Now I know all the feminists out there will disagree. Listen, I can change a tyre, check the oil, change light bulbs, I even fitted a new bumper once. What I discovered today though is that I definitely cannot bump start a car by myself. Trust me; I learnt the hard way!
So this morning the car wouldn’t start. This has happened a few times recently so I wasn’t unduly worried. We live on a hill and it’s easy enough to bump started once you get the car going. Since my husband hadn’t had a good night’s sleep (apparently someone snoring… not sure who that was.. eh hem), I thought I’d do the decent thing and leave him to snooze. I’m a big girl – how difficult can it be to bump start a car on your own? I’ve done it before; easy peasy…. Or so I thought.
I managed to roll the car off the driveway on to the unadopted road we live on. I even managed to get it pointing the right way. I was really pleased with myself. So I start pushing it down the road with the intention of getting it to the point where the hill starts, jumping in and hey presto – bump starting the car. Doesn’t sound so difficult and I’ve watched my husband do it numerous times.
What I forgot to add into my “how hard can it be” calculations was that I am one of the most malcoordinated people I know. So there I am pushing the car to the brink of the hill and attempting to jump in. Unfortunately, I’d pushed it a bit too far down the road so the car started gathering speed and I still hadn’t jumped in. I tried, I promise I really tried to jump in but being the moron that I am, it didn’t go according to plan. No. Not at all. Instead of the smooth entry I was hoping for, my foot got stuck under the pedals at the wrong angle meaning that I couldn’t haul myself in in the way I wanted. I was left trying to run with the car on one leg. Speed hopping whilst trying to steer a runaway car is apparently not my forte. As the car gathered speed my speed hopping faltered and turned in to just being speedily dragged down the road for a couple of hundred yards instead. “This is it,” I thought, “I’m going to die.”
Now people say that when they have a near death experience their whole life rushes before their eyes and they see bright lights. I can confirm that it is not true. What actually happens is that you think “if this doesn’t kill me, my husband will when I get in,” and “I wonder whether the council will mind if I plough through their Cyprus trees?”
Whilst contemplating how to tell me husband that not only have I totaled the car, I have lost a leg in the process I had an epiphany. The handbrake! So, whilst still trying to speed hop and steer the car I yanked the handbrake on and hoped the road plateauing would do the rest. Thankfully I came to a clumsy stop outside a neighbour’s house, albeit at a strange angle, and breathed a huge sigh of relief. There was pain screaming up my hopping leg, but I was still alive.
Much to my embarrassment, my ordeal had not gone unnoticed. No, I’d come to a stop right outside some building work where my 5 foot nothing Brummie friend came careering out of the driveway, effing and jeffing and asking what in the hell I thought I was doing. She thought I’d possibly had some sort of fit and fallen out of the car. When I explained I was trying to bump start the car she fell about laughing. Once she’d picked herself back up of the floor, she got out her jump leads and asked whether they might have been a safer option. I couldn’t have been more grateful!
So, with the car now started I went off to run my errands. I refused to look at my leg which was now agony since I thought that if I stopped to look I might not make it back to the house.
Finally I made it home. All my plans of not waking my husband up went by the wayside as, with my bottom lip wobbling, I told him of my “little accident.” He was not amused. The anger soon dissipated though when I took my trousers and sock off to inspect my leg. I had some nasty looking grazes on my knee and down my shin. I also managed to lose some of my toenail and possibly the tip of my big toe. I’m hoping he’ll ignore the fact I was wearing his sports socks and crocs at the time!
So there we have it. The embarrassing story of why girls (well, this girl at least) shouldn’t do cars. Next time… well let’s face it, there won’t be another time – I’ll get someone else to do it!
Happy motoring everyone!