So, it turns out that the Box O’Doom isn’t the only thing Terry has been hoarding lately.
You see, a couple of weeks ago, we bought a new TV cabinet. I know, it’s a rock n’ roll lifestyle we lead, to be sure. Anyway, Terry put the new cabinet together, and when I came downstairs a little while later, I was impressed to find that he’d cleared up behind him, and the OLD cabinet was nowhere to be seen. Impressed and, let’s face it, suspicious. I mean, our house is approximately the size of a shoebox. There’s just not that many places to store an old TV cabinet, and I knew it wouldn’t fit into the bin, so I had a feeling that I’d be seeing it again, sometime, some place.
That time and place turned out to be two days later, in the back seat of my car. The cabinet was there, and hey! So was that box! You know, the one that was inside the one that’s inside my living room?
“We meet again, my old nemesis!” I said with an evil chuckle, before heading back inside and asking Terry what the hell was going on: were these items expecting me to drop them off somewhere? Where do boxes and TV cabinets hang out, anyway?
“Oh,” said Terry, “I just put them there so we can take them to the tip. We’ll go tomorrow.”
Well, “tomorrow” came and went. The box and cabinet didn’t. Fast-forward to yesterday morning. I was getting ready to go to the gym, when I suddenly remembered that I wouldn’t be going alone: in fact, I would be going as Amber’s Amazing Travelling Rubbish Skip. “That’s it,” I told Terry. “When I get home, I’m taking them out of the car, and I’m going to chop them to pieces on the back lawn. Or I will take them to Fakehenge and sacrifice them to the Gods of Rubbish.”
“I’ll tell you what,” said Terry. “Why don’t you just take my car to the gym?”
So I did.
Now, I don’t drive Terry’s car every day, or even every week, but I do drive it every now and again, which is why what transpired when I left the gym is still something of a mystery to me. Or it would be if I wasn’t already quite used to my random acts of stupidity, that is.
I got to the gym without incident, and completed my run. Then I left, got back into the car and put it into reverse, to get out of my parking space.
The car rolled gently forwards.
I braked, checked it was definitely in reverse, then tried again.
It rolled even further forward.
You know that saying, “Stupidity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results?” Yeah.
The third time I tried, the car once again rolled forward.
Well, I got out and had a look around to see if there were, I don’t know, magical forces at work, propelling me forwards when I had specifically asked the car to go backwards. There weren’t. So I got back in and employed the old “switch it off, then switch it back on,” trick. This time, when I tried to reverse, the car simply roared at me.
At this point, I broke out in a cold sweat. You see, Terry LOVES that car. He loves it so much that I’m pretty sure if I called him and said “there’s been an accident,” he’d ask about the car first, and me second. So I sat and I pondered and I worried. And then I worried some more. But the car wouldn’t budge, so finally I plucked up all my courage and called Terry.
And, of course, I HAD NO CREDIT ON MY PHONE.
So I emailed him instead, with a vague, but urgent, “call me!” Then I sat there and wondered if there was any way I could escape before Terry got to me. “At least I’m wearing my running shoes,” I reasoned. “I’ll just leave a “sorry for breaking your car!” note on the windscreen, then I’ll make a run for it…”
Before doing that, though, I had one more look at the gear stick, just to make sure I was, indeed, in reverse.
It was in neutral.
OF COURSE IT WAS.
I had been sitting there for ten minutes trying to get a car to reverse, without actually engaging the reverse gear.
And that’s why I’m not allowed to drive Terry’s car any more.
Oh, there was also this:
In my defence, the wooden thing was already at that angle. (Maybe I did that the last time I was at the gym?). And the car doesn’t have a scratch, seeing as it just, you know, nudged it. While it was in neutral.
On second thoughts, maybe I should just never leave the house?