Writer, photographer, "rapper" and general technophobe takes on the internet in what could be a very, very messy fight. But it's alright: she's harder than she looks, and she's wearing every single ring she could get her hands on.


Sunday, 9 May 2010

More car problems

When making new friends, it is very important that they fully appreciate the weight of your intelligence.

My car broke down today. It just stopped working; specifically, it stopped working in between two parking spaces outside our local supermarket. I turned the key, and I turned the key again, and then I turned the key again and swore a bit, and then tried to pull the key out and the car wouldn't let me because it was stuck. So - after trying another six times, under the impression that something might change for no reason at all - I got out of the car, walked around it, peered into the windows, and then unsuccessfully tried to open the bonnet by pushing down on it and feeling around the edges for some kind of button. Finding nothing of the kind, I swore with more vigour and then wandered off across the road to go and get my friend who lives opposite.

She wasn't in; her door was open, her music was playing, but - after walking around her flat - I established that she definitely wasn't in. So I walked back to the car park, still swearing and with my face all creased up in the middle.

At which point a totally different, even newer, friend and her husband got out of the car behind where mine was parked (that's the thing with Nichinan: somebody you know is almost always within a ten metre radius).

"What are you doing?" she asked.
"My car has broken down," I told her grumpily. "For no reason at all. It just stopped working."
She laughed.
"We just watched you get out of the car, prod at the bonnet, walk around it in a circle eight times and then walk away with the key still in the lock, swearing, and then come back, still swearing. It was brilliant."
"It's not bloody brilliant," I said: "I'm hungry and I want my lunch and I can't have my lunch until my car has stopped being broken down."
My friend laughed again, and then peered into the car. And then she laughed even harder.
"You know you're still in 'Drive', right?"
"Am I?" I looked into the car.
"Yeah. You need to put it into 'Park'."
I put it into 'Park' and the car started working again in front of my new friend and her husband just to spite me.
"Oh," I said again, looking at the floor.
"Did you just turn the power off while you were in the middle of driving?" she asked, trying to stop giggling.
I thought about it.
"Yes," I said. That's exactly what I did. I'm very lazy at driving: that's how I park.
"You have to put the break on and put into 'Park' before you turn the power off," she explained.
"Oh. Right." I tried to pretend that this wasn't even vaguely news to me, even though it was.
"You okay to drive home now?" she said, giving her husband a firm look because he was also starting to snort with suppressed laughter.
"Umm, yes," I said. "Thankyou so much for saving me."
"No problem - it's horrible when your car breaks down, isn't it," and then she burst into peals of laughter and got back in her car while I got back in mine muttering something rather uncomplimentary about automatic vehicles.

I think, as far as convincing my new friends go, that they now fully - fully - appreciate the weight of my intelligence.

I'm no longer so certain that's a good thing.