#207 – Car Trouble

My father-in-law drove too far into his garage yesterday and hit the back wall. Luckily, the airbag didn’t trigger and he didn’t get hurt; but both vehicle and wall will need body work. He can’t understand how the device he installed to prevent such a disaster failed so miserably. Alas, I can; which is why I pray he never solves the mystery.

Vito has feared such an accident for a while. As he’s come to realize, neither his reflexes nor his eyesight are what they used to be. He decided to install a safety mechanism after a near miss with his garage wall two weeks ago. But rather than utilize a manufactured device, he decided to jury rig one of his own. He lodged a long wooden dowel into a brick and placed the brick on the garage floor in the spot where he wanted his driver’s side mirror to halt. That position left a two-foot cushion in front of the wall.

Vito’s collision happened on his return from the supermarket yesterday. Apparently, my mother-in-law had found herself short of certain ingredients for Sunday dinner and sent him to purchase them. His forty-five minute trip ended when he pulled his sedan into the garage and toward his trusty marker. Except, before his side-view mirror reached the rod’s position, the car plowed head on into the wall!

The cause of the accident seemed clear enough: the brick holding the dowel rod had moved three feet closer to the back of the garage. The question was “how?” Although human intervention seemed the most obvious explanation, the two prime suspects — Vito’s grandchildren — possessed solid alibis. With no likely person to blame, Vito’s had to wonder whether the brick had migrated on its own volition, and he’s been scratching his head in puzzlement ever since.

I hope the old man stays in the dark, since I’m pretty sure I can answer the “how” of his accident. Minutes after he departed on his shopping expedition, Sophia, Prometheus and I arrived for Sunday dinner. My phone rang and I went outside to take the call, accompanied by our dog.

After a twenty minute discussion with my brother, I hung up and went in search of the puppy. I’d last seen him fifteen minutes earlier, when he’d disappeared around the corner of the house. I finally located him in the garage, where I discovered him ferociously gnawing and tugging on Vito’s dowel rod. In my defense, I didn’t actually see the brick move. And even after the fact, a three foot shift seems beyond the capability of a six pound dog. Nonetheless, the result speaks for itself.

This morning, I magnanimously paid for the installation of a laser guided parking system in Vito’s garage. I supervised the install myself, in part to ensure no mistakes were made but mostly so I could personally remove the ineffective wooden dowel … engraved with telltale canine bite marks at just the height of a small dog’s head.

 
An effective garage parking system, and one which can’t easily be tampered with.

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