Polly Participates In Perilous Pranks!

, , , , , | Friendly | August 3, 2020

After totaling my step-mother’s old car, I’m given an old Ford Escort hatchback that was donated to her church by a sweet little old lady who had absolutely no idea how to drive with a standard transmission. The gears were ground completely smooth because, by her own instructions she’d left on how to drive the car, she’d never used the clutch to change gears and maybe didn’t even know what the third pedal was for.

The car turned out to be a money sink, for various reasons, but it was mine and I loved it and would often volunteer to chauffeur any number of friends around. This became all the more fun for me when, after taking a particularly hard turn one day, the keys went flying out of the ignition and across the cab. After my initial panic and a bit of experimentation, I learned that the keys could be pulled straight out of the ignition after starting the car and the car would remain running. How exciting!

From then on, whenever I had someone new in the passenger’s seat, I would wait until we were cruising along and then casually pull my keys out and say, “Can you hold this?”

It turns out that a lot of people will just take whatever you hand them without looking first. I got reactions ranging from laughter, to surprised swears, to asking if I had a set of dummy keys, to everything in between, all without crashing — as I learned only just recently that you can actually turn the car off like this if you accidentally turn the key, and say goodbye to power steering.

That old boat of a car had plenty of — often very costly — quirks, but the key trick was by far my favorite. You were a good ol’ car, Polly. I hope you’re still running and accidentally scaring the bejesus out of people wherever you ended up after I finally sold you.

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