Well guess what? You guessed it, it’s time for my next guest celebrity blogger. Yes it is Sophie from saved in drafts so if you haven’t seen her blog yet, I highly recommend you do so. She is one funny gal and an Air Force wife to boot. Me being prior Air Force myself I have to give her props for choosing the right branch of service LOL. So on with the show.
Bye Bye Birdie
We all survived the end of the world…my husband and I survived Christmas with the family -it truly is a Christmas miracle- …the car, however, is on a suicide mission and we barely survived the journey home –possibly a slight exaggeration there but shhh its my blog!
Now let me tell you a little about this car and our love/hate relationship up till now, I don’t know much about cars so I’m sure there will be a lot of ‘thingy majigs’ and ‘wotsits’ coming up. At the start of 2012 we were car – less, hubby-to-be was therefore renting a car every other weekend (sometimes more often) to drive from the airbase in Suffolk to good old Milton Keynes. (If you haven’t heard of Milton Keynes…I wouldn’t worry yourself -unless you are a roundabout enthusiast.) Anyway obviously renting so regularly was expensive and left little spare cash to play with, let alone pay for a wedding etc so a ‘friend’ offered to sell us his old car…a Nissan Bluebird…for $200. After a few tweaks (and a few failed attempts) it finally passed its MOT and I got the call to say he was heading over my way…Nothing could have prepared me for what rolled up to my house that weekend.
I had never heard of (or seen) a 1990 Nissan Bluebird…it was silver…with duct tape placed strategically over the patches of rust. It had a dent in the passenger door, a gap where some kind of stereo used to be…it was just old and ‘absolutely fucking hideous’ as a family member once put it. At first I honestly thought he was joking but seeing his face -so proud of bringing home a vehicle for his wifey- I knew he was serious. *deep breath* Aaaand smile…’aw baby its …great.’
At the end of the day, it was a car, beggars can’t be choosers and all that shit and at that point in time we definitely couldn’t afford anything amazing –though we weren’t actual beggars either. As long as it got us from A to B and back again I didn’t really care…besides id be sat in it so I wouldn’t have to look at its unsightly exterior. Fuck it, I planned to embrace the bluebird, I would hold my head high -just like he was doing- and I would defend it! I would be proud of that fucking car…just like new mums that are proud of their funny looking baby (I’m sorry but it is possible to have an ugly baby…and I’ve seen them!)
I got in so he could take me for a spin but as I leant out to close the door behind me I discovered that the passenger side didn’t have a bloody door handle! The inside handle had been pulled off (accidentally) leaving a small square gap for me to pull the door closed using 2 fingers – perfect (!) to add insult to injury the old handle was left in the door pocket- like on a game show when the host shows the losing contestants what they could have won if they hadn’t failed miserably at life! It wasn’t long before that finger action (oi oi) caused the whole inside panel to come unstuck from the door meaning that a swift tug would merely bring half of the door towards you rather than closing all of it. *unimpressed face* I resorted to winding down the window and pulling the entire frame towards me with a slam which hubby finds hilarious as he can control my window from his side so often plays silly buggers while my fingers are exposed to the glass! (Wanker!)
Over the months that followed I really did stop caring about the appearance of the car, it ran well and did its job. We had got married and moved in together and finally it was time to add me to the insurance. I hadn’t driven for over a year and was gagging to get back behind the wheel so we waited until we had a kiddie free evening and went for a practice run. I was so excited, no more feeling isolated and reliant, no more braving the rain if I didn’t want to…I did it! I successfully drove around an industrial estate AND did a 3 point turn (not an 8 point turn as the hubby assumed it would be) Feeling proud – and brave- I drove on the ‘real’ road to get some speed…
It turns out that once in 5th gear it spits it back out again and you literally have to push it forward and hold it in place constantly. If you accelerate too much it gets pissed off and fights you so you have to do everything gently and even then it has some kind of tantrum and lets you know it wants to die….erm…what the fuck? This OBVIOUSLY isn’t a design flaw of the car or an inventive way to give yourself a really buff left arm…it’s a sign that the car is dying. In the small trip we did that evening I found it almost unbearable, not only does it hurt your arm but it limits everything you do because you simply can’t take your left hand off of the gear stick. I can’t indicate unless I take my foot off the accelerator first and even then there’s no guarantee that it won’t shove the fucking gear stick back towards you once you let go! If it does slip out you then put the clutch down and do the usual bollocks to get back into 5th…it sounds simple but if you’re on the motorway doing 65mph and in the middle of switching lanes it’s a nightmare, its doable but half of your concentration and energy goes into keeping it in gear. 5th shouldn’t be panic gear, it’s meant to be the chill-out gear…there’s no chilling out while doing that!
