Do you remember “The Wacky Races”, Dick Dastardly and Penelope Pitstop? I had an experience today that brought that series back to mind.
It started as a typical Tuesday; running around like mad trying to put out the garbage, get Becky ready, get me ready, pack lunches, and go. I was out of breath by 8:30, but Iwasn’t done yet. We headed out to the van. I tied down Becky’s chair, jumped in the driver’s seat, and turned on the van. I checked the clock…we were on time. I put it into gear…put it into gear…I said, “put it into gear”! Nope, the darn thing wouldn’t budge. I switched the van off and back on again. The gear stick wouldn’t move. Okay, one more time for good luck and really press hard on the brake. I felt like I was in the Wacky Races. You know when they all gear up at the beginning, and are revving engines and so on, and then they get the flag, and there was always at least one car left on the start line. It’s engine fell out or it’s wheels dropped off or something. I felt like the engine had dropped out of the van, so I acted in accordance with the drivers of the Wacky Races, by not doing anything that made sense.
I was as daft as those people that keep pushing the buttons on elevators thinking that somehow they are connected directly to the accelerator, or people at traffic lights, that push the button one more time to make the lights change. What was I thinking? Did I really need to restart the van four times? After ten minutes of messing around with the gear stick, we got out of the van and went back in the house. I immediately called CAA (Canadian Automobile Association). They assured me they would be there shortly. A technician arrived about half an hour later. I didn’t feel quite so bad as I watched him doing the same thing I had been doing, plus he was rocking the van back and forth, and still getting no response. “Yeah, I tried that”, I explained. He ordered me a tow truck, and I went back inside to wait. I called my favourite person at Canadian Tire. “Hi, Debbie”, I said, “I can’t get the van out of park so CAA is bringing it over to you in the next hour, okay”. It was.
Whaddyaknow. Thirty minutes later, the tow truck driver had another go, just for good measure. “You’re not gonna get that in neutral”, I said. He tried anyway. ‘This is great’, I thought, ‘we’ll soon have an all-star cast.’ The van was towed and I was not. From what they were saying, this was an unusual problem to have. Well, we know I don’t like to be boring, and I’m pretty sure I’ve almost completed my check list for Every Problem Possible To Have With A Mini-van, so it was good to have something new and exciting; and in my own driveway too.
The van will be fixed, but not till tomorrow, so just like the Wacky Races, we are stranded without a vehicle, again. All I can say is, “I’ll get you, Penelope Pitstop!!!”