Sunday, September 25, 2011

Cars for girls

You're a girl, and you drive a car.

The problem is, it's not simply blue with a personalised plate and some fluffy dice. There is so much more to your car than that.

If only I had known all these things when I started driving, I would have been spared from certain embarrasment, expense, and near-death experiences. (Not me - the sheep).

Number 1: Your licence plate.
The thing about your licence plate: You have to know it. By heart.
It's like a phone number but worse because it's not automatically programmed into your phone. You actually have to remember it. When you break down on a isolated dark country road in the rain and have to call AA, they WILL ask for your licence plate number. Where possible, you want to avoid this situation:

Because you never know where zombies, rapists and axe-murderers are lurking.
Just to be difficult, your licence plate may also be called your number plate (even tho it is mostly letters), or, your 'registration' or 'rego'. Like, someone may just ask you what your registration is, and you are expected to actually know what this means.
Remember this.

Number 2: WOF
The thing about a WOF: it's illegal not to have one. 
A WOF is a piece of paper you get every 6 months that shows police your car is safe to drive. Contrary to popular belief, this is not a paper you can simply buy. I mean, you do have to buy it, but your car actually has to be safe to drive. 

And you are not allowed to be the one who decides how safe it is. Nope. You have to make a phone call to these people and ask to book your car in for a WOF.

It turns out they can still say no.

There is also a small chance your WOF person or mechanic will be old and hairy. Bummer.

 Number 3: Popping your hood.
Popping your hood, unlike popping your collar, involves certain manly skills that you probably don't have.
I'm going to break this down into steps because no-one is ever going to actually explain this to you, ever.

Step 3A: Look for the button.
Unlike an actual button, this is more of a ridiculous lever located somewhere out-of-reach (it could be anywhere in the vicinity of your ankles or butt when you are sitting in the drivers seat) that has absolutely no logical positioning whatsoever. If you are a tech geek or web designer, we could describe this 'button' as '100% counter-intuitive'.

Most likely if you grope blindly in the direction of the accelorator pedal, you will find a small groove in the plastic stuff. Dig your fingers under it and pull outwards. When that doesn't work, pull left, pull right, push sideways, shove in, wrench backwards, and then pull up.... Look in my eyes when I say this: by process of elimination, you WILL find the button and pop the hood. You will. You just need to believe you can do it.

They were probably trying to keep it out of reach of baddies.

Step 3B:
Now that you have found the magic button, you think your hard work is done, right? WRONG.

Do you have clean hands? Nice clean hands and a nice white t-shirt? NOT ANYMORE.

When you popped the magic lever-button above, you heard a popping sound but the thing is, your hood didn't actually pop open. Does this make sense? Of course not. Do you design cars? No of course you don't. Wanna know who designs cars? Me too.

Because now what you need to do is step out of the car, and walk around the front. You should probably learn to use your handbrake first.
Because the people who designed cars wanted to make this mundane experience as dangerous as possible.

...and then poke your fingers into the greasy black crack between the car and the bonnet. You are supposed to be able to feel a lever which you simply flick and the boot can be lifted up.

You will not be able to find this lever.

Poke your hands further into this crack and run them along the width of the car. You will touch numerous hard pointy objects but you will probably never find out what they are. When you retrieve your hands, they will be covered with black grease.
The good thing about the grease is it makes you look manly, which apparently is quite hot.
Exactly like the chick off Transformers

Now squat, get your eyes right inside the crack, find the hook thing and jiggle it around until this metal rod thing pops out. Then you can lift the bonnet right up, and use the metal rod to rest it on.

Now wipe those greasy hands on your fresh white top and congratulate yourself.

Number 4: Reverse Lights
The thing about reverse lights: Your car has them.

All you need to know about reverse lights is that if a car infront of you has white lights on the back, it is probably going to hit you.

Immediately remove yourself from the vicinity

Number 5 : The rev-ometer
The thing about the rev-ometer: it's not called a revometer. Nope. It's called the 'odometer'. People will think you are taking crazy pills if you talk about the revometer. No-one actually knows what 'Od's are, but it's good to know your car is keeping track of them.

It'll be FINE

Number 6: Fog-lights
I'm pretty sure these are located somewhere down by your feet but I haven't figured these out yet and am fairly certain no-one uses them. Ever. Any tips?