Thursday, December 08, 2005

A Tram Two-Fer

Today, I took the tram (No. 55 - Bordet) to Dan's office for the first time. (For those of you unfamiliar with trams, they are essentially trolleys or slow-moving trains.) During the 22 minute route, we wound through various different neighborhoods and I noticed several shops along the way that could potentially sell curtains. Since I still have 30 windows to adorn, I decided to get Dan's car and return to the area after lunch to see if I could do some damage.

Not familiar with the area, I decided the best way to get back to the stores was to follow the tram line. In theory, it's not a bad idea. In application, there is one massive flaw with this particular mode of navigation -- following the tram line may very well put you in the path of an oncoming tram!

I turned left at an intersection and found myself staring down a tram driver. I could not go around the tram, as both sides of the street were lined with parked cars. There was not enough room to squeeze between the tram and the cars, so my emergency driving skills (honed at the Bob Bondurant School for High Performance Driving) kicked in. I braked hard, stepped on the clutch, looked behind me, threw it in reverse, stepped on the gas, and executed a perfect emergency avoidance maneuver. Or, at least, that was my plan.

The way I see it, the problem was not so much with the execution of the emergency avoidance manuever, but with the gear shift configuration of the Opal. In the Opal, first gear and reverse are in the same location, only you have to pull up on the gear shift to get the car into reverse. (The Mustangs we were driving at Bob Bondurant did not have such a configuration!) When I stepped on the gas, I did not go backwards as planned, but rather I rammed right into the tram, having put the car into first gear instead of reverse!

I honestly can't say who was more surprised, me or the tram driver. Since I have no idea what he was actually thinking, I will do my best to summarize the driver's facial expressions, in the order in which I witnessed them, having had a front row seat, if you will:
  1. Crazy tourist! It's a tram line.
  2. Hey lady, I can't exactly back up here. You are going to have to do something ...
  3. What the ??
  4. Oh no, she's going to ...
  5. Merde!
No one was hurt, no damage to the tram, massive damage to my pride!

So, today was my first tram two-fer: I took a tram and I hit a tram.

© 2005 Cindy Lane. All rights reserved.


Blogger aaronandcarol said...

Were those your Texas or SoCal driving skills on display?


3:53 AM  
Anonymous Rachael W. said...

OH MY GOD!! I have tears in my eyes!!!!

Did you have to count dwarfs? I think I would went through dwarfs, reindeer and Charlie brown characters...what the hell am I saying...I just would have started swearing!

5:50 PM  

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