try to catch the deluge in a paper cup (primroseburrows) wrote,
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup

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

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.
Tags: car stuff, rl
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