(So what is this? Smoke? A monster? A cosmic lobster come to eat us all with giant wedges of lemon and butter? More discussion over at 011808.)
Re: Smashup 2007: After discussing it with y'all in the previous couple of entries, I took what y'all said back to my mother, the potential Filer of Lawsuits. We're not going to sue, and here's why, per y'all's contributions:
1. Apparently the seat falling back is a known Camry design flaw that has since been fixed. I suppose if the backseat had continued hurtling toward the front seats and my sister's head had been crushed into her shoulders, we could probably sue, or at least scare them into a settlement. Of course, in that case, she'd be dead and it wouldn't help anything; "but she could have been killed" apparently doesn't hold a lot of weight in court.
2. She had already been, as you may remember, in a major accident last August. Toyota would most likely claim that the airbags didn't go off as a result of damages to the car from that accident, or that there would be no way to prove otherwise.
3. There was a front impact when my sister was spun into the ditch, but it probably wasn't hard enough to trigger the airbags. You can argue that airbags are just as necessary in rear-impact accidents, but if it's not an industry requirement, it's not their problem.
4. Toyota would also most likely claim that it was precisely the safety of their design that allowed my sister to walk away from an accident that obliterated the back half of the car. The Driver Seat Detachment actually increased her injuries, but the car was eight years old, since been fixed, not their problem, etc.
So basically, it's scary as hell that the seat collapsed and rendered her seatbelt useless and contributed to her (minor) injuries, and you'd hope that airbags would go off during a rear impact on the chance that you could be thrown forward, but it doesn't merit $50,000 worth of hopeless lawsuit. I would suggest, however, that when you go buy a car, new or used, you make a list of things (like the collapsing seat and the various impacts required to trigger airbags) that you've heard went wrong in other people's cars and research whether the car you're looking at can handle those things.
Also, if you're interested in specific details, her '99 Camry was hit at a slight angle by a Ford Explorer SUV going roughly 70 miles per hour. It's the slight angle that probably saved her life, as well as the fact that she had completely stopped by the time the guy hit her.
Meanwhile, my mother had been wanting to see POTC3 since it came out--her obsession with Jack Sparrow tends to teeter between "adorable" and "needs an intervention"--but wasn't able to get out and see it. Part of the problem was that we allowed the puppies to run our lives, to the point where I just finally flipped out and started demanding why someone had to be in the house with them at all times. They sleep in a crate, after all. So three months into the all-day watching of puppies, she bought them a bigger crate--they were outgrowing the old one--and decreed that from now on we would, in fact, leave the dogs in the crate when we needed to leave the house. Thank Jesus. And then things happened, life was busy, she didn't get to see the movie, and so on. She wanted to go last Thursday, but they yanked her 11 am showing out from under her. I don't know why my mother insists that all theatrical viewings be over before dinner (which in her mind she always has to fix), but she basically won't go to a movie that's on later than 2:30 pm. So you see how she really wants to go see this movie, but then she imposes all these artificial limitations.
So finally, my stepfather finds an 11 am on Sunday for her (awww!) even though he didn't want to see it himself, and he volunteered to take her. At 11:30 that fateful day, I had to call the theater and ask them to go find my parents and drag them out, and the theater employee actually refused to at first. Well, it wasn't so much a flat refusal as a bewildered, "Uh... I don't think we can do that. Let me... get a manager?" Yeah, you do that. I wouldn't have even pressed them except that Sister Girl used to work at a movie theater, and she remembered people being pulled out before. So I'm actually sitting there telling two separate people, "I am so, so sorry to ask if you can do this, but their daughter's been in a car accident, and--look, they're in Pirates, there's probably hardly anyone in there anyway. Couple in their fifties, [names], tell them to call Lauren--I am so, so sorry to ask you to do this..." So finally I get hold of my mother, and she is Not Happy. Of course, she hasn't seen the actual wreck yet. It's hard to imagine the actual automotive carnage until you've seen the pictures (previous entry). Of course, she wasn't too happy then either, but for different reasons. And six hours in an ER didn't help any.
