Donna Fielder: Two days of mishaps turn out OK after all

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Considering that on Monday I backed into a new Lexus and on Tuesday Kiefer took a whiz on my office surge protector, it wasn’t such a bad week, I guess.

I mean, for a while I thought my computer was fried and then I thought my air-conditioning unit was toast, but it all turned out OK and the Lexus owner couldn’t have been nicer about the ding in his left rear quarter panel.

See, I think that whoever painted the pull-in parking stripes on Hickory Street got them at a funky angle to start with.

And I have a blind spot on my car that is enhanced by my amazingly poor vision. So I should never park in one of those slanty spots, but I do. And I had on Monday when I tried to unpark.

I can’t really see when it’s time to cut right for the turn when I’m backing up. So I estimate the best I can. That day, I was a little off. I knew this immediately when I heard the thunk.

My first thought was denial. I couldn’t have hit that car, therefore, I didn’t. But I had.

My first inclination was flight. If I drove quickly away, probably no one would ever know who did it. Except me. And that was one too many.

I got out and wrote a note with an apology and my name and phone number and placed it in the time-honored guilt spot under the windshield wiper.

Then I called my insurance company, obtained a claim number and the name of the agent, and sidled that note up against the first one.

“Thank you so much for not just driving off,” said the victim of the accident when he called later.

He was so grateful for having a claim number that he seemed almost delighted that I hit him. What a good person I am, I thought smugly.

God punished me for that at 5:40 a.m. on Tuesday, when I heard a most unusual, unidentifiable sound. Then all was quiet.

Maybe it was nothing, I thought, collapsing on the couch. Then the smell of burned electronics wafted into the living room. Oh no, I thought. Fire.

First I rushed into my bedroom and made my bed. Can’t have the fire department seeing how untidy I am before 6 a.m.

Then I carried my coffee cup into the kitchen and wiped down my cabinets. This is a true story. I briefly considered makeup but decided I should at least wait until I knew for sure there was trouble.

I went looking for flames. What I found was a black smudge the size of a fist on the wall next to the surge protector. And black smudges reaching out of all the outlets. And a small burned spot on my carpet.

How could this have happened? I reached for the long plastic strip and jerked my hand back. It was wet.


He was hiding under the afghan in my easy chair. I examined him and he seemed, amazingly, to have no black smudges on his little puppy hooter.

But my computer seemed to be DRT (dead right there). I called my daughter.

And after she stopped the totally uncalled-for hysterical laughing, she Googled “What if my dog whizzes on the surge protector?” (This is a true story.) She said I should just buy a new one and everything would probably be OK.

And Google was right. The computer fired back up like nothing had happened when I plugged in the new plastic strip. But the outdoor AC unit thingy was off and making a funny noise and the house was getting hot. Oh, no.


Not to worry, said my AC guy when he came to visit the next day. I had just tripped a breaker. I took the “Maltese for sale cheap” message off my Facebook page and gave him a carton of Frosty Paws.

My daughter said I spoil him by giving him the doggie ice cream.

I say it wasn’t his fault, after all, that I backed into the Lexus. And something tells me he will never go to be excused on the surge protector again.


DONNA FIELDER can be reached at 940-566-6885. Her e-mail address is

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