Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Maybe I DO Need The Practice...

If you'll recall, Mrs. TBF suggested earlier this year that I book a Mobility car every couple of weeks so that my driving skills wouldn't become "rusty". After a quick self-examination, I determined that I was indeed NOT retarded and I just let the suggestion drop to the wayside along with past suggestions involving walks which would culminate in picnic lunches and other things that I won't mention so that I don't fall victim to a middle-of-the-night-rolling-pin-to-the head.

Not needing the practice driving, but needing to run some errands last Wednesday, I booked a car. Sure, it snowed all day, but everything went without a hitch and all errands were completed successfully. Today, I had another car booked, and when I walked to the parking spot to pick up the car, it was, again, snowing like a banshee!

Hmmm... Now that I think about it, maybe I should book a car for Christmas Eve so that we're ensured a white Christmas.

So I jumped into the little, red, Honda Jazz just after 11 a.m. and took off to run my errands. First, I stopped at the pet supply store and bought King a load of cat food. On the way, I noticed that the car sounded a bit funny and that the ride seemed a bit rough, but I figured it probably had something to do with the snow on the road so I just let it go. After buying King's food, I walked next door to Wyss Nursery and bought a Christmas tree. It took a bit of engineering, but after putting down the back seats I managed to cram the tree into the car.

On the way back home, I began to notice a funny smell - like metal burning.

Why are the wheels locking when I come to a stop?

What's that smell?

What's that weird, bright red symbol on the instrument panel?

What's this strange lever next to me that's sticking up in the air?

What the...? Doh!!!

It turns out that I had been driving with the parking brake on the entire time! When I thought about it, I remembered that when I got into the car, the keys were in the ignition, and the transmission was still in drive. I thought it was strange, but obviously the person who had the car before me was used to driving a stick instead of an automatic, and she (had to have been a woman!) had engaged the parking brake before turning off the engine.

Me, having only driven automatics in the flat, Midwestern U.S., would never even THINK to check if a car's parking brake is engaged. I mean, I think I've probably used a parking brake maybe twenty times in the past 30 years of driving. FU**ING parking brake! Sheesh!

I'm happy to report that the car performed perfectly for the duration of my remaining errands...

...once the parking brake had been disengaged!


Unknown said...

I would forget my parking break on my truck a lot. It was a 5 speed and I could not tell when I it was on or off... well until the smells started like you said... I wish there was a darn warning somewhere to make it more blantant! There was no warning on my car... lucky I say!

christina said...

Phew, I'm glad I'm not the only one who has ever done that!

Anonymous said...

Mobility is like dancing lessons: You get to dance with another partner every time, and in the end you know how to dance with everyone.

Forgetting my parking break never happened to me, just don't let me drive for a couple of days when I've played Grand Theft Auto...

The DP said...

I do that all the time on our beemer. And get yelled at for hours over it. You are not alone, but considering I am such a crap driver, maybe you want to think twice about being in the parking brake club.

The Honourable Husband said...

Totally with you on this one, TBF.

Driving is subconscious, in so many ways.

Mistakes on the road wound my male pride horribly, when they happen. Someday, I'll write about my driving test in NYC. If I can overcome the shame!