Friday, September 19, 2008

Ette and the Evil Twin



Okay, fine. I'll rewrite it.

I talked about our little yellow Toyota pickup truck in a previous post. Well, after we had traveled that thing half to death, my parents gave it to me to drive when I was in high school. I loved that little truck! She did have her issues, though. The worst one being that in the winter she would often just not start. Usually on the coldest days, of course. My favorite.

We lived on a hill, and on those super cold days I would have to push-start her. I had about two blocks to pop the clutch and get her started before the road leveled out. By the middle of the last block I would be pleading and coaxing and begging that truck to start. If she did, I'd drive off to school happily. If she didn't, I'd have to walk the two blocks uphill in the snot-freezing cold* and get my mom to drive me to school--and usually be late.

The poor thing was on her last leg for years. But somehow, no matter how many potholes I hit or jumps I went over or jump-starts we pulled off, she'd just keep on running. For that reason I named her Ette (etta) for Endure To The End. It fit her, and she and I got along great. Good times.

Recently Bob got a little Toyota pickup for cheap. Real cheap. Free. It's just like Ette, if Ette was red. And jacked up. And had cool smitty bars for bumpers. The boys were way excited, mostly because we're going to sell the old minivan to pay for the repairs the "new" truck will need to get it up and running. I'm sure they'll miss the minivan. No, I'm kidding, they won't miss the minivan one bit.


Anyway, we went boating one day and on the way back Bob was giving out assignments for when we got home. Mine was to jump out real quick and move the little red truck out of the way so he could pull the boat around. I was excited and anticipating the nostalgia, even though I had yet to even sit in the thing. But I had been regaling the kids with stories of my Ette adventures and no one else knew how to drive a stick shift.

So when we got home I jumped out of the big red truck and jumped into the little red truck. Andie got in with me. It was dark. I couldn't see anything at all. That's okay, I had driven this same truck for years and I was sure my muscle memory would take over and it would be a piece of cake.

I turned the key and started it up. It lurched backwards. The windshield wipers (or half-wipers, as they were broken off at the joint) scraped across the glass. I stabbed at whatever pedals I could find with my foot, to no avail. I heard Bob honk behind me. I slammed into Bob's nice, red truck. Hard.

All I wanted at that point was to have the last 20 seconds of my life back. I wanted a redo, a mulligan, a do-over. I was distraught because, well, I guess driving cushy automatic transmissions for the past 20 years had taken over my auto-pilot and I had forgotten about a little thing I like to call...

A CLUTCH!!!!

*I've been using this term since junior high, when I would stand outside waiting for the bus on those days when it was so cold that each nose hair was an individual icicle. And upon sniffling my nostrils would freeze closed, stuck, sealed. I'd have to do a little Bewitched move while flaring my frozen nostrils in order to release them. Snot-freezing cold, that's what that is.

1 comment:

Si said...

FINALLY! Geez. I didn't get to that story last time...so thanks for re posting. Poor you. Poor Bob. Good thing I wasn't there, because I would have laughed at a really inappropriate time.