Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Hail of a Lot of Money

Before the (Not So) Good Friday storms that rocked the St. Louis metro area, there was the Tuesday before Easter. On that day, hail fell at This D*mn House not once, but twice, within 12 hours.

My group had clients in town and we were supposed to get the company suite at Busch for a game that Tuesday night. But because the National Weather Service was already posting warnings over the prior weekend, by Monday, those plans were cancelled. ( As was the game following the storm the next night.)

If I’d still had plans to go to the game, I would have driven that day. In fact, even though those plans were canceled, the early morning warnings calling for hail were enough to make me think I should drive anyway. I came very close to doing so because Pearl would have safe haven inside a downtown garage rather than have her rear exposed in our carport. I almost drove that day. Almost.

But then I thought of the stretch between Illinois 3 and the McKinley Bridge. It’s a fairly desolate stretch – either with nowhere to seek shelter or nowhere you’d want to – so I figured Pearl’s chances were better in the carport.

I figured wrong.

I made it to work just fine but the HUGE hail (golfball at least) started in within 15 minutes of my arrival. I got a panicked call from home in which I could actually hear the hail beating the hell out of the house. I knew Pearl was under siege and cringed. D*MMIT! I’ve I’d driven, Pearl would have been safe!

Before round 2 of the hail hit (more of a pea-sized variety, fortunately), I made it back home and while it was still raining a bit, I had to go out and check Pearl. I immediately noticed a half-dozen or so good dents in the trunk lid. Not too bad, all things considered. It would be several more days though before I would get a clearer picture of the damage.

When I washed her that weekend, I actually felt before I saw the array of tiny pits on the lid. Sh*t! That’s going to require a new trunk lid, I thought. Since then, I’d found a few more dings on the rear quarter panel and one leading to the roof, all on the side that was open to, while not directly exposed to, the elements. That’s because we hadn’t had much in the way of sun and Pearl’s iridescent surface can mask a multitude of sins without direct bright light.

And Saturday, when I took Pearl to the insurance adjuster’s for an estimate, they found even more damage. In fact, they identified nearly $2,400 in damage in total. While it is comparatively less than all my neighbors’ claims that I’ve heard thus far, I still think it’s a buttload of money. And it makes me sad. Say heh freakin’ looooo to higher car insurance!!!!

But, I have to get her fixed. I think I’ve identified a body shop, so I’ll need to call them up and take her for a visit.

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