It was cold overnight, and this morning was just above freezing, with the same thin pelting rain we had yesterday. And for some reason the truck that sands the parking lot, which slopes downhill from the road, had not made an appearance. So when I turned the wheel to head from the entrance toward the far end of the lot, nothing happened. With antilock buzzing we glided majestically into a couple of teachers' cars that were parked in the nearest spaces. Those cars in turn glided downhill, making a quarter turn and bouncing off each other a few times as they did.
The jeep was of course entirely unmarked; the other two cars had scuffs on the bumper, and one had a broken headlamp even though the outer plastic was unscathed. "We went bump," said C. "I said, 'Oh dear.'"
Aw crap. So I missed my eye exam, and spent the time instead waiting for the police to arrive (the first time someone called, there was no answer at the station, whee) and watching the other parents who weren't adequately waved off making similarly elegant curves. One of them slid right through the two spaces from which I had just ousted the teachers' cars. When a police car showed up, it very nearly plowed into everyone again. The officer blocked off the parking lot while he was writing his report, and I and a couple of spare staff scraped sand out of the big frozen bucket on the porch to pour out and make at least the semblance of a safe path for parents and kids to walk down from the street.
As I was leaving, about 840, the sand truck arrived, and I expect everything went pretty much back to normal soon after. So if I hadn't jumped on that cancellation for an eye exam, or had let C stay home having a leisurely breakfast until I got back to take him -- anything but being all enterprising and raring to go -- none of this would have happened. And some other parent would have been looking at scuffmarks and waiting for a police report.
There. I'll stop whining now for a bit.
Update: Got a letter from the insurance company of one of the other cars. Price for scuffs on bumper and (apparently) fender and driver's side door: $1300 plus car rental for however long the repair takes. Oy. I had hoped to be able to avoid unpleasantness.