We have Shannon’s daughter Zoe with us this week, and she asked that we ‘walk her into class’. (Rather than dump kids at the school gates, parents are encouraged to walk their kids into their classroom.) We were up just after seven and out of the door at half-past. It was a foggy morning – typical of Sonoma County at any time of year, though much chillier than the summer – and it was the first time I’d driven Zoe. I neglected to shift the Durango into a lower gear and we accelerated down the steep, twisting drive.
“Slow down!” called Zoe from the back.
“But we love roller coasters,” I said.
“I’ve not got my seatbelt on and I’m sliding all over the seat.” I waited as she clipped herself in. “Ready!” she said.
I slewed the car around the steepest of the hairpins, the back end skidded but still the tilt alarm didn’t trigger. I looked over and smiled at Shannon.
We went to the Front Street Café and played cards for forty minutes. As we went back to the car Zoe asked if either of us had her bag. We didn’t. I went back to the house, surprising a large deer on the driveway. I picked up Shannon at the café and we drove to the school.
“Reverse back into that space,” she said. “Zoe hates me parking in it.”
I slipped the gear from D to R and looked over my shoulder. “There are no lines.”
“They haven’t painted them yet.”
I started reversing. Shannon said something I didn’t catch, my foot slipped on the brake and the car nudged back into the signpost.
“Ha-ha-ha!” she said. “Oh, at last you’ve made a mistake! Let’s see what damage you’ve done to your car!”
We went to the back of the car. The wheels were a foot from the kerb, and the rear bumper was six inches from the sign. The protruding towbar had hit the metal post square, and there was no damage to anything. “I didn’t realise I had an eight-inch towbar protruding from the back. I was miles away from the sign.”
“Damn!” she said. “I just cannot believe your luck. Damn, damn, damn! But I’m going to blog this and have my revenge at last.”
“I’ll blog it first, you watch me.” Less than two hours later and my blog is posted, hers is not.