Three times today I walked out to my truck, from the same side, and didn’t notice it. On the fourth trip, I couldn’t miss it; a cracked windshield, starting from the pillar on the passenger side. I shook my mind in disbelief, and moved to run my hand over the smooth glass. I wanted to feel the crack, and find out if I could determine what had caused the ten inch crooked line across my windshield. Try as I might, there was no evidence of an impact to be found. I checked for the little pits that one sometimes finds; pits that would have been caused by a small pebble bouncing off the glass. There was no mark in sight.

Jimmy the Doorframe couldn’t believe his eyes, either. He mentioned that he would have noticed such a crack, because he had been sitting in his truck directly across from mine just an hour earlier. His next comment was one I was dreading, but one I knew my mind would eventually arrive at. “There goes three hundred bucks”. I can always trust Jimmy to come to the point of things quickly.

“But how?”, I asked myself. How could this perfectly clear windshield have cracked with the truck just sitting here? Had I slammed the passenger door too hard? I racked my brain briefly before recalling that no one had even used the passenger door today. I rechecked the crack, again trying to find something that would signal the source. After a few seconds, I gave up, realizing that the glass was irreparably cracked, there was no clue as to how it happened, and I was going to have to pay several hundred dollars to fix it.

I went to my office and called the AAA insurance agent hoping that by some miracle, cracked windshields would be covered without a deductible having to be paid. No mystery there; my deductible of five hundred dollars would apply, and it wouldn’t benefit me to report a claim. I resigned myself to the fact that this broken windshield without a known cause was completely my financial responsibility.

While still in my office, I decided to call around for estimates to have it replaced. Can someone tell me why discovering the cause of a broken windshield is such a big mystery, while finding out how much it is going to cost is not? Something seems unbalanced about that.

I called three services, and the first two were within five dollars of each other, the lowest being Two-hundred-eighty-five dollars. The third one must have been the charm, because he got the job.

The total for my new windshield which I didn’t even want to need? Two hundred-twenty-five dollars installed. What a way to spend that much money. It would be wonderful if my truck’s windshield was one of those really old ones; you know the kind, with little chips and deep scratches all over the place. But my existing windshield was perfect, except for the big crack. It’s a pity, really, to throw away something that was so nice aside from one small area.

Oh well, it could have been much worse. Truck and car repairs can sometimes cost people thousands of dollars. As I sit here typing this story, I find myself glad and thankful it was only a broken windshield, even if I never find out why it cracked.

No comments: