Ben Stein's Diary

Crashing Into My Wall

A Mazda intrudes on my weekend.

By 6.2.14

UPI
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Saturday
A leisurely swim in my wonderful pool in Beverly Hills after a leisurely afternoon sleeping with my dogs. I showered, got dressed, and looked for my wife to tell her I was going out for a few minutes. When I finally found her, in her office, she was talking to a middle-aged man and woman I had never seen before. I asked her what was going on.

“These nice people crashed their car into our wall and they kindly knocked on our door to give us their information,” said my wife. “Don’t yell at them.”

It turned out that the man, who was apparently driving, had turned his car 90 degrees straight off Carmelita to go up over the curb, go across about a five or six foot grassy strip, cross the sidewalk, and then crash into our wall — a structure of plaster buttressed by cinder blocks with steel bars going through them. They had hit it so hard that they had made a hole — two holes — big enough for a small child to crawl through — right into our pool. I had been swimming in that pool maybe five minutes before they hit the wall.

The man appeared to me to be groggy but not drunk. The woman was apologetic. She said they would pay for it “a little bit at a time.” Also she offered to clean our house for us.

We called the BH PD, and a squad car with one officer in it showed up quickly. A tall young officer talked to the couple, asked them if they had been drinking, asked the male if he had fallen asleep, examined their Mazda van — which looked amazingly well. We should all buy Mazdas, I guess. The policeman decided not to file a report.

My wife, world’s kindest human, kept telling the crashing couple that they were good people for stopping to give us their info, and I guess they were. It would have been better if they had not crashed into the wall at all.

I called SAFECO, our insurance company. At first, they denied that they covered the house. Then they confessed that they did. The policeman had told us to get a board-up service to cover the hole. But the insurance company did not have any advice on that. Considering that our premiums on that one house alone are a staggering amount, I was annoyed. The man who took the call could not possibly have been more blasé about the whole situation. Why not? It isn’t his wall.

We called Miguel, our handyman. Although he lives in Moreno Valley, which is very far away (I don’t know exactly where), he agreed to come Sunday morning to cover up the wall with a plywood board until he could rebuild the wall.

I told Phil DeMuth about our incident. “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,” he cleverly responded.

“Mr. Juarez, tear down this wall,” I replied.

Then, out for sushi, then to watch a strange movie about a house of ill repute run by Nazis in wartime Berlin, and then to sleep. I still cannot believe that guy crashed into our wall.

Sunday
Awakened by the sound of children swimming in our pool. No, not a dream, not a mistake. Our handyman, Miguel, on his own initiative, had decided to bring his teenage children to swim in our pool. No consultation with us. Still, I am happy they enjoyed it and it was kind of him to work on the cover-up on Sunday, coming from far off Moreno Valley.

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About the Author

Ben Stein is a writer, actor, economist, and lawyer living in Beverly Hills and Malibu. He writes "Ben Stein's Diary" for every issue of The American Spectator.