The answer, prior to an hour ago, was three.
The answer is now four.
Yes, once again, someone has driven through my front fence. Whenever it rains, now, Nick and I get intensely twitchy, just waiting for the highly recognisable crunching sound.
Actually, there was an accident on the other side of the road earlier tonight, and we both went leaping out onto the front verandah in stark terror. But that was a false alarm.
And we should have realised it was a false alarm, because when the actual crunching sound came an hour later, it was instantly recognisable: this time, as we went leaping out onto the front verandah, we were both shouting “Oh, no! Oh, bloody hell, no, not again!”
Last time this happened, we contacted the Council, suggesting that three cars through the fence was, really, three too many, and perhaps there was something they could do to ameliorate the dangers of that corner?
But, no: apparently we’re a statistical anomaly and, apart from our fence, there are no more accidents in this area than in any other, so no further measures need to be taken.
I’m wondering if four almost identical accidents would qualify us as a black spot.
This actually isn’t too bad, compared to the last incident, which wiped out a stop sign, our fence, one steel-reinforced gate, a brick wall, my car—foolishly parked in the driveway—and the garage door. This one just knocked a fence pole out of the ground and smashed some palings.
This also has less amusement value. Last time, at least I held the following conversation with some extremely intoxicated young men at 2.30 a. m.:
ME: Guys, it’s 2.30 in the morning.
THEM: Just tell us what happened!
ME: Someone drove through my fence.
THEM: Aw, shit, man; that’s really bad.
ME: I know.
THEM: It’s a real fucking mess down here.
ME: I know.
THEM: Got a beer, love?
ME: No, sorry.
THEM: Got any water?
ME: Guys, it’s 2.30 a. m.
THEM: Oh, yeah. Well, sweet dreams, love.
(Incidentally, the lead intoxicated young man woke me up a month later at, ironically, 2.30 a. m., loudly describing the accident to a companion. But he was very apologetic on that occasion when I eventually bored of their conversation and leant out the window to ask pointedly, “May I help you?”)
There was also some amusement to be derived from the fact that they didn’t tow my car for a full twenty-four hours after they removed the cause of the problem, so that for the entire day people would walk past, do a double-take, and then once they were five metres down the road loudly ask their companion, “Did you see where that person drove through their own fence?”
Tonight, the only potential amusement was from the over-the-road neighbours, who were hanging off their verandah cheering—but they fled when I pointedly asked if they wanted to help and, anyway, that was more annoying than amusing.
Everyone who’s driven through the fence has actually been a nice, cheerful person, with whom I’ve chatted over bracing cups of tea while we wait for the police to arrive.
But this isn’t doing anything for my nerves.
And I’m starting to worry a little about how the real-estate agent will react this time.