Sunday, June 22, 2014

Funny Motor Insurance Claims

As promised, I'm turning to something a little more light hearted. This list of funny claims is not new. I first saw them at least 10 years ago, but they are funny every time I read them; better yet, they are all true. The ones that use funny words that you've never seen before are from Australia. Enjoy!

Funny Motor Insurance Claims:
"Going to work at 7am this morning I drove out of my drive straight into a bus. The bus was 5 minutes early."

"The accident happened because I had one eye on the lorry in front, one eye on the pedestrian and the other on the car behind."

"I started to slow down but the traffic was more stationary than I thought."

"I pulled into a lay-by with smoke coming from under the hood. I realized the car was on fire so took my dog and smothered it with a blanket."

Q: Could either driver have done anything to avoid the accident?
A: Travelled by bus?

The claimant had collided with a cow. The questions and answers on the claim form were - Q: What warning was given by you? A: Horn. Q: What warning was given by the other party? A: Moo.

"I started to turn and it was at this point I noticed a camel and an elephant tethered at the verge. This distraction caused me to lose concentration and hit a bollard."

"On approach to the traffic lights the car in front suddenly broke."

"I didn't think the speed limit applied after midnight"

"I knew the dog was possessive about the car but I would not have asked her to drive it if I had thought there was any risk."

Q: Do you engage in motorcycling, hunting or any other pastimes of a hazardous nature? A: "I Watch the Lottery Show and listen to Terry Wogan."

"Windscreen broken. Cause unknown. Probably Voodoo."

"The car in front hit the pedestrian but he got up so I hit him again"

"I pulled away from the side of the road, glanced at my mother-in-law and headed over the embankment."

"The other car collided with mine without giving warning of its intention."

"I collided with a stationary truck coming the other way"

"A truck backed through my windshield into my wife's face"

"A pedestrian hit me and went under my car"

"In an attempt to kill a fly, I drove into a telephone pole."

"I had been shopping for plants all day and was on my way home. As I reached an intersection a hedge sprang up obscuring my vision and I did not see the other car."

"I was on my way to the doctor with rear end trouble when my universal joint gave way causing me to have an accident."

"An invisible car came out of nowhere, struck my car and vanished."

"I was thrown from the car as it left the road. I was later found in a ditch by some stray cows."

"Coming home I drove into the wrong house and collided with a tree I don't have."

"I thought my window was down, but I found it was up when I put my head through it."

"The guy was all over the road. I had to swerve a number of times before I hit him."

"I had been driving for forty years when I fell asleep at the wheel and had an accident."

"As I approached an intersection a sign suddenly appeared in a place where no stop sign had ever appeared before."

"To avoid hitting the bumper of the car in front I struck a pedestrian."

"My car was legally parked as it backed into another vehicle."

"I told the police that I was not injured, but on removing my hat found that I had a fractured skull."

"I was sure the old fellow would never make it to the other side of the road when I struck him."

"The pedestrian had no idea which way to run as I ran over him."

"I saw a slow moving, sad faced old gentleman as he bounced off the roof of my car."

"The indirect cause of the accident was a little guy in a small car with a big mouth."

"The telephone pole was approaching. I was attempting to swerve out of the way when I struck the front end."

"The gentleman behind me struck me on the backside. He then went to rest in a bush with just his rear end showing. "

"I had been learning to drive with power steering. I turned the wheel to what I thought was enough and found myself in a different direction going the opposite way."

"I was backing my car out of the driveway in the usual manner, when it was struck by the other car in the same place it had been struck several times before."

"When I saw I could not avoid a collision I stepped on the gas and crashed into the other car."

"The accident happened when the right front door of a car came round the corner without giving a signal."

"No one was to blame for the accident but it would never have happened if the other driver had been alert."

"I was unable to stop in time and my car crashed into the other vehicle. The driver and passengers then left immediately for a vacation with injuries."

"The pedestrian ran for the pavement, but I got him."

"I saw her look at me twice. She appeared to be making slow progress when we met on impact."

"The accident occurred when I was attempting to bring my car out of a skid by steering it into the other vehicle."

"My car got hit by a submarine." (The Navy informed the wife of a submariner that the craft was due in port. She drove to the base to meet her husband and parked at the end of the slip where the sub was to berth. An inexperienced ensign was conning the sub and it rammed the end of the slip, breaking a section away, causing her car to fall into the water. The Navy paid the compensation claim.)

"I bumped into a lamp-post which was obscured by human beings."

"The accident was caused by me waving to the man I hit last week."

"I knocked over a man; he admitted it was his fault for he had been knocked down before."

