Friday, May 04, 2007

Things work out

Not too long after José bought the red car, the left rear seatbelt got jammed. I jiggled it but it stayed stuck, so I had Robin sit in the middle for the ride home. The next day I fiddled with it again and it released, and that was that.

A few weeks ago, it got stuck again. I jiggled it like before, but it stayed stuck. I had Robin move to the middle again, and every few days I would remember and fuss with it again, but it didn't want to budge. I figured we'd eventually have it looked at, but I kept forgetting about it since it wasn't inconveniencing me in a very noticeable way (except for the daily tragedy of the girls having to sit next to each other after school. Together! Touching!)

On the way up to my house, there's a spot where there are often pedestrians, but there's good visibility so it's also easy to tell if there's nobody around. When possible, it's good to build up a bit of momentum because it's the beginning of a two-mile climb. See, here's a picture from last year. The spot I'm talking about is right where the rain starts in this picture.

So I was heading home one day last week. There was nobody walking on the road, and for some reason the oncoming lane was a solid line of stopped cars, so I picked up speed as I approached the hill.

Except, of course, that someone in the solid line of stopped cars had very kindly refrained from blocking a seldom-used side street which was, at that moment, being used.

I am happy to report that the Brake/Swerve/Honk reflex was alive and well in both myself and the driver of the big red pickup truck that was trying to pull out into my lane.

I had actually been wondering about the "Honk" part of that reflex, since the horn in the red car works fine, but is a little stiffer than the one in the Montero and I have repeatedly failed when trying to give a gentle beep, for example before passing a stopped bus, or if it looks like someone is getting ready to back out of a driveway in front of me. But the OhGodHitTheHornNOW instinct goes straight from eye to hand, bypassing the section of the brain that, under ordinary circumstances, might hold back, and Honk I did.

So we both stopped short, his radiator about an inch shy of my side mirror. Somebody shouted something - I'm thinking it was the driver of the pickup giving his opinion to the person who presumably gave him the friendly "go ahead, I'll wait" gesture without checking for oncoming cars. Then I continued on my way.

All of this happened on the left side of the car, while the girls were buckled into the only functioning belts in the back seat - in the center and on the right hand side.

Two days later I picked Robin up at school and without thinking she got into the left rear seat. And put on the belt, which wasn't stuck anymore.


Sandy May 04, 2007 12:37 PM  

Thank you Lord!

Dad May 04, 2007 1:10 PM  

So the next time the seatbelt gets stuck, all you have to do is execute a panic stop, and voila! I'll be fixed.

(I'm glad the side mirror, and all that was behind it, are okay.)

Scruffy Mummy May 04, 2007 4:40 PM  

Talk about fate - how strange.

Glad to hear all your reflexs are working as well.

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