Tuesday, August 3, 2010

manual emergency

Today I had the mission of moving Jake's car from its spot on the street to a spot around the block. Why? To avoid street sweeping day. As y'all know, Jake has abandoned me for the week to gallivant around Alaska and kayak. When I asked him what to do about moving the car, he said "You can do it!" I told him of course I could move his car. Only problem, his car is manual. Now, I've had a lesson on manual, but it was two years ago. As I got into his car this afternoon to move it, the problem became abundantly clear.

First I could not get his car to start. "Great," I thought to myself. "I've broken his car." After a little internet research, (Thank you, Wikipedia!) I learned I needed to push the clutch all the way in, AND have the car in neutral.

Second attempt, I got the car started. "Yes! Victory is mine!" Wah wah. No. I couldn't get the car to shift from neutral to first without it making horrible noises and dying on me. Of course, it didn't help that I had an audience for this. Two guys working on the house next door must think I'm crazy or completely incompetent. I'm not sure which I'd prefer...

This is how I felt.

I knew I needed to do something to turn my luck around. Time to bake! Luckily, Tina posted this recipe earlier. I didn't have any sweet potatoes, so I used 1/3 cup peanut butter and 2/3 cup plain yogurt instead. Delicious!

I decided to try my luck one more time. I read the wiki article again and headed out. I got the car started! I got it into first gear! I stalled at the first stop sign.

As I waved the lady behind me around, she asked if everything was alright. I nodded, smiled, and took a deep breath. This time I got the car started! I got it into first gear! I didn't really stop at either of the other two stop signs (no other cars were around and I was turning right). I didn't take the car out of first. Yes, I went awkwardly slow. I kept sweet talking the car around the block. Finally, I pulled the car into a spot twenty yards away from her original resting place! VICTORY! I just have to do this all over again on Thursday. The perils of living in the city.

Did I mention I was shaking by the time I got out of the car? I was. I went inside and administered one oatmeal/raisin/coconut/peanut butter cookie and felt like this.

Please excuse the shininess. Sometimes, I have an eerily alien glow about me. :)


  1. lol...I taught the spouse how to drive a manual. I.will.never.do.that.again. :) Glad you got it moved! And those cookies look seriously yummy.

  2. I learned how to drive on a manual and I broke a belt in the car my first time out and had to walk home. Oops.

  3. Ooooh, yeah ... manual transmission scares me!