Remember a few days ago when I mentioned that someone broke the driver’s side window on our old Dodge Neon?
Well, the very next day I was driving my wife to work in our Toyota RAV4. We were in Arlington Heights, and as I turned off the main road, we passed a grassy area where some of the local geese were hanging out. The geese are there all the time, and my wife has probably driven past them a thousand times. But this time, they decided to take off, straight in front of us.
I hit the brakes, but not before two of the damned things thumped into the front of the car.
They scattered right away, and I drove on to my wife’s work just down the block, but I could see that one of the geese was sitting down in the middle of the street, clearly wounded. When we parked, my wife called 911 on her mobile phone and the dispatcher told us they’d send an animal control warden and a cop to take a report.
While she was doing that, I decided to get out and see if there had been any damage to the car. I mean, they’re just birds, but you never know, right?
Sigh. Apparently my car is made of such modern, light-weight, energy-dissipating, pedestrian-friendly materials that a small child could probably tear off half the body parts. Here’s where the first goose hit the grill:
And here’s where the second goose hit the headlight.
The cop showed up and she told us she’d driven past the geese and one of them looked dead. I was relieved because I don’t like the thought of animals suffering, not even the geese that had damaged my car. The cop told us she didn’t want to actually check on it because the other geese were standing around protecting it, and “they’re real mean.”
I made sure my wife was okay, then I went back home and drove to the body shop to get an idea of the cost of repair. The damage looked minor to me, but I tend to drive my cars into the ground, so I’m a bit insensitive to minor damage. I knew an expert would find more than I was seeing.
Sure enough, it turned out that the goose that hit the headlight had not only broken the headlight bezel, but also crumpled the right fender, crumpled the hood, and knocked the hood out of alignment. The goose that hit the grill had penetrated far enough that the body shop guy thought it might have damaged the air conditioning condenser. And that was just what he could see before he started taking off parts. He said the damage would easily cost more than $1000 to fix.
Those must have been some damned-tough geese.
Update: The butcher’s bill is in.