CarStories are stories about your cars. This week, we have New York-based comedian Ben Rosenfeld. He’s an NYC based comedian who has appeared on FOX’s Laughs, CBS This Morning, National Geographic’s Brain Games, Rooftop Comedy and been featured as TimeOut New York’s Joke of the Week. His two comedy albums, Neuro Comedy (2012 – iTunes | Amazon ) and The Russian Optimist (2016 – iTunes |Amazon) are available at all digital music retailers and streaming sites. Ben is also the creator of the illustrated coffee table book, Russian Optimism: Dark Nursery Rhymes To Cheer You Right Up, an Amazon Top 5 Best Seller in Humor.
The last time I visited Los Angeles, I got into an accident with my rental car. And it was my fault. But then it wasn’t.
Los Angeles, CA (July 2013) – For no good reason, I decide to make a U-turn, right out of a parking spot, through 4 lanes of traffic, while only looking in my side view mirror. Or as I call it: The New York Hello. The road was clear, until a car came out of nowhere (later I determined there was a small side street that didn’t have a traffic light).
As the accident is happening, I start repeating “this is not good, this is not good.” Not because someone might be hurt, but because I see I’m hitting a BMW. I’m thinking, oh no, these rich people are gonna sue me for every penny I don’t got. If you’re gonna get in a car accident that’s four hundred percent your fault, you want it to be with a poor person. Then you can say, “Yes we could exchange insurance information, or, here’s fifty dollars and a lottery ticket.”
So I get out and go over to them, luckily nobody’s injured. No airbags went off, just some body damage. I quickly learn that the car’s passengers are a couple test driving the BMW, and the car dealer in the back. Now I’m thinking, “Yes! Nobody owns this car.” Then the dealer says, “My friend, my friend, let’s not call the police, just follow me to the dealership.” Double yes! You don’t have to convince me to leave a place where the accident is clearly my fault and forty witnesses eating outside saw it. So we go to the guy’s dealership and it turns out it’s not a BMW dealership, but “Kay’s Kars” where “cars” is actually spelled with a K. I think the K stands for quality. Also with a K.
I call American Express, because if you pay for your rental car with their card, you don’t need additional insurance. AmEx says they’ll pay for the damage to my rental, no problem. If have to have a car accident, this is turning into the best one possible. But then I learn that the couple I hit had just arrived from China and doesn’t have any car insurance. And Kay’s Kar’s Klaims (the KKK!) that they don’t have insurance once a car is off the lot. So now the accident is no longer my fault, because it’s illegal to drive without insurance. Triple yes! The only downside, is now the dealer tells the Chinese guy he has to buy the car, or the cops will come and arrest him for driving without insurance. (I asked multiple times, “Hypothetically, if I admit the accident is my fault, will this help the guy?” KKK says it won’t matter as far as the cops are concerned because the guy still doesn’t have insurance.) Do you understand? For this Chinese guy, I just ruined America. You know the American dream? I’m his American nightmare. So the moral of the story is: Never take a test drive without insurance. Also if China declares war on us, it might be my fault.