Under the guise of a work-related conference she just couldn’t miss, my sis got a free ticket to visit Chi-town for a few days (yay! way to buck the system!). When I sat down last night to figure out what adventure-in-public transport would take her from my place in Wicker Park to her conference in the burbs of Oak Brook, I discovered there is no good way to get from one spot to the other sans car. Doh.

Then my neighbor had the good sense to remind me that I have a car that maybe my sister could borrow. Hello. My car’s stick shift, so most people can’t drive it (a blessing and a curse), but then I remembered that I learned stick because I thought it was cool that my sister drove stick (and because the family Escort, a.k.a. “the brown nugget,” was handed down to me, and I had no choice whatsoever).

Problem solved. except for the small issue of my car being a piece. It’s no Escort, but it has… shall we say…. quirks. We could start with the clutch that creaks like an old lady’s rocking chair. Then move to the windshield wipers, which don’t actually make contact with the windshield . Let’s not forget the sun visor that flops in my face and won’t stay up. And my all-time fave… the driver side window, which was permanently raised shut after it fell out a few times. Either I put up with annoyed looks from tollbooth and fastfood workers or I seriously cramp my entertainment budget. No brainer.

Hell, at least I finally replaced the hubcap that fell off after the Firestone f'rs failed to properly reattach it. I grew weary of pulling up to depositions and strategically parking to conceal the lone black tire. I'm pretty sure my coworkers were really impressed when the big box arrived at the office with “INEEDAHUBCAP.COM” plastered all over it. Classy.

Even with all these adorable eccentricities, I drive so seldom that I’m prone to forgetting about (ignoring) them.... So this morning my sister and I went about our morning in typical pre-caffeinated, close-quartered, scatter-brained fashion. It’s a wonder we didn’t blow something up. But without explosion, we managed to get her into my car with directions and the all-important coffee in hand. I did notice that she sat in the car for awhile before leaving, but shrugged it off when she finally took off.

I got a call from her a little while ago giving me the good news that she made it. But not without a few problemos. um. I chuckled when she told me she'd forgotten my car was stick until she got in and couldn't figure out why it wouldn't start. I giggled when she said it took her awhile to remember how to drive stick since it's been, oh, FIFTEEN years since her last go at it. I cackled when she said she missed one of her exits because she was busy fighting with the sun visor dangling in her face. And I went hyena-style when she told me she held up traffic at the toll booth while frantically trying (and failing) to roll down the window. I laughed so loud my office-neighbor peered in to make sure I was okay.

Poor sister. Sorry sister. On a positive note, the hubcaps look real nice on there. Pretty fancy. I think she's going to appreciate her nice new Lexus all the more when she gets home.

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