I was quite a confident driver before; I was safe and knew what I was doing. But this gear malarkey really has shat all over the fun I usually have while driving. It feels unsafe – because it is. How can you safely drive a car with only one hand on the wheel when going above 50? Not only that but it makes you look like a right incompetent dick, clutching at the stick, grinding the gears and revving the engine!
I took it out alone one night which was the first time I realised it doesn’t have a back windscreen wiper! How can you survive without one?? It does have a rear de-mister-thingy but all that does is clear a few lines…that doesn’t wipe off rain from the outside though does it!? I literally had to reverse blind (and slowly) and just hope that I didn’t run anything over, meanwhile the left headlight is so dim that I can barely see ahead of me either. Returning home that night I was less than impressed with it…but again I had been out in the rain and remained dry so I was trying to stay positive.
The journey to mums and back for Christmas (I’ll leave the details of the festive period for another day) was frustrating. We ended up swapping half way so I could drive the remainder, I have no idea how he’s driven it like this for more than a few days but I’m pretty sure its not going to have helped a possible slipped disc and bad elbow. Anyway, what pissed me off the most about the trip wasn’t the gear situation…but OTHER drivers. They see the car and automatically assume it’s an old bloke who is asleep at the wheel…not because I swerve a lot but because no normal ‘youngen’ would want a car like ours. Therefore, whilst bombing along (that car can go when it wants to) I still get overtaken by some prick…and another…and another… leaving me feeling like I’m crawling and spluttering along when I’m not. I’m doing the limit. Perhaps they cant bear the sight of its massive rear end any longer or maybe they have seen me shouting at the gearbox and flashing the hazards now and then when it starts losing power and decided its safer to risk their lives by overtaking at high speed on a blind corner of a country road in the dark than it is to stay behind and be caught in the aftermath of our car. (They’re probably right but it’s still annoying)
Heading home the bluebird threw a fit, coughing and spluttering when there was any hint of acceleration, spitting the gear stick back out just as we decided to overtake anyone thus forcing us to do 60mph in 4th for the majority of the trip. It started lying about its speed – claiming to be doing 70 when it’s obviously losing power and only just hittin 45; meanwhile the passenger side headlight grew dimmer…it was clearly on a suicide mission and would have preferred a nice relaxing boxing day parked up at home. Its final ‘fuck you’ was when it decided to kill off the windscreen wiper on the passenger side. At first it just went a little slower than the other but then it just gave up moving altogether. In a last ditch attempt to get it moving again we whacked the wiper speed up to full but all that did was get them tangled with each other in a mangled ‘X’ across the drivers side as if protecting itself and hissing at the evil road ahead.
Once home – an hour later than planned- we concluded that not only did we need to get a new car ASAP but also that the Bluebird had had a stroke. All the signs were there on the passenger side, the dent and the lack of door handle…the loose panel…the dim headlight and now the wiper. Thank god the world didn’t end last week and there were no zombie attacks because -despite being team zombie- there’s no way we would have made it to safety in that pile of shit had I changed sides at the last minute…I wouldn’t have even made it as far as closing the bloody door on them!! No, none of that apocalypse stuff happened, like I said we even survived Christmas….the car however…well…I think its time to send it to that little scrap yard in the sky. Bye bye Bluebird…you ugly piece of shit!