebody just hit your car). 😉  We found out that a guy from New Jersey just hit a guy from New York in Arizona.  Crazy world! (right: Anthony's car's damage)

The officer who arrived told us to move our cars off the highway and onto a side street so we could do the necessary paperwork for the accident.  I told the cop the truth as did Anthony, again it was an accident in the purest sense. (Nobody was hurt and neither car was that banged up.)

While the policeman was doing the paperwork, Anthony and I talked about my journey as I told him a few stories of what I have accomplished.  I then told him his was now in Chapter 20 of the book, a small consolation. 😉

Anthony’s Story
Anthony is a native New Yorker from Queens who played basketball for many years bouncing around leagues.  He was a real chill dude considering what he was about to tell me.  He has had a real bad few weeks with his car...

First, he ran out of gas two weeks ago on the highway and because of that, he got a $90 ticket.  Then, earlier this week while driving on the highway, his windshield was broken by a flying rock.

Fast forward to today, Anthony ran out of gas (again) earlier in the day and had to push his car a few blocks to the gas station.  Then, after all that... he’s driving on the 10 minding his own business and Bamn!... he’s hit by a New Jersey Rooster mobile!  My bad dude!

As Anthony and I were talking, we were actually commenting on why it was taking the policeman so long (about 30 minutes in his car).  Then... I found out what he was doing.  Ahhhh!  Yes, I got a ticket for the accident even though it was an honest mistake.

I said to the cop, “Officer, what’s the deal.” (We had already bonded for awhile as he, Anthony, and I talked about my website before he went to his car.)  He responded, “Rooster, I didn’t want to give you a ticket but after you told me what happened, I had no choice.”

I then said to the cop, “ Should I have lied to you?”  He said, “I can’t tell you to do that but if when I arrived, you both had different stories, I would have just written a report and let the insurance companies decide who was wrong.”  Ahhh!  $150 out the window!

I then told the cop he could taser me if he would take away the ticket.  Anthony shouted out, “You’re crazy dude.”  As the cop said he’s not allowed to just taser anybody.

I then said to the officer, can I take a picture of your taser cause I know you want to taser me.  He responded playfully, “Rooster if you want to take a picture of what I want to do to you, take a picture of my gun!” 🙂  Nice, a cop with a sense of humor!

There was nothing left I could do except be thankful that nobody was hurt and both cars were still drivable.  I said good bye to Anthony and the officer as I wished them both a Happy Turkey Day!  Mine could be better, now that I have all this to deal with.  Ahhhh! (right: my car)

Back To Mike’s
It was now about 3-4 pm as Mike and I finally got back to bis place.  I was behind in my writing because of the French Experiment and now having a car accident only put me back further.  So I bunked down and wrote even though I felt like just sulking on the couch. 🙁

Even though Mike kept busting my balls that his back was hurting from the accident (he’s joking), he still tried to cheer me up by buying us dinner.  Thanks Mike!  It kinda worked but I was still in a funk.

Coop caught wind I was in accident and stopped by to check in on me (8 pm-ish).  I was still writing when he got here, so I took a break as Mike, me, and Coop hung out and picked on each other (as most good friends do). 🙂

It was about 11 pm when Cooper left, so I got back to writing as Mike went to his room to pass out.  I thought I was gonna keep writing but I was mentally exhausted from the day and passed out on the couch around midnight.

Final Thoughts - Springer Style
I titled this post “Charity work then a car accident... Where’s the Karma?”  After having some time to think about it, I think the Karma was... that I hit a car doing 60 mph on the highway and everybody was OK and my car still runs good.

I didn’t want to get onto an accident (who does) but if you are gonna get into a accident at the speed I was driving... the best possible outcome is what happened!

So, the karma I received came late cause it couldn’t prevent the crash but at least it came just in time to make sure nobody got hurt! 🙂

Thanks for reading!


Comments (1)

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  1. bennervous says:

    Great final thought! Nice talking to you earlier. On to the next post. Happy T’giving.

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