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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bumper Cars

We drove to Montreal in our Civic.
Yes, it is small - especially our 6 foot tall #1 - but it gets 40 miles to the gallon.

It was 11 hours to the border...
When we arrived at the border the line was long - 1/4 of a mile long.
We knew it would be a long wait, but we thought at 20 seconds per car, we'd be out of there in an hour.

We turned off the air conditioner and opened the windows and sunroof.
It was a beautiful sunny and almost cool day.
The cars around us were all from Quebec.

The car in front of us was a Toyota Matrix with Quebec plates. It was brand spanking new. Very pretty, actually.

The driver of that Matrix was one who allowed her car to roll back before she went forward. Mr. took notice of that nasty habit and left her plenty of room. We figured it must be a stick shift and since the border crossing is on a slight incline... well, whatever.

We had been stopped for a while. Our Civic is a stick shift and Mr's clutch foot was getting tired, so he put our car in neutral and pulled the emergency brake to hold us still. This was the smartest thing he could have done.

We watched the Matrix roll back oh so slowly.
We expected it to then roll forward.
It kept coming - ever so slowly.
Mr. beeped gently.
Mr. beep beep beeped again.
And again..
And again..
And then... bump.

She rolled into us.
We motioned to her that she hit us.
She pulled forward.
She got out.
She inspected her car.
She said to Mr., "You are really lucky" in her Montreal accent and her way too tight jeans.
Mr replied, "Lucky? You are the lucky one! You rolled into us! That's why I was beeping."
"Oh! I did? I'm really sorry! I think I have been waiting too long."
(Yes, it was a long wait we'd been there an hour and then some, but does that give you permission to not pay attention?)
She hopped back into her Matrix totally embarrassed.
(Personally, I would have been more embarrassed by the tightness of the jeans than the bumper bumping.)
We gave her even more space as we crept towards the border crossing.
She rolled a couple more times, but caught herself.
After each roll, she glanced in the mirror and there I was looking at her smiling and shaking my head.

Note: Do not arrive at the border at 4pm when the border guards are taking 3 min. per car. Do not stay behind a silver Matrix with Quebec plates. She has a brake pedal, but she forgets how to use it - frequently.

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