The one good thing is that she got off four weeks of jury duty because of the whole thing--this morning, for example, she and my stepfather drove up to Cullman to take more pictures of the accident site, and it turns out that Earl's Body Shop is particularly good people, because when they cleaned up the wreck, they actually went out of their way to pick up as much of her books and papers as they could. People were really, really awesome about the whole thing--when it happened, a bunch of people stopped to help her. One guy got her a bottle of water; a woman started going up and down the road picking up her things for her. She has, as I've said, really shit luck getting into accidents, but the luck of the angels getting out of them.
So, anyway. My mother calls me about 8:30 this morning, all excited: "They're still showing Pirates at 12:30 at the Summit! If we can get back in time, you and I are going!" Apparently the half an hour my stepfather saw convinced him that it was not the movie for him. We had already known this, of course, but it's one of those things he had to find out for himself rather than us sound like we just didn't want him to go. They got as far as the Multiple Jacks part; I kind of suspect that my stepfather was a little relieved to be rescued.
So, okay, she and I are going to do, and I'll see it for a third time, which means that I'll have seen all three movies in the theater three times each, which has a
She gets back from Cullman, and we gun it to the Summit.
The girl at the box office stares at us like we're idiots. "There's no 12:30. The next one is at three." "But..." My mother fumbles for words and gestures at me. "But... she checked the internet!" "Did she check carmike.com?" the girl asks loftily. "Carmike.com is the only site with the correct times for this theater." You will forgive me if I then blurted out, "That's why we usually go to the Rave!"
So we go home. We get lunch. We dope up Sister Girl and put her back to bed. My mother notes that if we leave in an hour and a half, we'll get (back) to the theater in time for the 3 pm.
"But... that's after 2:30."
"But... you know that the movie's three hours long, right? By the time you add in trailers?"
"You know--I mean, we wouldn't get home until like 6:30."
"I KNOW, AND I AM GOING TO SEE THIS MOVIE. HARRY POTTER IS COMING TOMORROW AND IT WILL GO AWAY."
Y'all know a good bit about my mother by now, I think. The Sonic incident aside--at her best, she's the woman who walked into a car dealership and said, very politely, "I want this car in California blue, I want a moon roof, and I want it at this price. Someone in this town is going to sell that car to me. It can be you, or it can be someone else." (She's also the woman who got that car, and is still driving it.) So we're dealing with someone with an immense amount of will, but also a very self-effacing need to see to other people before herself, and to their dinners in particular. Apparently, if you want to tip the balance, you have to apply Captain Jack at the very last moment, because, so help her God, we were going to see Pirates of the Caribbean today if it took us all damn night.
It started raining. I honestly began to think at that point that an F5 tornado would blow in and rip the theater out of the crust of the earth rather than let my mother see this movie in the theater. But by God, we got there in plenty of time for trailers and drinks and everything.
Until we sat down in the middle of the almost-back row, got comfortable, put our feet up... and two girls came and sat down exactly in front of us.
"Why would they do that?" hisses my mother, who views putting one's feet up as a God- and Constitution-given right. It also doesn't help that some variation of this seems to happen to her every time she goes to the theater, but today, it's like God just daring her to lose it.
"Look, I don't--"
"WHY WOULD THEY DO THAT?"
Quickly, I move us over about four seats before it gets ugly.
So, the movie: she really liked it, although there was a large amount of discussion afterwards as to the whys and hows. (Y'all were here back in May; y'all remember.) And I asked her if she was prepared to sit through the credits for the after-scene, which was actually important this time around, thinking that she'd want to blow out of there before the family was forced to forage for sustenance, and she said, "I came to see this movie AND I'M GOING TO SEE ALL OF IT."
So help us God, amen.
P.S. Happy birthday to Valkyrie!