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My Apologies To My Car: Fillmore Street!

I have to take a minute to apologize to my car for the harrowing experience I put us through on Friday May 29, 2009. We arrived in San Francisco happy and excited, only to find ourselves at the top of one of the steepest hills in the city; the famed Fillmore Street. There was a Hummer on our ass, and the slope of the hill wasn't forgiving. We were stopped and with no experience on such a hill, we were doomed from the start.

In my two decades of driving a stick shift without incident, I was confident that I could manage the clutch, release, gas pedal, ratio perfectly. When I started doing this, my palms were sweaty and my heart was pounding and in the rear view mirror, he stared at me. "Don't even think about rolling back into me, stupid tourist!"
Of course, I slid backwards quicker than I could do the "release clutch-push gas pedal ratio", so I grabbed onto the hand break and lurched it up with a loud "EEERRRRTCHOOOOUCH!" , heart still pounding, I held it tightly. Then I pressed the gas pedal and released the clutch as we moved up the huge hill slowly.

My car let out a scream that I had never thought possible, followed by a long flat noise that I was sure was it releasing pain and agony. The light to switch gears into second came on, I released the break, switched gears and made it across the intersection without incident. My car was not happy. I wasn't sure if I had blown the clutch, the transmission, or the breaks, then we saw what was next.

You know when you are on a roller coaster and you climb and climb and climb to the top, only to feel like there is nothing on the other side? This is what we saw, nothing but the city and the Bay far from us, but no street to get us there. I pressed on, and crawled down the other side as my car continued to moan, and release tire burn smells for the next mile. :0(

So to this, I say to my dear car that I love. I am sorry that I went up Filmore Street. I am sorry that I didn't know how to avoid it (Van Ness!), I am sorry if I hurt you. Please forgive me and thank you for not breaking down. I promise to never do that to you again!


  1. Oh, no, not that terrible feeling again, pushing the gas pedal, shifting and releasing the brake, everything needing two more legs to operate. Your story took me there.

  2. Hahaha, I am still kissing the ass of my car..I felt so be fair, the rest of the trip, even up and down Filmore and other steep slops, was all fine. I just got nervous because it was the first stop and the car behind me...nerves will do that! LOL

  3. The thing is, amazingly, Fillmore isn't even the steepest. 22nd (just above Church St.), as well as this street over on Russian Hill where a sign says "Hill" and someone always writes "no s**t" under it, are even steeper.


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