(Jen’s note: This one has some naughty and crass words in it in my attempt to use humor and sarcasm relating a stressful situation. It’s how I deal with stuff in real life and pretty close to how I talk. I hope you forgive me.)
I had this small cake to deliver Saturday at about 5pm.
As I’m putting it in my car I realized the floorboard of the passenger side had smutz on the rug because (of course) I forgot to get the van cleaned earlier. Being super picky about making sure nothing nasty gets on my cake, I went against my better judgment and put the cake on the passenger seat. It’s only a little cake, I told myself, it’ll be fine! I mean, I could have put it in the skid-proof cargo area, but that seemed silly, such a small cake in the cargo area. So I decided to take a chance.
Traffic was terrible. Terrible. San Francisco doesn’t have “freeways” to get across town, it’s all surface streets and whoever planned them needs a good flogging. It didn’t help that I was coming from a very heavy tourist area and trying to get to an even heavier tourist area, and although I thought I gave myself time, traffic was not moving and I knew I was running late. I HATE being late.
One thing we DO have going for us here is a very funky web of side streets and alleys that we can sometimes use to bypass horrible intersections and slow streets.
These allies, although mostly lined with apartments and businesses, can be sketchy. But whatever, I’m a city girl, and I had a cake to deliver, so I weaved thru oncoming traffic and managed to hook a left onto Minna to get to the 6th Street corridor. If you don’t know the area, it’s heavy drugs, lots of homeless, and seriously crazy people hanging out in front of half-way houses, needle exchanges, SROs, liquor stores and porn shops. You know, totally normal.
I notice on my left is a crazy-looking middle aged white dude riding a very janky bicycle on the sidewalk next to me, but he is holding onto a very nice, very shiny bike, peddling like crazy and constantly looking over his shoulder. I also noticed the bolt cutters he had strapped to his very janky bike so I knew he just stole the very shiny bike… and I was observing his get-a-way.
And because karma’s a bitch, I hit him. Actually, he hit me.
Replay it in my head: he was riding on the “sidewalk”, which in this alley is not much of a sidewalk, and he was riding as fast as he could, trying to also hold onto a 2nd bike. I am not sure what he hit to eat shit, if he was attempting to dodge and weave thru all the garbage and junkies on the ground, or if he was just completely drugged-out, but he hit something, flew off his bike and bounced off my fender. I, of course, slammed on my brakes and freaked the hell out.
I sat there astonished as this dude immediately jumped back on his bike, grabbed the other bike, told me “sorry” and peddled his butt off fleeing the scene. I’m like, wait, what? I didn’t know what to do. The dude left! Like in a freakin movie! He didn’t seem injured, I was maybe going 10 mph and he was actually going faster then me. Do I call the police? Do I get out of the car? He was gone around a corner before I could even blink. And although there were probably 20 people hanging about and milling around in this very popular drug alley, not a single one was even looking at me or seemed to have noticed that Mr. Bike Thief just bounced off my fender doing 10mph! In fact, the very non-action of the universe after such a thing happened made me second-guess that it happened at all.
Huh. Allrighty then. I took a deep breath, realized I was causing a traffic jam of cars behind me, and went on my way.
That’s when I realized my pretty little cake had gone flying off the passenger seat when I slammed on my breaks. If it had been an all-buttercream cake it would have been completely ruined. But it was ganache, and although it had some cracking, it was fixable. And miracle of miracles, I grabbed a few spare sugar lotus flowers “just in case” on my way out of the shop which saved my butt because the ones on the cake were broken.
Once the cake was safely at the venue I inspected the van and yeah, it totally did happen. There is no damage, but there is a “clean spot” on my otherwise dirty van that Mr. Bike Thief cleaned with his shirt. Or face. Whatever.
So, why do I tell this story besides to share that I totally just hit someone with my car on Saturday? After the shock wore off I realized that I just got LUCKY. L-U-C-K-Y. If he was a normal person, I’d be all kinds of screwed right now. As I sat stunned in my car practically hyperventilating because I could have just killed someone, I couldn’t help but to keep running thru a checklist of all my insurance coverage and wondering if it would have been enough to cover something like that. So lesson #1, I need to call my Farmer’s Agent to make sure I have a ton of insurance and that my van is completely covered… because you never know when the fist of mighty Zeus might smack down another meth-filled junkie in process of stealing a bike making him eat shit and bounce off your fender. This is San Francisco. It could happen, is all I’m sayin.
And my pretty little cake… it would have been completely fine and would have totally survived the abrupt stop if it had been on the floorboard of the passenger seat or in my skid-proofed cargo area. So Lesson #2, never put a cake on the seat, no matter what.
And finally, I never would have put a cake on the seat if my freakin van was clean enough to put a cake on the floorboard in the first place. So lesson #3, make sure the van is washed if I know I have to make a delivery, even if it was just raining.
So yeah, that happened.
Oh, and before you think I’m a really horrible person, I did call the police after I delivered the cake. They were completely NOT interested in the whole I-hit-him-he-hit-me with the car thing after hearing where the incident took place. Apparently it’s not a pedestrian hit-and-run when the pedestrian flees the scene and there were no injuries. Yay, I guess. However, the officer on the phone took the generic description I had of what Mr. Bounce-Off-My-Fender looked like along with the shiny bike he was fleeing with, apparently that was something worthy of reporting, which made me feel a lot better about the entire situation.
So, if you had a baby blue fancy bike jacked from the 5th and Mission area, I’m sorry but you probably are not getting it back. But if it makes you feel better, I totally hit that dick with my car for you.