There has been progress in the Learning To Drive A Stick caper. My sister has been such a patient teacher, putting up with me shrieking "What gear?! What gear!?" in the exact same ear-piercing pitch that Tweety Bird says "I did! I did taw a puddytat!" She's also survived two brushes with death in which I failed to give way (too busy enquiring about the gear I was in) and only slightly rolls her eyes when I stop at the lights, hand poised over the handbrake, asking in panicky tones, "Is this a hill? Is this a hill?", even when the road is perfectly flat. Rhi's in Queensland this week on a business trip, leaving me to fend for myself. I fully planned to stay housebound and walk anywhere I needed to go, but soon I was eating nothing but Vegemite and some suspect-looking bread. It was time to venture out in Manuel all on my own. I've driven to work, to the supermarket, to the movies, out to Fyshwick (to order my new puter, NOT to buy porn. I know what you're thinking, Canberra kids) only stalling twice, only crunching the gears three times in total. Not too shabby, I thought. Then today it all came undone. I went out to buy supplies for a gathering tonight, and the Saturday morning traffic was a little crazy. But I made it home in one piece. I parked Manuel and popped open the hatch, got out of the car and promptly slammed the door shut, locking the keys inside. My heart turned to shit. We only have two sets of keys, and the other is in Cairns right now. I examined the hatch and tried to remove the cover thingy. It wouldn't budge. I wondered if I could somehow dive over the cover thingy without getting my fat arse lodged in the small gap between the back seat and the ceiling. We've only had Manuel for a month, and I didn't want to have to explain a hacked-up hatch to my sister. So I decided to be more resourceful. All I had to do was find something long enough to reach from the back of the car to one of the doors, then I could somehow unlock the door. There were no long objects inside the car, so in the end I took off one of the windscreen wiper blades, launched myself into the back of the car, grunting and swearing, poking the wiper around until I finally flipped up the lock. "Woohoo!" I yelled. "Well hello there!" said my neighbour, who until now has not said boo to me, but chose the moment when I was wedged in the back of my car with my arse in the air to happen along and introduce himself. If anyone is any good at reattaching wiper blades, please let me know.