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Day fifty-eight

December 28, 2016

Bloody hell.  Bloody, bloody, bloody hell.

In case you missed yesterday’s column about dickheads, on my way back from a lovely Christmas with friends, I was involved in a two part accident that totalled my beloved Echo. (Full details here.)

This was indeed a black day. I’m sure the black dog will catch up with it.

In British Columbia there is one car insurance option: the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia or ICBC. It is operated by the provincial government and is generally very good. It stops being good when your car is totalled. That’s when they tell you it would cost more to repair than it is worth. That’s when they tell you they will give you the book value of your car. If your car is a sixteen-year-old Toyota Echo, you will be given the cost, assuming you can find one, of buying another sixteen-year-old Echo. I’m guessing I will be lucky if ICBC offers me $3000. I’m guessing the offer will be more like $2000, quite possibly less.

Even if this was enough money to buy another car – which it isn’t – I don’t want another car. I want my car, my wonderful blue Echo. It fit me like a glove. I loved that little car.

When Mike and I got together in 1992 he had an already aging, but still going strong Toyota Tercel.


Here it is parked in front of the house just after we took up residence. (I’m pleased to report the house is no longer this colour.) Mike loved that car. When another dickhead driver forced him off the road in a late 1990s accident, ICBC said it wasn’t worth the cost of repairing. Mike, who could afford to do so, decided to pay for the repairs himself. Thousands of dollars later we got the Tercel back, but it was never quite right afterwards. We didn’t really trust it for long journeys, for which we rented cars. Other things started going wrong, like not being able to open the passenger side door from the inside. (Either the driver had to let you out or you had to roll down the window and open the door from the outside.)

In early 2000 he had a bit of a cash bonanza. It seems UBC had been overcharging profs for their pensions, so they were all getting a cheque for $5000. He told me this as we were driving to the cinema, asked what I thought we should do with the money. He was thinking of a trip. When we arrived at our destination and I started to unroll the window to get out of the car, I turned to him and suggested the money go towards replacing the Tercel. He agreed.

We went to the Toyota dealership with a view to outright buying a second hand car, even took one for a test drive. Back at the lot we spotted another car: the brand new, just released Echo. We looked at the car, looked at each other and nodded. We both had ago driving a black one. We both loved it. Back once more at the lot, we spotted the blue one. That was it. That was our car.


This isn’t the one we bought. Turns out I don’t have a single picture of our lovely Echo taken before it was totalled on Boxing Day. I had to download this one from the internet.

I want my car back! I want this one, the one I love. But I’m not going to get it.

Instead I am faced with the poor (and by poor I mean impoverished) person’s dilemma. Do I try to find an old, gas guzzling and probably not particularly safe banger which is all I will be able to afford with the money ICBC gives me? Do I cash in the only RRSPs I have to buy a newer car? Do I increase the mortgage line of credit debt gifted to me by Mike’s children – thus substantially increasing the interest payment I have to make every month?

I don’t know.

For today I am just going to concentrate on being thankful that I didn’t end up upside down in a ditch, quickly buried in snow with a mobile phone that didn’t work. My beloved Echo may be toast, but I am fine. Even though it really doesn’t feel like it atthe moment, things really could have been a lot worse.


From → Black dog diary

One Comment
  1. krysross permalink

    Any chance the insurance company will try and find dickhead number 2? They probably would have tried like hell if you’d been injured and they were on the hook for that.

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