[caption id="" align="alignright" width="100" caption="Mr. Mini Wuf takes a hit to the right front."][/caption]
Sounds like a pathetic pay-per-view event, huh? Actually, it describes how my weekend went last week. This past month the Tar Heel MINI Motoring Club has been holding several adventures including a run up to Mabry Mill, a run up to Mt. Mitchell, and last weekend, Minis Slay the Sleeping Dragon. Alas, I was not able to make any of them for a variety of reasons including my girls soccer matches having a higher priority or a series I've been part of in my Sunday School class. With the weather forecast in the Triad on Saturday calling for rain, I was kind of figuring the soccer matches might be canceled and briefly toyed with the idea of making it up to MSSD as a spur of the moment thing.
However, the soccer matches went on even though it was a light drizzle for most of the day Saturday. That evening the girls went to a birthday party and were able to partake of pizza, cake and cookies. This left me and my wife hungry as the evening wore on. So, I made a run for some Chinese take-out.
Things took a disastrous turn on the drive home. About a mile from home I was driving down a 2-lane road with another car in front of me. Even though I live in a "city", this particular stretch of road is relatively undeveloped and unlighted. So it was a huge surprise when a large deer suddenly darted in front of me trying to make its way to the other side of the road. I got on the brakes and almost avoided a collision. But no such luck. There was a horrible banging sound as I saw the right front of Mr. Mini Wuf strike the deer in the rear leg as it was in mid-jump.
[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="100" caption="A closer look at the point of impact, but hard to tell how crumpled it is from this angle. Note the deer hairs stuck in the grille."][/caption]
Once I was stopped a took a few seconds to collect myself and then pulled over to the side of the road. Got out to look at the damage and sure enough, the hood was all messed up. It was hard to see though as there was no street lighting and I only had a little reflection from the headlight. Called the wife to let her know (and so she could come retrieve the Chinese dinner) and then called 911 to get the Police to help me with a report. Then I went and looked for the deer, but it was long gone, apparently into the woods bordering the road. Hope it was ok and not injured too badly.
Anyway, once my wife arrived we could see things a little better with her headlights. I think I held up amazingly well considering the Mini is only eight months old and I've been keeping it in pretty immaculate condition. When the police arrived, my wife went on home, along with the Chinese food, which included what was left of her shrimp with lobster sauce after much of it had spilled in the floor on the passenger side. Glad I had those rubber mats and was able to just wash that out later.
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="100" caption="From the side view, you can get an idea of the gaps created by the bending of the hood."][/caption]
As you might be able to see in the pictures, the most significant damage was to the hood. It received a nasty, crumpled up dent at the point of impact and was bent pretty badly. The chrome trim was messed up, the chrome bezel for the headlight was knocked off, the front grill was banged up good, and the headlight was broken. Though it looks bad, I think I came out decent as it didn't push the hood into any other pieces of body work or trim and the bumper was not damaged.
The insurance appraiser met me on Wednesday. As I suspected, rather than try to fix the hood, it will just be replaced along with the other broken parts. Unfortunately, it is not a bolt on piece as replacement body parts come unpainted. And as I discovered from talking with the service rep at Flow Mini, they do not do their own body work - they typically send that kind of work over to Flow Acura in Winston-Salem. So I have Mr. Mini Wuf scheduled to go into Flow Acura next week for the body work. Not sure how it may pan out, but it may then have to be sent over to Flow Mini for the headlight replacement. Sadly, I am expecting to be without Mr. Mini Wuf for a good week. Hopefully it will not be longer than that.
[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="100" caption="From the side, you can tell a little better how bad the dent was at the point of contact."][/caption]
I suppose I'll have to look into the proper care for bodyshop paint as opposed to the factory paint. I'm trying to convince myself that this is a "custom" paint job like what Chip Foose does on Overhaulin' (ok, not really like that, but they live with - and love - their bodyshop paint jobs) or some of the other car shows I watch. That, and I'll have a blank canvas to get some custom stripes made (there are a couple guys in the THMMC that should be able to do it).
So, it was a sad night. But, I reminded myself that it is just a car and stuff like this is bound to happen. Kind of like a really bad rock ding. And I have read of much worse happening to Minis on the NAM boards. Interestingly enough, one of the THMMC members struck a deer on the Midnight Run up at the Dragon on Saturday. I haven't seen any pics or read any descriptions of what kind of damage he incurred. But he is handling it quite well.
But the story does not end there. Sunday morning I was up early as I normally am on Sunday mornings. Gives me some time to get some coffee and read at least part of the newspaper during one of the few mornings around the house when things are quiet while everyone else is asleep.
This morning though, the paper had not yet been delivered. So I started the coffee and then decided to head out and take some quick pictures of the damage to the Mini (see the pics above). As I was headed down the front steps, my dog, Zeus, suddenly decided he wanted to run out into the yard via a route that would take him right in my path. As I took a step down with my right foot he went for the same spot and I caught him on the back of his leg. Apparently I caught him just right. I felt like I had stubbed my toe really badly. But upon looking down, I discovered my pinky toe was pointing out at a good 45 degree angle (maybe more). "That can't be good," I thought.
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="100" caption="Uh-oh - that toe isn't supposed to stick out like that."][/caption]
I did manage to hobble around and get the pictures of the Mini. Then I headed back inside. My wife had heard me muttering in pain and came to see what the problem was. Got our neighbor down the street to come check things out (she is a nurse) and then headed for the Next Care. Got the x-rays and of course, the toe was broken. Not just fractured, but completely broken apart. The doctor had to give me three shots in the bottom of my toe to get things numbed up. I think that was more painful than anything else as it alternately felt like she was driving a knife into the toe and poking the bone itself with the end of the needle. But after a few minutes, it all numbed up and I couldn't feel a thing.
So they set the toe, which basically consisted of taping it to the adjoining toe. They gave me an AirCast to wear to keep from striking it again and to try to keep it stabilized. Apparently that is one of the biggest problems - keeping it in place so the bones can grow back together. Next week I have to go back in for more x-rays to make sure it is healing properly. In the meantime, I've resorted to wearing a single Croc on my right foot when I drive so I can get from place to place. The pain is not too bad, but I can tell if I stand on it for any length of time. The next challenge is coming up as the tape is slowly working its way off and I'll probably have to re-tape it myself within the next day.
I did get to joke with a co-worker that the toe is not that big a deal - I don't even need it. But the Mini being banged up? Oh my! Hopefully that is all the bad luck for me for a while. And I certainly don't need any more Halloween tricks.