"A house hit my car." (A house was being moved by a large truck. My friend had his car parked on the side of the road correctly. The house began to tilt off the truck and eventually fell off the truck, landing on my friend's car. He eventually had the insurance paid, after lengthy explanation and the moving company confirming the story.)

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Ghost in the Grass

The other day, I went out for a walk, trying to find time for some peace and quiet. I was in a reflective mood, trying to make sense of life. When I emerged from a heavily wooded area, I waded through some grass that was knee deep and immersed in sunshine.

I couldn’t see all that well, and I tripped over what I thought to be a root. Turning to take a second look at my unseen spoiler, I stopped and stared at a sight too unbelievable to accept. I had tripped over a skeleton!

My years as a police officer kicked into gear and without thought, I reached for my phone to dial 911, so I could report the death to Sheriff Waller. I cordoned off the area immediately surrounding the body and began a cursory search to see if any other bones might be lying around, desperately hoping that there was only one death to report, and not several. Please don’t let this be a mass grave of some serial killer…

It’s a queer feeling when you happen upon death unexpectedly. At first, I thought of foul play, and assumed that the attacker might be surveilling the area for possible signs of detection. Then I rationalized that the body was decayed to the point of skeletal remains, therefore the odds of the killer hanging out where limited. The next thought I had was, “what if this person died of a heart attack?” The idea upset me because this individual died alone, and in some stage of peril. What if he’d been attacked by a bear? But, the skeleton was intact, so there were probably no wild animals attempting to devour the body.

While I waited on the police, and the longer I stared at the body, the more I began to wonder about this person’s identity. Who was this person? What was his or her name? What were their hopes and dreams? And then I wondered—why are there antlers growing out of his head?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Naming Ceremony -- Connecting With Your Kids

This weekend we wanted to spend some time with the kids. Sometimes it seems we are all in different places, and we felt as though we needed to make a deliberate connection. So, we arranged to have a hotdog roast, followed by s'mores.  We had their attention at that!

But I still felt we were missing something. And then I remembered a promise I'd made to myself when the kids were born. I had a baby name book with a special chapter devoted to Native American names and their meanings. I envisioned having the kids select their Indian name and make that part of their identity. Well, I decided that the kids were old enough to select their names and appreciate the significance therein. 

Family legend on both sides of our family holds that we descend from Indian lineage. We also learned phrases from the Choctaw tongue, which were passed down from our great-grandmother, who once lived in Oklahoma. One of those phrases is "Hopi chumbuli su bunda" which was always supposed to mean, "Pass the sugar". Well, I loo
ked it up and hopi chumbuli does mean sugar in Choctaw. I believe that we have a blood connection with Those Who Were Here Before.

So, I had the kids sit down with the book of names and they each selected the one that spoke to them. We had a blast trying to pronounce the names and imagining how someone came to be named something like, Puts Foot Down, or Buck Antlers from Yellow Bull. 

Seth selected Ahusaka (AH-HOO-SAH-KAH), which comes from the Winnebago Nation and means, Strikes His Wings. Seth liked both the sound of the name and the meaning. His full name is Seth Alexander, which means Appointed Defender of Mankind. A
dding Ahusaka to his name implies the ability to strike quickly and from above. Side note: he's also a floppy kid. He flops his arms around all the time as if he was a bird. Coincidence?

Caitlin selected Nonooktowa (NO-NOOK-TOW-WAH), which comes from the Modoc Nation and means, The Strange Child. Caitlin has always walked her own path. She doesn't feel the need to follow people or conform to their ways. She has always displayed a natural leadership presence. She is also quirky and funny—and sometimes—well…strange. But this is because she lives true to herself and doesn't fuss about what others think of her. She is her own person. She is the Strange Child, and I'm proud of her for that.

We manufactured a ceremony where I marked on their faces with charcoal and spoke words over them about their unique strengths. I waved smoke over them from my peace pipe, and I then presented them with a gift.

I gave Seth a very precious knife that was made for me by one of my best friends of all ti
mes, Deacon MaGill. He made the knife from white tail deer antlers and traced my initial into the handle. It is a unique gift, and there is no other like it in the world. I chose that for Seth because he loves innovation and is very progressive. Deacon took the old and new and made a wonderful knife. Seth has the same gifting.

I gave Caitlin a flint blade knife made with mule deer antlers and obsidian.  She loves history and the past, and that knife represented her appreciation of those days long gone.

The kids found great meaning in the ceremony, and I'll wager they will remember that day for the rest of their lives. I hope they do the same for their children. Perhaps we have established a new tradition, and hopefully a new legacy.