He Tried a Hollywood Stunt

by Don Stec

Hollywood; a question was discussed several decades ago on TV and in the newspapers. Does Hollywood influence life or does it reflect life? Obviously it does reflect life in many instances. Documentaries and stories about real people are often reasonably accurate. Some artistic license is taken and mostly acknowledged as acceptable. Lead roll actors are often much better looking people than the people they are portraying. I doubt this offends many people as most people enjoy watching their favorite actors. The question arose because there were so many violent movies and some of the public felt it could influence children to try dangerous or unlawful activities. Hollywood spokes-people denied this and said they were simply reflecting life in its movies.

Does Hollywood influence life? The real question is, how does Hollywood influence people to try dangerous or stupid things a reasonable person would never do?

Example; I was in my office when a young man in his mid-twenties came in for an Insurance estimate. His face was bruised almost completely on one side, from forehead to chin.

We stepped outside to inspect his car. I noticed that the hood was crushed in the center as if something big had dropped on it. And the roof had a grapefruit size dent in the center just above the windshield. Since this was an Insurance claim I had to find out if both dents were one incident or two. If two, a second estimate would be required and possibly a second deductible. I asked, "How did this accident happen?"

He explained, “I saw a bunch of my friends standing on the sidewalk at the curb, so I thought it would be fun to pull a Starsky and Hutch on them. I pulled up to the curb and skidded to a stop to get their attention. Then I leaped out of the driver’s door and jumped onto the hood with the intention of sliding to the other side and landing on the sidewalk.”

"Well, what happened?" I asked. “Well, I didn’t know a hood could be so slippery. After all, I had seen this done so many times on TV. I thought it would be easy and would really impress them. My feet slid out from under me and I landed on the hood, crushing it.”

"Tell me about the roof." I prodded. “That’s where my head hit. It really knocked me for a loop and that’s how I got this bruise on my face. I felt like a fool. My friends are never going to let me forget this.”

Well it turned out to be one incident and one deductible. At least that was a little good news.

This is one story. Over the years I have heard many stories of people telling me their collision damage was the result of imitating something they saw in the movies or TV. As the above photos show, hoods cannot withstand the weight of a person. Yet we often see movie police foot-pursuits, with the hero cop running over the tops of cars to catch the criminals

A special note to sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts: The roof, hood or trunk of a vehicle is not a place to stand to observe an outdoor sporting event. Even a roof designed with a cargo rack cannot withstand people standing on it without damage. The same advice goes for cargo carriers. The carrier may be designed to accommodate more cargo weight than the vehicle roof is capable of supporting.

Coachmaster Collision repair* -- founded in 1969 is the best equipped body and paint shop in the North valley. Specializing in “Total Body Alignment.” Contact Alan Gordon for an estimate on your vehicle. Call 530-243-1310 or visit the business at 6851 Eastside Road, in Redding California. *Click here if you are using a smart phone or other mobile device.