I've had Barbie (still not sold on that for a name) now for just more than a month. Yet, I'd not gotten around to pulling out my owner's manual to really get to know her better. It was something I to do, because I could not for the life of me figure out where my parking brake release was.
This may not be a big deal to most, but I do seem to park on hills fairly often. When I go to see The Boy I Currently Like, I park on a hill outside his place. And when I can't get a spot in the ramp at the gym (which is often), I also park on a hill. Sure, I turn my wheels so as to roll into the curb and not do any damage to other cars if my car somehow rolls. But that's a chance you shouldn't even take, right? Does anyone do that anymore? The Boy does, but other than seeing his car and mine parked properly on hills, I never see it.
So I wasn't using my parking brake and the subject of owner's manuals came up while I was talking with the fam on Saturday. And my sister looked at me like I was the biggest idiot on the planet and said, "You just press the pedal down again!" (We have nearly the same car.) Oh, it seems totally intuitive now. Or it would if I'd ever had a car that didn't have some sort of lever or button that released the parking brake. How the hell was I supposed to know?
That's not the only thing my driver's ed instructor managed to ingrain into my head. My sister and I were talking not that long ago about how we think about him nearly every time we go around a curve while driving. He was the shop teacher (also my seventh and eighth grade basketball coach), and I'm fairly certain he had a similar method for teaching someone how to use a saw to make a rounded edge. He taught us to "find the arc of the curve" so you could just get into it and not have to adjust your speed or move your steering wheel much at all. Thanks, Mr. Wiebusch!
Before I tried it out last night at the gym, I decided to look it up in my manual, just in case she was wrong. She was right. However, in the index right under "Parking ... Brake," was "Parking ... Over things that burn." I was really hoping, as I flipped to that page, there would be a picture with a car parked on top of a fire. "Oh, what? I'm not supposed to park on this fire? Are you sure? Really? You're positive?" No dice. It was about parking over things could burn if they were ignited by your hot exhaust system. This is actually something I worry about, so it's good to know it's enough of a danger that they wrote about it in the manual. Ha! I'm not crazy. This time.
Turns out I would have had to bust out the manual anyway, as I have a damn headlight out. I could change the headlights in my Achieva (in fact, I had a brand-new headlight in when Smashy McFuckstick destroyed my car), so I'm sure I can do it in the new car, right? The owner's manual tells me I can. Why, the pictures show a chick doing the work! How do I know she's a chick? Well, I'm guessing, really. The hands are a bit mannish, but there are long, very nicely manicured, obviously fake fingernails on the hands doing the work. How terribly progressive, no?