I have complained at length over the last couple of years about my husbands &*$*ing car. It hates me. If can break-down in heavy traffic or cause me to be pulled over for speeding for the first time in fifteen years of driving, then it will.
Yesterday we had our final run-in.
Hubby and I did a car/child swap yesterday afternoon, and I took his car over to Chatswood where I was meeting Al for dinner.
"It's being a bit temperamental," he said, looking scared.
"I'll be fine. Stop fussing," I snap. Lordalmighty, I've been driving for 15 years without a speeding ticket or an accident I know what I'm doing! Ahem (talked my way out of afore-mentioned speeding ticket).
So I coaxed the blue-terror as far as Roseville. Its actuator is broken, so when accelerating from a stand-still, especially going up a hill it donkey-hops, even in automatic mode. I avoided hills and kept the car moving all the way until I got to the Pacific Highway. Long steep hill, heavy traffic, very slow traffic lights at the top.
Suddenly it wouldn't move forward at all, just rolled back and when I put my foot down I nearly got whiplash as it jerked forward, I wheel spun a few metres forward, but had to stop as the lights had changed again. I watched those lights, and the IDIOT behind me that was sitting 20cms off my bumper with more terror than I have ever felt in my life. The lights go green. I try a hill start, the wheels spin and the car jumps forward with an almighty bang from the engine then it died completely. Flashed up "Engine Failure" on its LED display. Well DER.
Panic. Put on hazards. Ring Hubby.
Phone battery dies.
Let the car cool. Manage to get it to start (after it told me the fog light wasn't working - okaay) and coax it to the carpark at Chatswood - donkey hopping 5kms in heavy traffic. Words cannot describe the stress.
Have restorative sticky-bun and, oddly, inspiration for next Mills and Boon novel from seeing cute red-head man with tiny baby. Meet Al for dinner, great time had by all. Al has been internet dating - more excellent novel material. Then it was time for the trip home.
Car starts fine, but won't go into first gear. Fog light working - well PHEW.
Phone hubby, eking out last of battery. Phone dies mid-conversation.
Keep trying gears (mostly out of fury) and eventually get into first. Put carpark ticket into barrier, had 41 seconds left on ticket otherwise I'd have been stuck there. BIGGER PHEW! Dash home, fingers crossed I don't have to stop, running amber lights, made it without too much problem until I got to Mount Colah.
So near and yet so far.
Was waved in for a random breath test.
Last car in the line and had to proceed up a small hill. So. Passed test no problem. All other cars have moved along and there I am, seven bored policemen on my left, and two on my right.
The car sees its last opportunity for humiliation.
We donkey hop for a full fifty metres, and glutton-for-punishment that I am I leave the window down. At first there is silence, then one policeman starts to laugh and by the time I made it to the road they were all rolling around. I have NEVER been so embarrassed in my life. NEVER.
I lurch onto the road, indicating in the wrong direction, which didn't matter, there wasn't a soul around - well if you don't count nine cackling policemen. I SO wanted to shout at them that it was the car's fault and I wasn't some blonde chick who couldn't drive a manual - but I suspect that would've got it impounded.
I made it home alive, but with no dignity. Hubby tried to sympathise, but I could only lie on the couch and shudder from time to time at the memory. Even chamomile tea didn't work.
The car is gone. Its too dangerous to drive. I'm not remotely sad.