Go Ahead, Back Up

As you probably remember, San Geraldo and I rented a car during the week and drove to a few garden centers. I told you about our plants (and our psychic) and I forgot to tell you about our “defective” rental car.


After visiting the second garden center, we had to back out of our diagonal parking space. San Geraldo couldn’t get the car to shift into reverse. He tried pressing down on the stick. He tried pulling up on the stick. He tried again and again. Finally, I just got out and pushed the car out of the spot and hopped back in. We tried again to no avail at the third garden center. So, I got out and pushed again.


When we returned to the second garden center (where we ended up making all our purchases), San Geraldo had the “brilliant” idea to pull around into the diagonal spot so that he could drive right out, and therefore not require me to push when it was time to go.


San Geraldo didn’t tell me about his brilliant idea. I simply watched his maneuvering and figured out where his addled brain had taken him. As he turned into the spot, I asked smartly, “So, what’s the plan?” He realized the car was facing the right direction but now needed to be pushed backwards into the parking spot.

“Oops,” was his response.

I got out and pushed. Just as he was about to turn off the engine, San Geraldo noticed a little ridge just below the knob of the stick shift. He discovered that if he simply pulled up on the ridge — and not the entire knob — the car magically went into reverse.

Who needs Abbott and Costello when there’s Mitchell and Geraldo?


Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

18 thoughts on “Go Ahead, Back Up”

  1. I know THOSE shifts! They are deceiving. We had a Renault that had a similar shift.
    I noticed your awning….which I am sure will come in handy in the summer. Terrace is looking good, nice job!

  2. What a beautiful location you have settled into. I bet it will be nice and cool in the summer with the terrace overlooking the sea. Will the two kitties be able to keep from digging in all those big planters?

  3. Ohhhhh that is a lovely terrace… lovely!
    Oh, those pesky confusing reverse issues with stick shifts! It's quite understandable 🙂 I once brought my car into a local shop to have something done like an oil change… but, the mechanic couldn't figure out that he needed to pull up on the stick shift to put the car in reverse, so he forced things, and ended up damaging my transmission :(( They "fixed" it, but it always made a clunk sound after that.

    It's pretty funny to imagine you pushing the car out of all of the parking spots ;)))

    1. Judeet:
      When we returned the car, we told the owner of the rental place what we had done. He told us he had a customer who rented a car for 10 days in Sevilla (a nightmare to drive and park in the best of conditions). The customer (from Sweden) returned the car saying it was perfect and only that it took him a while to get used to the fact that the car didn't have a reverse. He didn't know cars didn't come with that automatically!

  4. The terrace looks great! Does the side facing the beach also face south? I'm not familiar with the geography there. Of course, I could pull it up on google maps…

    1. Walt the Fourth:
      The front of the terrace faces southeast and side faces southwest (the corner where the yucca stands in the first photo is south). Sunrise and sun all day.

      Lots more to do, but it's definitely very livable!

  5. Before I got to the Abbot & Costello bit I was already chuckling at the thought of the two of you as Laurel & Hardy. I could just see you standing, hands on hips, chest puffed out – "Well, that's another fine mess you've got me into!"
    Btw Ab & Cost used to be regular features at our kids Saturday morning film club in the 1950s – but I've never seen a single film of theirs since then, not even on TV. They just seem to have disappeared entirely, and there must be dozens of them, mostly shorts I should think.
    Anyway, nice pics as always.

    1. Raybeard:
      I bought my brother just about every Abbott & Costello DVD there is. We regularly do their routines together. They also had a TV show for a while. So many different ways to catch their routines. But, you're right, Laurel & Hardy definitely do come to mind!

  6. Loved the scenario (and since we now know the two of you I could even picture it 😉 and love the way you're doing your balcony/patio. BUT… made me kind of sad that we will not have time to come visit. You know, of course, that you haven't heard the last from us, don't you?

  7. Thank you for painting that wonderfully funny image! (My sympathy to San Geraldo, I hate driving strange cars.) Your terraces are beautiful – it was worth all the pushing.

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