Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Driving Nigel

I have never been “into” cars. They are just a way to get from point A to point B. The first car I bought was a new 1974 Toyota Corolla. It cost $3000, which was a fortune to me at the time. Nowadays I might drop that on a couple of vet visits. It was a great little car, but we had a rocky start. Tyrone was a stick shift, which I thought I knew how to drive. I was wrong about that, and living 14 blocks up from the bottom of a hill made our relationship stall. I eventually mastered the stick, and we had a good 10 years together. This included 8 years in San Francisco. I went through 3 clutches while there, so maybe my mastery of the stick shift wasn’t all that masterful. Next came a pickup truck (my husband’s idea), a Landcruiser, and a couple of Subarus. Oh, and there was Maxine, my bad girl VW Bug. Two months ago, I purchased a Mini Cooper. I named him Nigel, as he is oh so British. He is also great fun to drive, and I was his one and only until this last weekend. We loaned our son Rick’s car for a few days. Unfortunately, Rick had to work, so I was forced to share Nigel. Friday night Rick and I stopped at the grocery store. The plan was to have him drive home to get accustomed to Nigel. Rick sat in the driver’s seat, put the Mini key fob thingy in and pushed the ignition button. And... bupkiss. The car would not start. He tried several more times. We got out of the car, and switched seats. I was able to start the car right up. So, we did the old switcheroo again. And again, the car wouldn’t start with Rick at the helm. He tried pushing the ignition button quickly, softly, and held it down. At the same time, we both said “Maybe it knows”, as in it knows Someone Else is in the driver’s seat. Finally, the solution dawned on me. Rick needed to have his foot on the break to start the car. Ta duh!!! While this whole trial & error, running around the car, changing of the guard was going on, we were being watched. A young couple was standing just outside the store taking it all in. I wonder what they thought was going on. Maybe they thought we were some crazy Brits on holiday. Better that than knowing the truth... Two dumbasses who couldn’t start their own car.

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