Ode to a seatbelt
A rambling by Tom Knapp,
August 1991

Some things need to be put in their proper perspective.

Take, for instance, some recent car repairs attached to my annual inspection. The bill for the job, which included two new tires and new brake pads, topped $550 and I wasn't happy. That's a lot of money to spend on a fairly new car, I thought, and I begrudged every penny.

Of course, my feelings changed two days later. The circumstances aren't important here (and are also quite embarrassing); suffice it to say the front end of my car is now neatly tucked into my glove compartment. My fairly new car was transformed in seconds into a hunk of scrap metal with two new tires and fresh brake pads.

The startling realization struck me when the police officer who responded to the scene (along with a pair of ambulance crews who, thankfully, weren't needed) told me I should have been killed. The only thing that saved me -- did I mention I wasn't even scratched? -- was my seatbelt.

And that seatbelt, which had been found faulty and was fixed two days before during my annual inspection, made $550 suddenly seem like spare change.

[ by Tom Knapp ]