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SA: Ellen

c'mon baby, let's get out of this town; I got a full tank of gas and the top rolled down

Posted on 2006.12.10 at 21:29
where am I: home and not dead or injured yay
How I feel about it all: blahblah
Soundtrack: Melissa Etheridge & k.d. lang - You Can Sleep While I Drive
Tags: ,
So today I'm driving up one of those steep roads on College Hill, and I have to stop at a red light, at an intersection located at the top of the hill. Now, I love my little VW Jetta. But she's very temperamental and apparently doesn't like going forward up a hill from a complete stop.

Anyway, I'm at the top of the hill, and the light changes to green. There's an airport shuttle van directly behind me. I try several times to go forward. I'm doing everything right, car in first gear, easing out the clutch and accelerating the way I'm supposed to (and with this car I have to accelerate like a LOT when I'm on a hill), so you'd think I'd go forward, right? Nope. I'm rolling backward, getting closer and closer to Airport Shuttle Van with every attempt. Seems my car has decided going to pick the "roll backward into a possible accident" option rather than the "do what's asked and go forward and save the body shop costs" one.

So here I am, with my arm out the window, gesturing frantically for Airport Shuttle Van Guy to please, please go around me. After he does, I figure, there should be enough of a gap to allow for some backward-ness. Airport Shuttle Guy doesn't do a damn thing. I keep gesturing, only now I'm yelling, "GO AROUND ME", louder and louder. Nothing. I try, "BACK UP, THEN!" This for some unknown reason makes the guy GET OUT OF THE VAN. I don't know what he was doing because I was too busy not dying to look. He got back in after only a few seconds, so wtf? By this time, people walking along the road (and this is the East Side of Providence at 5 p.m.; there are a lot of people walking along the road) are looking at me as if I'd lost my last brain cell. I didn't really care much, because again, the whole Not Dying thing.

As a last ditch effort I switch on my flashers and keep making with the gesturing. This apparently buys Airport Shuttle Van Guy a seat on the clue bus, because he finally goes around me. Carefully, because this was rush hour, after all. The space gives me enough room to accelerate like hell and finally go forward. It's taken only one change of the light, but it feels like an hour.

The stupid thing is that my car's refusal to go forward on a hill when directed has happened before, at the same intersection. I told myself that first time that I wouldn't go home over College Hill anymore, but of course, I don't learn lessons easily. :/

The very same thing happens, only in reverse, when I'm parked on a hill. The car doesn't want to back up, so if there's a car parked in front of me I run a huge risk of hitting it. So far I've managed to sweet-talk her into doing what I ask, but someday there's going to be a Problem, I just know it. I love my car because she's not huge and can maneuver around a city really well, gets good mileage, has great pickup (unless I'm on a freaking HILL) and starts up when I turn the key (okay, there was the alternator problem, but that wasn't the car's fault).

So yesterday I was thinking about how I've had my car for months and she doesn't have a name yet. Obviously it's a female because Jettas is Chick!Car personified. Or carified. Whatever. I couldn't seem to come up with the right name for her. But after today's prima donna act, and all the other stubborn things this car does (and after a LJ-comment discussion with sam80853, whose car DOES have a name), and because I love her, I've named her Ellen. It's so perfect and fitting, I should have thought of it before. The only thing better would be if she were burnt orange instead of Navy Blue. But eww, a burnt orange car? Icky.

Yeah. I have a life, and y'all care. And remind me never, ever to try to go home over College Hill again. Because that's just dumb.


sam80853 at 2006-10-13 05:48 (UTC) ()

I know I shouldn't laugh but ... ::giggles::, I can picture you gesturing wildly, desperately trying to get the car to work.

And you know, guys don't ever understand sign language. Ever!

Oh dear, I had probably set the brake and had kicked the car, twice.
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2006-10-13 06:58 (UTC) ()
I have no idea why this guy GOT OUT OF THE VAN. The mind boggles, really.
Cats. Not to be trusted.
catwalksalone at 2006-10-13 07:26 (UTC) ()
Having just survived Near-Death by car, I feel your pain! But mostly Yay! you have a Jetta. We used to have one when I was a kid. I learnt to drive in it. Now I have a VW Polo (we've been together 9 1/2 years) and I love her with a passion - though not enough of a passion to clean her as often as she deserves.

Ellen seems like the perfect name.
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2006-10-13 07:32 (UTC) ()
I don't think we have Polos. I've never heard of them.

My Near-Death was closer to a Near-Fenderbender, but it was still scary.
Cats. Not to be trusted.
catwalksalone at 2006-10-13 07:36 (UTC) ()
I think they may be too little to be North American cars!

But very cute.
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2006-10-13 07:39 (UTC) ()
We have Minis, though. I don't think they're exactly like the UK's, though.
topaz7 at 2006-10-13 16:42 (UTC) ()
Ellen sounds like she might be a bit of a Princess. Sorry to hear about that - and glad you got through it OK. There are a couple of steeeeep hills in Vancouver with stop signs, and I'd drive miles out of my way to avoid them, so I think you're quite brave.

try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2006-10-13 17:15 (UTC) ()
I didn't feel brave. I felt really stupid, because I'd had problems before on the same hill. *thwaps self upside head*
tapped_trish at 2006-10-13 20:44 (UTC) ()
You might want to check the clutch fluid.
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2006-10-13 21:12 (UTC) ()
There's fluid in the clutch? Woah.

Obviously I know a whole lot about cars. Or not.
tapped_trish at 2006-10-14 11:45 (UTC) ()
hehehe. So yesterday at work my friend Kathy Hennebury asks me if I am related to Kelly Roosa. I explain that you are my mother in law. We both know her because she was Dr. Marie Reiger's receptionist (the chiropractor on BI and Narragansett). She remember that you wanted to be a midwife and thought you were a very nice person. I told her that I would let you know she said hi.
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2006-10-14 13:47 (UTC) ()
Aww, I remember Kathy. She's very nice. :)
(Deleted comment)
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2006-10-13 21:13 (UTC) ()
I just want to know *why* he got out of the van. I thought he was going to come talk to me, but he didn', he disappeared around the side of the van and next thing I know he was back in the driver's seat again.
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