I'd been trying to get up to the country house for the past three weeks, but there was always somthun.... I was all ready to go this past Tuesday, but a big chunk of metal fell out from underneath the van onto the driveway. I think it's the thingy that you're supposed to use for placing a jack, but until I find out how badly rusted things are under there, I don't trust the frame not to break in half on the NYS Thruway. So I drove up Wednesday morning with the little car, and returned last night.
Didn't get a damn thing done up there, but that's ok. I had a late lunch with Piper. I fired him. It's ok. I think he's angry, and he thinks I'm making a mistake, but that's ok. (What bugs me is that he seems to think he has done a wonderful job with my investments. What he doesn't know is that I've kept track of my "pre-Piper" portfolio online, and if we had never touched that stuff, left it as it was, it would be 50%+ higher now, even considering what I have pulled out over time. The trouble, the reason I went to him in the beginning, was that it was all oil companies, mining companies, technology, and chemicals. I felt a need to diversify. I guess I should have left it as it was.)
I got a late start returning, I knew I'd hit the end of rush hour traffic on the Garden State Parkway, but that's ok. I wanted to be home by 8 if possible to catch Big Bang Theory, but if not I could watch it today on CBS.com (which I did). The GPS predicted an arrival time of 7:32.
BUT! There was an accident on the GSP. After 25 minutes of creeping in the middle of the three lanes - 3mph for 3 car lengths, stop, wait, 3mph, stop, wait, repeat - I finally got to the point where I could see all the flashing lights way ahead. By then there was no way I'd be home by 8:30, let alone 8, but at least I knew that my clutch foot would finally get some relief soon. The BMW does NOT like moving at idle speed. It took a lot of coordination between the clutch and gas to keep it from stalling. My left foot was getting tired.
So, at one point I stopped after creeping at the usual 3 mph, and within less than a second after stopping, I got hit from the back. Bonk. The car jumped a little.
I had to move over through the right lane bumper-to-bumper traffic to get to the shoulder and find out what my bumper looked like, and that maneuver left me more shaken than getting hit did. Amazingly, the huge white pickup who had hit me followed me over. We couldn't see a damn thing, it being dark, but we started to trade info when a cop showed up out of nowhere and shooed us back into our vehicles. He took our documents and info, said I could get an accident report at a certain website, and sent us back onto the road.
(And then, I got lost when I got off the Garden State onto what was supposed to be Rte. 9. The GPS lady kept telling me to bear right on the exit, but I was still distracted and my left-right confusion kicked in so I very carefully went left and ended up on the NJ Turnpike headed north, exactly the wrong direction. I ended up wandering through city streets to get back to route 9, near Newark, of all places.)
Today, in daylight, I got a look at the bumper. There's a smear of white paint, and a star of hairline cracks all of maybe 2.5 inches by 2 inches. It's near the backup sensor, so I don't know if that got messed up or not.
I called my insurance company today, I'll get some kind of appraisal on Monday, and then whatever comes next.
I'm almost embarrassed to make any noise about this. If there's no hidden damage, then it's almost nothing. On the other hand, it's NOT nothing and not my fault. On the third hand, I know from an earlier incident that BMW doesn't like to repair plastic bumpers, and a replacement bumper will be over $1,000. And the guy was so nice to follow me over to the shoulder. He says he was hit from behind and pushed into me. Whoever hit him just kept on going, and remains unidentified forever. He could have done that, too. This is NJ. I'd almost expect him to have kept going. I'd hate to be the one to make him regret pulling over.