Turns out I was just doing it wrong.

I learnt a new thing last night while I was driving to the laundromat. The new thing made me swear loud enough to stop a man and his kid in their tracks on the sidewalk beside me. I think they thought I’d rear-ended another car or something.

My car and I have had a rough couple of months. First the car needed expensive things fixed on it right at christmas, essentially scuttling my cool but mildly expensive new years plans. Then it started sounding like I’d chosen to fit a loud bore exhaust on it. I’m going to be very clear here and state that it wasn’t because I thought turning my 1999 Holden Barina into a nana boy racer was an excellent idea. Instead it was because of a fist-sized hole in the bloody exhaust. 

Hands up everyone who’s ever had the pleasure of fainting in a mechanics office over the price of repairs. Just me?

I put off fixing it because: Holy crap I could not afford that. Also because when I could afford it, I was (and potentially am still) going through one of my depressive periods, and feeling a little like my world was falling in on me.* Here’s a secret: Sometimes, when I’m feeling overwhelmed EVERYTHING is too hard. Even things that would actually be easier if I just fixed them.

When I finally got my shit together and called to book, my usual mechanic had disappeared and the new guy was rude. Which resulted in me putting it off another month, and finding a new mechanic. I can’t (and don’t) stand rudeness – and sometimes that has the potential to get me in trouble, but it’s one of the rules I live by.

So my car went something like four months sounding loud enough to be a commercial airplane, and when I finally got it fixed my new mechanic was all “Um, so you’re going to have to replace your rear muffler in another 6-8 months. Usually I’d say to bring it in when it starts to sound loud, but as you don’t seem to have picked up that last hole by the fact that it was so loud you set off car alarms, I’m just going to get you to write it down, and bring it in.”

Come to think of it, while this mechanic is more polite, he does toe the sarcasm line. Fortunately I have no rules about sarcasm.

I think new mechanic thinks I’m an idiot. I should probably call him and explain that I knew about the hole in the exhaust, but that I didn’t get it fixed because the universe was annoying me, and I can be stubborn about that sometimes…

So cut to last night and I was having a bit of a bitch session about the gherkin in my head and wondering if I should sell it – I mean the car doesn’t even have functional air-con. Yes there’s a dial with a snowflake on it implying cooling ability, however on really hot days it does nothing but blow hot air at you, turning the dial gives you the ability to pick just how uncomfortably hot you’d like to be.


A fact that was drilled into me on Christmas Eve, when I was stuck in my car for six hours in god-awful traffic jams in heat that made me think I was going to die of heat exhaustion.

Long story short I was sitting there staring at this knob last night thinking “there’s no way that could be a pull thing… Is there?” Then lo and behold this happened:


Ladies and gentlemen? As I yelled at the guy and his kid last night: “I’m a F*cking Idiot.”


8 thoughts on “Turns out I was just doing it wrong.

  1. *raises hand* Had to drop a new water pump in the truck, just before my Aussie visitor arrived. Doubly-painful. Also in a depressive period. Wow, we’re leading the same life.

    Now, your reaction to pulling the snowflake dial? I rather wish I could have seen that.

    From a safe distance. 😉

  2. Lol. I’m still finding out things on my wagon that pleasantly surprise me, so glad you found out this one, just before winter,lol

  3. We just got a new car, and there is so. much. I . don’t. understand. Like how do the lights go on high beam? And why can’t I change the clock? And why is it filled with sports gear? (Oh yeah, thats cos I live with Tony!).

    Who would have imagined there was a pull out dial?

  4. geekhiker: Yeah, I like to stay as far away from the actual doing of car stuff as possible. I have wiper blades that have been sitting on my couch for two weeks because I just can’t convince myself to be bothered enough to actually put them on. It’s a fve minute job that I’ve stretched out to two weeks because: Car stuff? Ew.

    Dad: Yes I’ve always had excellent timing. So when that mid-winter heatwave hits, I’ll be sorted.

    Adey: Apparantly some people actually read those user manuals they give you: Ha, I say! Scoff! I’ll admit I’ve been reduced to checking it for the bonnet release thingie, but that was an emergency.

  5. I only check my manual when the red idiot lights come on-or the car shuts down without warning. I never, NEVER would have thought to pull the knob to get AC. I like dials. Dials are clear and easy to understand. And your reaction is awesome 🙂

  6. I owned my current car for weeks before I figured out how to get windscreen washing water to squirt on the windscreen. And I didn’t figure it out in a hilarious and terrifying to others epiphany. I bitched about it to someone who looked at my oddly then told me how it works.

    Also, it’s cruel to have a star, and no footnote.

  7. Adey: I suspected that mine was in a foregin language too, the first time I read it. it turns out, though, that mechanics really do say those words, so they must be english.

    Miss McCracken: or buttons. Buttons are good.

    Miss Joie: About the footnote: I know. When I realised how much it annoyed you the first time I set myself a goal of posting at least one footnoteless post a day!

    * It wasn’t it just felt an awful lot like it.

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